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Black Sea Nettles Jellyfish Pictures


Sunday, July 11, 2010

 
 
 Black Sea Nettles Jellyfish Picture
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ID# PJL-038
Juvenile Pacific Butterfish with Black Sea Nettle Jellyfish
species: Chrysaora achlyos
picture-id: PJL-038 request pricing Google Earth

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 Black Sea Nettles Jellyfish

The Black Sea Nettle Jellyfish is somewhat of a mystery. Little is known about this deep ocean drifter. It can be years between sightings off southern California. When they do make an appearance, it’s often in very big numbers. In 1989 and again in 1999 swarms washed ashore on San Diego Beaches. Finding them this year was completely unexpected.

This was the first time I had seen them in the wild and they proved to be an impressive jellyfish. Their head or bell can be three feet or more in diameter and ribbon like oral arms and tentacles can trail twenty feet or more behind. They are a drifting oasis from the deep ocean. This shot shows a commensal Butterfish which hides in its tentacles for protection, as well as numerous small crabs which have hitched a ride. We also saw at least one other species of fish drifting with the Sea Nettles, likely a Medusa Fish. Once carried inshore reef fish such as the Senorita and Garabaldi appear to find them a delicacy. They rise from the reef to feed on their stinging tentacles.


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