Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Cnidaria
Class: Scyphozoa
Order: Rhizostomae
Family: Mastigiidae

Genus/species: Mastigias papua

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: The lagoon jellyfish has many subspecies that grow more dissimilar as they age.
The translucent bell of Mastigias papua is usually hemispherical, with a diameter up to 80 mm (3.15 in). This species has 8 frilled oral arms, rather than tentacles, whose total length is approximately equal to the bell-radius.
Color variation exists within Mastigias papua, though the bell is usually greenish blue to olive green with yellow, white, and/or brown oval, granular spots across the rim (over the exumbrella). This coloring can be attributed to the zooxanthellae that reside symbiotically within the lagoon jellyfish (mostly in the mesoglea).

Length up to 80mm (3.15 in)

DISTRIBUTION: Found in the Indian, Western Pacific and Western Atlantic Oceans as well as Lake Palau where it tends to dwell within the top 2.5 m of the water during the day to allow its symbiotic zooxanthellae access to light.

DIET IN THE WILD: Small zooplankton (30%) and photosynthesis from algae inside their tissues (70%). During the day, the spotted jelly will travel upward, orienting its body to absorb maximum sunlight.

REPRODUCTION: Asexual reproduction by budding can occur year round, Eggs hatch into planula larvae that swim around until they find a suitable substrate to settle developing into a sessile polyp which create motile buds asexually, or forming ephyrae which mature into free swimming medusae.

Longevity: More than three months in captivity.

PREDATION The only creature that has been confirmed to prey on Mastigias papua is a sea anemone, Entacmaea medusivora.

IUCN Red List Not Evaluated

REMARKS: Some of the larger spotted jellies actually have small fishes living with them. The fishes use the inside of a jelly’s bell as protection from larger predators until they reach maturity.

Human contacts may experience many adverse effects such as rashes, severe itching, nausea, and vomiting when contacting tentacles.


California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Color on the Reef 2017 AQA17

Monterey Bay Aquarium…



Ron’s flickr