This large sea jelly can reach a diameter of 60 cm and weigh up
to 10 kg! The mushroom-shaped bell of this species is bluish-brown
to creamy white in color and bears many evenly distributed opaque
white spots. The underside of the bell bears eight stout feeding
Habitat: Warm temperate seas, often abundantly aggregated
in nearshore waters.
Invaded Areas: Abundant in the Gulf of Mexico; sightings
in southern California, Hawaiian islands, Caribbean.
Concerns: In the Gulf, this invader has formed huge swarms
in recent years. Each jelly can clear 50 cubic meters of water
a day of suspended planktonic material, so dense aggregations
can alter food webs in the water column. Gulf fisheries have been
affected, because the jellies eat larval fish and compete with
suspension feeding fish and shrimp for food, and because the jellies
clog fishing nets. The attached polyp stage of this species, which
buds off juvenile jellyfish, could be transported to our region
on ship hulls.