Cyanea capillata Click to enlarge image
Lion's Mane Jellyfish, Cyanea capillata Image: Dr Isobel Bennett
© Australian Museum

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    capillata
    Genus
    Cyanea
    Family
    Cyaneidae
    Order
    Semaeostomeae
    Class
    Scyphozoa
    Phylum
    Cnidaria
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    Bell: 1 m across; tentacles up to 10 m

Introduction

The Lion's Mane Jellyfish can grow to be one of the largest of all jellyfishes.

Identification

The Lion's Mane Jellyfish's disc-shaped bell can be over 1 m across and its trailing tentacles can reach more than 10 m in length. These tentacles are very fine and difficult to see.

Habitat

The Lion's Mane Jellyfish lives in coastal waters and oceans.

Distribution

The Lion's Mane Jellyfish is found in marine waters throughout Australia.

Other behaviours and adaptations

The tentacles can extend outwards in a fan-like trap through which only the smallest of animals can pass without being caught. Large individuals often have many small fish that live near the bell of the jellyfish and avoid the stinging tentacles. This gives the fish protection from predators, as few animals will approach a large Lion's Mane Jellyfish.

Danger to humans

These jellyfish can deliver a painful sting and their fine tentacles are often difficult for swimmers to avoid. They are best given a wide berth. If stung, apply a cold pack to relieve the pain and seek medical attention if necessary.