Moon jellyfish fact sheet

Aurelia aurita | Moon jellyfish 

The moon jellyfish is a member of the escifozoos class of jellyfish and one of the most abundant and common in all the world’s oceans, mainly in coastal areas. It has four (or 5 to 7 ) horse shoe-shaped gonads which are symmetrically arranged. In females the gonads, or “moons” are pink in colour, whereas in males they are white. Moon jellyfish feed on zooplankton and small invertebrates such as crustaceans, and polychaetes. They use their tentacles to capture and paralyse their victims and guide them up to the mouth. Moon jellyfish swim by contracting their body with regular undulations. They stay near the surface, often travelling adrift on currents. Sometimes they are found stranded on the coast in large numbers, as they are not good swimmers. Their sting generally does not bother humans.

Length: Diameter: 5 – 40 cm

Diet: Zooplankton such as molluscs, crustaceans, tunicate larvae, copepods, rotifers and nematodes.

Reproduction: Sexual and asexual. Sexes are separate

Maturity: 3 months to 2 years  (ephyra to sexually reproducing medusa)

Conservation Status: There is no concern for the conservation of this species

In other languages
Portuguese: Medusa de lua
Spanish: Medusa común
French: Méduse commune
Italian: Medusa quadrifoglio
German: Ohrenqualle
Dutch: Oorkwal
Swedish: Öronmanet
Norwegian: Glassmanet
Danish: Vandman
Finnish: Korvamedusa
Polish: Chełbia modra
Russian: Ушастая аурелия

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