Jellyfish are curious creatures with extraterrestrial-like appearances, a penchant for extreme depths, and are somewhat baffling. The 2000 species of Jellyfish discovered are thought to be only a tiny fraction, and there is a lot more to explore. These gelatinous nonfish lack hearts, blood, and brains and are called sea jellies. This article gives you a curated list of different types of Jellyfish and some amazing facts about these freaky yet amazing creatures.
What is Jellyfish?
Jellyfish are the oldest known invertebrates on Earth, even before dinosaurs came into existence. They live worldwide, pulsing along the ocean currents habituating from shallow to deep and warm to cold water.
Jellies do not have a heart, brain, eyes, and bones, and they mainly consist of water. Instead, they have a soft bag-like dome, a bell connected to tentacles armed with minute stinging cells. Some Jellyfish are transparent, while others are vibrant, and some are bioluminescent. Blue jellyfish species, purple jellyfish species, pink jellyfish species, yellow and red jellyfish species, etc.
The majority of the Jellyfish belong to the class Scyphozoa or class Cubozoa. In groups, jellies are called ‘bloom,” smack,’ or ‘swarm.’
Though Jellyfish do not purposely attack humans, people get stung by accidentally touching them or going near some of them. Based on the species of the Jellyfish, the sting may vary from being painful to deadly.
15 Beautiful Types of Jellyfish with Pictures:
Read on to learn about some of the most beautiful types of jellyfish.
1. Crystal Jellyfish:
The Crystal Jellyfish is”the most influential bioluminescent marine organism.” They are transparent jellies with long delicate tentacles. When disturbed, they give off a green-blue glow because of the light-producing organs present around the margin of their outer bell. Scientists harvest Crystal jellies for their luminescent proteins and use them as a biological highlighter to find and study genes.
Scientific Name: Aequorea Victoria
Color: Crystal Jellyfish are transparent with around 100 delicate long tentacles; however, they emit a green bioluminescent glow through their outer bell when disturbed.
Size: The size of crystal jellies ranges between 1 to 16 inches (2to 40 cm), though some can grow up to 2 meters.
Habitat: They predominantly live in the Pelagic waters in the Pacific Ocean.
Diet: They primarily feed oncopepods and planktonic organisms. They also cannibalize other jellies like comb jellies and some hydromedusae.
Other Names: Bioluminescent water jelly
Do they sting? Crystal Jellyfishes sting. It is very mild and generally harmless but can sometimes cause redness and itching.
2. Cauliflower Jellyfish:
Cauliflower jellyfish is a pacific jellyfish species found in the Indo-pacific and the Atlantic Oceans. It is a giant old-world water jellyfish with an odd purple umbrella-shaped bell! They are sometimes called crown jellyfish, which may confuse with the completely unrelated Attollas, also called crown jellyfish. People eat these cauliflower jellies in China and Japan as a wonderful delicacy!
Scientific Name: CepheaCephea
Color: The color of the cauliflower jellyfish bell ranges from blush purple to mauve.
Size: They can grow up to 5 inches in length and 24 inches in diameter.
Habitat: Cauliflower jellyfishes tolerate freezing water and often live in depths over 3000 meters (9842 ft). They mostly live in the Pelagic zone of many oceans and seas.
Diet: Their diet consists of Algae, shrimp, plankton, fish eggs, and invertebrate larvae.
Other Names: Crown Jellyfish
Do they sting? Yes, they do sting; though cauliflower jellyfishes are one of the most venomous jellyfishes globally, their sting isn’t harmful to humans.
See More: Different Types of Dolphin Species
3. Moon Jellyfish:
Moon jellyfish are identified easily by the four-horseshoe-shaped bright reproductive organs in the middle of their dome. The dome is bell-shaped, colored in pink, blue, and purple shades. Around this dome, there are fringe-like tentacles with stinging cells (nematocysts)lined. They have a short and stout feeding tube with four long oral arms attached, and they are common types of Jellyfish found in the world.
Scientific Name: Aurelia Aurita
Color: Usually translucent white with slight bluish and pinkish shades, moon type jellyfish, can change color based on their last meal.
Size: Moon jellies range between 5-38 cms (2-15 inches) in diameter and around 7.6 cms (3 inches) tall.
Habitat: They live in temperate waters and near coastlines throughout the world.
Diet: Moon Jellyfishes feed primarily on zooplankton.
Other Names: Common Jellyfish, Saucer jellyfish.
Do they sting? Moon jellies have hundreds of short, delicate tentacles lining the bell margin instead of long, potent stinging tentacles like most jellyfishes. As a result, their sting is mild, and people experience only a slight reaction to it.
4. Lion’s Mane Jellyfish:
Lion’s mane jellies are the large jellyfish species globally and have up to 1200 tentacles that contain a high amount of neurotoxins. These tentacles originate under the bell in 8 distinct clusters of 70and 150 tentacles each.
Scientific Name: Cyanea capillata
Color: The smaller ones are tan to orange, while the larger lion mane jellyfishes are bright red to dark purple.
Size: Lion’s mane jellyfishes are the largest known Jellyfish ranging from less than an inch to 8 feet in diameter. Their tentacles can grow more than 100 feet in length.
Habitat: Lion’s mane jellies are found commonly in the cold waters and are known as Arctic, Northern Pacific, and Northern Atlantic jellyfish species.
Diet: They capture their food by spreading their long, thin tentacles like a net as they descend into the water column. Lion’s mane jellyfish primarily feed on zooplankton, fish, other jellyfishes, and small crustaceans.
Other Names: Giant Jellyfish, Hair jellyfish, Arctic Red jellyfish
Do they sting? Lion’s mane jellies are known to give nasty stings; though not poisonous, they can be very painful and cause severe allergic reactions.
5. Flower Hat Jellyfish:
Flower hat jellyfish are striking to look at with dark, opaque pinstripes radiating from center to the edge on a translucent bell and multicolored tentacles trailing from it. They use these lustrous, fluorescent-tipped tentacles to paralyze small fish with venom and feed on them. They are the glowing jellyfish species that appear like fireworks under the black light of the deep waters.
Scientific Name: Olindias formosa
Color: Flower hat jellies have multiple colours
Size: They can grow up to 15cm (6 inches) in diameter
Habitat: Flower hat jellyfishes often live in shallow, coastal waters. They live near to the kelp or seagrass on the ocean floor.
Diet: Their diet consists of small, shallow-dwelling fishes, diatoms, and zooplankton.
Do they sting? Yes, the flower hat jellies sting is painful and leaves a bright rash.
6. Black Sea Nettle Jellyfish:
Black Sea nettle jellyfish was the largest invertebrate discovered in the 20th century and is one of the biggest jellyfish species. However, they appear in large blooms, and details about their distribution, lifecycle, and behavior remain a mystery.
Scientific Name: Chrysaoraachlyos
Color: The bells of the small, immature black sea nettle jellyfishes are reddish to maroon in color, while the large mature ones have purple to black ones. However, the oral arms are reddish-pink, and the tentacles are whitish-pink in small and large black sea nettles.
Size: Black Sea nettle jellies bell grows to more than 1 meter, oral arms extend up to 7 meters, and tentacles may be over 2.4 meters.
Habitat: They are often found about a nautical mile offshore in deep ocean waters.
Diet: They prey on larval fishes, copepods, planktonic crustaceans, fish eggs, and other jellyfishes.
Other Names: Black jellies, Sarlac jellies
Do they sting? Although very unpleasant and painful, they sting; it is not lethal to humans.
7. Flame Jellyfish:
Flame Jellyfish are hardy Jellyfish that do not have tentacles at the bell margin. Instead, they have red appendages that look like flames, hence, the name ‘Flame jellyfish.’They are popular in Chinese traditional medicine for many diseases such as asthma, high blood pressure, ulcers, and burns. They are also commonly dried and eaten in parts of Asia.
Scientific Name: Rhopilema esculentum
Color: Flame jellyfishes are transparent when young and turn milky as they grow.
Size: Flame jellies reach a maximum bell size of 50 cm (20 inches) and length of 8 cm (3.3 inches)
Habitat: In nature, they live in warm temperate sea waters in the coastal Asian regions. Flame jellies are also grown in aquariums and tanks with open swimming areas. They are known to do well in low salinity water.
Diet: They feed on baby brine shrimp and coral reef food. When kept in aquariums, they feed on cubic jellyfish food.
Do they sting? Yes, Flame jellies are poisonous though not lethal, and their sting can cause severe itching.
8. Fried Egg Jellyfish:
Fried egg jellyfish got its name due to its distinctive bell, which looks like a cracked egg floating through the water. The yellow core of fried egg jellyfish has white or opaque tissue around it.
Scientific Name: Phacellophora camtschatica
Color: Fried egg jellies have a smooth, transparent bell with an elevated yellow-yolk-like bell in the center.
Size: Their bell can reach 60.9 cms (24 inches) with a golden dome that can grow up to 35.5 cms (14 inches), and the tentacles may reach 20 ft (6 meters) in length.
Habitat: Fried egg jellies live at shallow depths of up to 50 meters (165 ft). They live around the Mediterranean, the western Atlantic, and the Pacific Ocean.
Diet: They feed on zooplankton and other Jellyfish.
Other Names: Egg yolk jellyfish.
Do they sting? They rarely sting humans, and their sting has little to no effect.
9. Upside-Down Jellyfish:
Upside down jellyfish is very distinctive due to their habit of resting upside down with their flattened bell upside down and their eight oral arms extending above. They are typically green/blue/grey, which comes from the photosynthetic algae inside their tissues. They live all over the world, and some species are known as invasive as they can act negatively on the local marine environment.
Scientific Name: Cassiopea
Color: They have a brownish color caused due to symbiotic dinoflagellates living inside their tissues.
Size: Upside-down jellies can grow up to 30cm wide.
Habitat: They live in warmer coastal regions and mangrove swamps, canals, mudflats, and turtle grass flats in Florida and the Caribbean.
Diet: Upside down type jellyfish live prey consists of zooplankton. They also receive most of their nourishment from the symbiotic zooxanthellae that live in their tissues.
Do they sting? Upside down, jellies sting people by releasing tiny balls of stinging cells called “mobile grenades,” which are shaped like popcorn and can swim under their power. Their sting can be painful and cause discomfort.
See More: Aquarium Fish Breeds
10. White-spotted Jellyfish:
White-spotted Jellyfish is a spectacular jellyfish with a large semi-transparent dome covered in regularly spaced white spots. Even their trailing tentacles end in these white spots, and people can spot them in New South Wales coastal waters and Sydney harbor during the summer months.
Scientific Name: Phyllorhiza punctate
Color: Their large gelatinous bell is translucent white to bluish brown with evenly distributed white spots.
Size: White-spotted Jellyfish can reach up to 50cm in diameter. They have eight thick transparent oral arms which end in large brown bundles of stinging cells.
Habitat: They are native to the western Pacific Ocean,habitating warm, tropical waters.
Diet: White-spotted jellies are filter feeds, filtering more than 500 cubic meters of seawater every day. They feed on microscopic zooplankton.
Other Names: Australian spotted Jellyfish, Floating bell, Brown jellyfish
Do they sting? They rarely sting and do not pose a threat to humans.
11. Pacific Sea Nettle:
Pacific Sea nettle jellyfish belong to ‘true jellies’ called Scyphozoa. Their genus name ‘Chrysaora’has its roots in Greek mythology, the son of Poseidon and Medusa! ‘Chrysaora’ translates to ‘Golden falchion,’ which references their stinging ability. The species name fuscescens means dark or dusky, which references the color of the Pacific Sea nettles bell.
Scientific Name: Chrysaorafuscescens
Color: They have a golden-brown bell with a distinctive reddish tint.
Size: The bell of the Pacific Sea nettle jellies measures1 -3 feet in diameter, which has four ruffled oral arms extending downward up to 12-15 feet, and around 24-40 thin, maroon tentacles.
Habitat: During fall and winter, Pacific Sea nettles live in shallow bays and harbors near the surface of the water column, and during summer and spring, they form large swarms in deep ocean waters.
Diet: Pacific Sea nettles are carnivores feeding on other jellies, invertebrate larvae, fish eggs and larvae, tiny crustaceans, and pelagic snails.
Other Names: Brown Sea nettle, West Coast Sea nettles
Do they sting? Pacific Sea nettles are the type of Jellyfish that sting, which can be painful and sometimes severe enough to require hospitalization.
12. Pelagia Noctiluca Jellyfish:
Pelagia Noctiluca Jellyfishes are the most stinging jellies in the Mediterranean Sea. Their bell has 16 marginal lobes, eight marginal sense organs, and hair-like marginal tentacles, respectively. The bell and the tentacles have cnidocytes (stinging cells), and even the recently dead, stranding individuals can sting!
Scientific Name: Pelagia noctiluca
Color: Pelagia Noctiluca Jellies’ body is radially symmetrical, and their color varies from mauve-brown, pink, purple, to yellow. Their surface has mauve or pink nematocyst bearing warts.
Size: Mauve stingers are a small type of jellyfish species with a bell diameter of 3 to 12 cm (1.2 – 4.7 inches).
Habitat: Pelagia Noctiluca Jellyfish prefer living in warm and temperate waters.
Diet: They feed primarily on pelagic ascidians and other Jellyfish
Other Names: Mauve stinger, luminous Jellyfish, purple Jellyfish, purple stringer, purple people eater, and night-light Jellyfish.
Do they sting? Though not lethal, Pelagia Noctiluca Jellies sting is potent and extremely painful and often leaves scars.
13. Blue Jellyfish:
Blue Jellyfish are easy to identify by the color of their bell. They have four largemouth arms with wrinkles and ripples and many stinging tentacles. They use these tentacles containing nematocysts to catch a large abundance of zooplankton and protect themselves from predators.
Scientific Name: Cyanea lamarckii
Color: Blue Jellyfish are pale when young and turn to bright purple-blue (sometimes yellow) upon maturity. Though similar to the lion’s mane jellyfish, blue jellies aren’t as large and have a translucent bell.
Size: Their bell grows around 10-20 cm across and sometimes even up to 30 cm.
Habitat: Blue jellies are pretty widespread and live in the marine region of the Pacific and the Indian Ocean. They also live in the North Sea, the Irish Sea, and the English Channel.
Diet: They feed on crustaceans, plankton, fish eggs and larvae, and other jellyfishes.
Other Names: Blue fire Jellyfish
Do they sting? A blue jellyfish sting isn’t severe and doesn’t last long
14. Immortal Jellyfish:
The Immortal Jellyfish is one of the rare animals that can regenerate and biologically live forever. Though discovered in 1883 in the Mediterranean Sea, scientists only learned about their transformation abilities in the mid-1990s. When injured, dying, or starving, these jellies attach themselves to a surface in warm waters and transform into a colony of polyps, a sort of living blob. Then, they undergo a ‘trans differentiation’ process wherein the polys spawn into new genetically identical Jellyfish.
Immortal Jelly is a rare type of jellyfish species with a unique feature unmatched in the animal kingdom. Immortal jellies can only die by acquiring a disease or being eaten or removed from the water.
Scientific Name: Turritopsisdohrnii
Color: They are transparent with a large vivid red stomach.
Size: Immortal jellies are tiny jellyfish barely visible with naked eyes. The bell is a maximum of 4.5 mm (0.18 inch) to 10 mm in diameter. The young ones have 8 tentacles of 1mm tall each, and the adults will have up to 90 tentacles.
Habitat: They live in warm coastal areas all over the world. They spread across the world by hitchhiking in the ballast water of cargo ships.
Diet: Their diet consists primarily of plankton, Brine shrimp, fish eggs, and larvae.
Other Names: Benjamin Button jellyfish
Do they sting? Though Immortal jellies sting, they are not poisonous.
15. Japanese Sea Nettle Jellyfish:
The Japanese sea nettle lives at depths between 50-100 meters in the Pacific Ocean, Oregon, and California. The polyps of this nettle jelly were accidentally discovered by a Japanese scientist in 2009 while surveying the Japanese waters for a different species of Jellyfish. They were attached to the shells of dead crabs, bivalve shells, and stones; scientists induced strobilation to them in a laboratory setting.
Scientific Name: Chrysaoramelanaster
Color: The bell of the Japanese sea nettle ranges from gold to red with a distinctive sunburst stripe pattern on the top to the bell’s rim.
Size: The bell measures up to 30.5 cm (12 inches), and the tentacles and oral arms extend to 3 meters (10 ft).
Habitat: Japanese sea nettle jellyfish live in subtropical ocean waters at temperatures of 12-25 degrees Celsius (54-77 F).
Diet: Japanese sea nettle is a voracious carnivore and survives on ctenophores, small fishes, copepods, anchovy eggs, larvae, and plankton.
Do they sting? They sting with the little ‘spears’ on their tentacles. Though they are not poisonous jellyfish, their sting is a little painful.
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Interesting Facts about Jellyfish:
- Jellyfish are among the most intriguing creatures of the marine world. Here are some of the surprising, fascinating facts about Jellyfish you might want to know!
- Are you aware that Jellyfish is the oldest known multi-organ animal? Well, yes! They have been living on the Earth way before dinosaurs, or bony fish or the, creepy crawlies or fungi or trees came not existence.
- Jellyfish can survive in various water conditions and are found worldwide.
- Jellyfish don’t have brains, bones, blood, or even hearts! Their body consists of 85% to 98% water.
- They survived five mass extinctions, including the Great dying (or the Permian-Triassic extinction event), which wiped out up to 70% of life on Earth!
- Some jellies have bioluminescent organs which glow in the dark!
- Around a 150million people are stung by jellyfish every year!
- Some types of box Jellyfish stings can be deadly! Australian box jellyfish (Chironexfleckeri) is considered the most dangerous jellyfish species, and its sting can cause cardiac arrest, paralysis, and death within minutes.
- Jellyfish traveled into space! Yes! In 1991 moonfish jellyfish species were sent on the space shuttle Columbia into outer space by scientists who wanted to examine how microgravity affected them. In space, these Jellyfish multiplied, but upon returning to Earth, scientists discovered that these jellies couldn’t figure out how to deal with gravity.
We hope your knowledge about the types of Jellyfish mentioned in this article has increased your knowledge. So, the next time you come across them on your trips, you know how to identify different types of Jellyfish, right? Hey! Have you seen any of the above Jellyfish, and what fascinated you the most, do let us know!
1. Are Jellyfish type of fish?
No, Jellyfish are not fishes! While fishes are vertebrates, Jellyfish are invertebrates, meaning they do not have a backbone.
2. Are Jellyfish harmful to humans?
Yes, most jellyfish varieties are harmful to humans as their stings are painful, and millions get stung by jellies each year. Though most of the painful stings subside in a couple of hours, nasty stings may linger for weeks or sometimes for months. In extreme cases, the stings result in nausea, diarrhea, fever, vomiting, etc. However, the person stung rarely may slip into a coma or die.
3. How to treat a jellyfish sting?
The safest way to treat Jellyfish stings is to pluck out any visible tentacles with tweezers and wash the area with warm water. However, if the pain is extreme or other complications arise, it is crucial to seek immediate medical treatment.
4. Is peeing on a jellyfish sting a good idea?
No, there is no scientific evidence to prove that peeing on the stung area subsides the pain.
5. Are Jellyfish edible?
Though not all Jellyfish are edible, some species are eaten in various parts of the world for centuries and are considered a delicacy.
DISCLAIMER: Complete information published in this article is purely for educational and informational purposes only. It has neither a legal nor a professional source on the subject.