Pacific Sea Needle Jellyfish Picture

Taken On: Wednesday, July 29th, 2009 at the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, Georgia.

Tropical Diver The Coral Kingdom

Pacific Sea Nettle (Chrysaora fuscescens)
Georgia Aquarium is home to more than 150 new Pacific sea nettles! Come see the brand new, beautiful jellies on display now in the Tropical Diver Gallery, presented by Air Tran Airways.

Aquarium biologists ventured into 48° Pacific Ocean water, dodging hefty sea swells and inclement weather, in order to collect the jellies. Through a permit from the State of Oregon, Georgia Aquarium was able to attain the jellies for educational display and husbandry research at the Aquarium.

Pacific sea nettles are overly abundant off the coast of Oregon and have become a nuisance to fisherman in the area. The large fluctuation of jellies is thought to be a global indicator of climate change. Georgia Aquarium biologists plan to study the jellies to learn more about this fascinating animal and improve aquaculture techniques.

The Pacific sea nettle is common along the coast of California and Oregon and occurs, but is less common, in waters north to the Gulf of Alaska, west to the seas around Japan and south to the Baja Peninsula. This sea nettle is generally larger than similar species found in the Atlantic. In the wild, it can grow to a diameter of three feet (91 cm) and its thick oral arms can extend 12 feet (3.6 m) below the animal. The thin tentacles that hang down from around the edge of its body can inflict a painful sting.

Fun Facts
■The Pacific sea nettle feeds on small crustaceans, small fish and fish eggs and larvae. It will also eat other jellies.
■In recent years, these jellies have become so abundant that they appear to be reducing adult fish populations by consuming so many fish eggs and larvae.
■The concentrations of jellies can become large enough to clog fishing nets and block industrial water intakes.
■As in other true jellies, the sea nettle exhibits a life cycle that includes both sexual and asexual stages.
■The genus name Chrysaora has its origins in Greek mythology.

The stinging sea nettle (Chrysaora) is a genus of particularly large true sea jellies (Scyphozoans).

The name may refer to the Atlantic sea nettle or East Coast sea nettle (Chrysaora quinquecirrha), a species of sea nettle that inhabits particularly Atlantic estuaries.

The name sea nettle may also refer to the Pacific sea nettle or West Coast sea nettle (Chrysaora fuscescens) (pictured to the right), another related species that is endemic to the Northeast Pacific Ocean. It is a common coastal species found along the west coast of North America from California to Alaska.

The Atlantic sea nettle is a bell-shaped invertebrate, usually semi-transparent and with small, white dots and reddish-brown stripes. Sea nettles without stripes have a bell that appears white or opaque. The nettle's sting is rated from "moderate" to "severe" and can be pernicious to smaller prey; it is not, however, potent enough to cause human death, except by allergic reaction. While the sting is not particularly harmful, it can cause moderate discomfort to any individual stung. The sting can be effectively neutralized by misting vinegar over the affected area. This keeps unfired nematocysts from firing and adding to the discomfort.[1]

The sea nettle is radially symmetrical, marine, and carnivorous. Its mouth is located at the center of one end of the body, which opens to a gastrovascular cavity that is used for digestion. It has tentacles that surround the mouth to capture food. Nettles have no excretory or respiratory organs. Each sea nettle is free-swimming and can reproduce both sexually and asexually.

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