PORT PHILLIP BAY


Jellyfish 

Pelagia noctiluca (Forskal, 1775)

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Purple, mauve, reddish or dark brown bell covered with warts (bearing stinging cells). Four long, frilly oral arms (also with warts) hang from the centre of the bell. Fringing the bell are 8 tentacles alternating with 8 sense organs. Colour greatest on gonads, warts and tentacles. Bell usually 4 to 6 cm wide but can reach up to 10 cm with tentacles to 1 m.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Cnidaria
Class:
Scyphozoa
Order:
Semaeostomeae
Family:
Pelagiidae
Genus:
Pelagia
Species:
noctiluca

General Description

Purple, mauve, red or dark brown body (bell) covered with warts (bearing stinging cells). Four long, frilly oral arms hang from the centre of the bell with 8 tentacles around the edges. Bell up to 10 cm across, tentacles up to 1 m long.

Biology

This jellyfish is bioluminescent, emitting green light when moved, for example by waves or by touch. Its name means "night light". A huge bloom of these jellies caused the death of over 100,000 salmon in sea cages in Ireland in 2007.

Habitat

Oceans, bays and harbours, near surface to depth of 200 m.

Open water

Distribution guide

Worldwide. Southern Australia.

Species Group

Jellyfishes and allies Jellyfishes

Depth

Shallow (1-30 m)
Deep ( > 30 m)

Water Column

Surface Midwater

Max Size

10 cm

Diet

Carnivore

Harmful

Mild sting but may cause severe pain if stung by many individuals.

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Recorded in Australia

Identify

Conservation Status

  • DSE Advisory List : Not listed
  • EPBC Act 1999 : Not listed
  • IUCN Red List : Not listed

Author

article author Browne, J.

Jo Browne is a consultant with expertise in ctenophore and cnidarian taxonomy.

citation

Cite this page as:
Browne, J., 2011, Jellyfish, Pelagia noctiluca, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 27 Jun 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/5674

Text: creative commons cc by licence