Animal Species:Moon Jelly

The Moon Jelly is a common ocean animal and can sometimes be extremely abundant.

Moon Jelly

Dr Isobel Bennett © Austra

Standard Common Name

Moon Jelly

Identification

It has a transparent jelly-like bell with four horseshoe-shaped, pinkish reproductive organs that surround a square mouth. At each corner of the mouth a feeding tentacle hangs down into the water below.

Size range

40 cm

Distribution

Moon Jellies are found throughout Australia.

Habitat

Moon Jellies live in oceans, coastal waters and estuaries.

Feeding and Diet

At each corner of the mouth in Moon Jellies a feeding tentacle hangs down into the water below. These are equipped with stinging cells (nematocysts) to capture small prey that are dragged inward towards the mouth.

Other behaviours and adaptations

The outer edge of the Moon Jelly's bell also has tentacles, as well as eight special sensory organs that tell the jellyfish where it is in the water column. Currents may sweep many of these jellyfish into sheltered bays and they are often washed up on beaches.

Predators, Parasites and Diseases

The Moon Jelly is one of the favourite foods of many species of turtles.

Classification

Species:
aurita
Genus:
Aurelia
Family:
Ulmaridae
Order:
Semaeostomeae
Class:
Scyphozoa
Phylum:
Cnidaria
Kingdom:
Animalia

What does this mean?


Dr Stephen Keable , Collection Manager, Marine Invertebrates
Last Updated:

Tags jellies, jellyfish, scyphozoans, invertebrates, wildlife of sydney, identification,

2 comments

user - 7.05 PM, 10 May 2010
I was wondering if Moon Jellyfish were able to be pets for australians
jenny-gruber - 10.06 PM, 08 June 2009
We often see Moon Jellyfish floating down Lane Cove River in Sydney (see the attached photo). But I had no idea that they were the favourite food of turtles!

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