All about Jellies

Meet the gelatinous superstars featured in the Jammin' with Jellies exhibit.

flame jelly circle

FLAME jellyfish

Size: Bell diameter between 15 and 23 inches
Appearance: Has a milky white bell with an underlying red tone and 8 branched oral arms fused together underneath the bell.
Range: South China Sea, Yellow Sea, and Bohai Sea
Coastal waters
Diet: Zooplankton (small organisms that drift in the ocean)

Fun fact: Also called the Edible Jelly, these jellies are the most abundant jelly species commercially harvested for food in Asia.

 northeast nettle jelly circle


Northeast pacific sea nettle

Size: Bell diameter up to 2 feet
Appearance: Has a reddish-orange bell with white oral arms and 24 thin red-maroon tentacles
Range: Primarily the U.S. West Coast during summer and early autumn
Near-shore waters
Diet: Zooplankton (small organisms that drift in the ocean), crustaceans, pelagic snails, comb jellies, fish eggs/larvae, other jellies

Fun fact: These jellies have a symbiotic relationship with juvenile slender crabs, which hitchhike on their bells.

crystal jelly circle 2

Crystal jellyfish

Size: Bell grows up to about 10 inches in diameter
Appearance: Clear bell which can give off a green-blue glow around the rim. Long, thin tentacles.
Range: Bering Sea and Pacific Ocean along the West Coast of the U.S. and Canada from Alaska to California
Coastal bays
Diet: Crustaceans, zooplankton, other jellies, and larvaceans.

Fun fact: Crystal jellies' green fluorescent protein, or GFP, is used as a biological marker that's instrumental in medical research. For example, it allows scientists to see how cancer spreads in living cells.

japanese sea nettle circle

Japanese sea nettle

Size: Bell grows up to 12 inches, with tentacles up to 10 feet long.
Appearance: Light-colored bell with dark orange lines radiating in a sunburst pattern from the center.
Range: North Pacific Ocean around Japan
Habitat: Coastal waters
Diet: Small crustaceans, molluscs, fish eggs and larvae, and other jellies.

Fun fact: Ninjas reportedly used powder made from Japanese sea nettles as a weapon, blowing the stinging substance into enemies' eyes.
moon jelly circle 2


Moon Jellyfish*

Size: Bell grows up to 15 inches in diameter
Appearance: Translucent with moonlike, circular bells
Range: Common along the California coast and in the waters off the East Coast, Europe, Japan, and the Gulf of Mexico.
Habitat: Open waters
Diet: Small plankton, like molluscs, crustaceans, fish eggs and other small jellies

Fun fact: Nearly 2,500 moon jellies went into orbit aboard the space shuttle Columbia in 1991 as part of a study on the effect of weightlessness on the organs of juvenile jellies.

*This species can be found in the lower North Pacific Aquarium.