Kingdom Animalia, Phylum: Cnidaria (anemones, corals and jellyfish), Class: Scyphozoa,  Order: Semaeostomeae,  Family: Pelagiidae 

Chrysaora Pacifica

DISTRIBUTION: Deep open waters of the northern Pacific Ocean, Arctic Ocean and the Bering Sea. 

HABITAT: Ocean surface to 200 meters below the surface. 

APPEARANCE:  Bells can grow up to 12 inches across and tentacles can stretch 10 feet or more. Their bells are white with brown-to-orange stripes, containing up to 32 very long orange-red tentacles and four long lips.  One of C. Pacifica’s most distinguishing characteristics can be found on their undersides, where they have 16 brown stripes and eight stomach pouches.

DIET: Other jellies, small crustaceans called copepods, and small fishes. 

REPRODUCTION and DEVELOPMENT: The life cycle made up of five stages. They go through a metamorphosis or change in shape as they grow . 

1.lifecycle begins when males broadcast or release sperm into the water and the females catch the sperm to fertilize the eggs she has produced and is holding in her mouth.

2. The fertilized eggs remain attached to the mother’s oral arms and grow into a flat jelly bean-shaped planula.

3. The planula then grows into flower-shaped polyps and the mother releases them into the ocean.

4. The polyps attach to a solid surface and undergo asexual reproduction through which they make an exact copy of themselves without eggs and sperm. The polyp makes these identical animals by budding where the new polyp grows out of its side. 

5.After the new polyp is fully formed, it is released into the ocean and starts to change shape, looking more like the adult nettle. The nettle develops a bell, arms and tentacles until it is a fully formed medusa or adult.

REMARKS: Like many jellies, Japanese sea nettles use stinging cells to defend themselves and stun their prey. While not especially poisonous, their stings can cause intense skin irritation and burning sensations in humans. Some people can have allergic reactions to their venom. If you see one in the water, stay away because there’s a good chance more of them are nearby. Japanese sea nettles travel in swarms, which increases your chance of being stung if you encounter one.

 LOCATION: Staff Picks

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