Australian Spotted Jellyfish
About This Animal
SIZE: Up to 20 inches in diameter
RANGE: The natural range of this species includes Australia and the Indo-Pacific
HABITAT: Though Australian spotted jellies contract their bells to propel themselves through the water, they are weak swimmers unable to overcome the effects of winds and water currents, and thus are considered to be planktonic. They are typically found along coastlines, but enter bay mouths and estuaries on flood tides.
DIET: Primarily feed on microscopic plankton which are present in large quantities in marine water
ON EXHIBIT: Jellies: Living Art and Boneless Beauties in Ocean Journey building
The Australian spotted jellyfish is a beautiful, bell shaped jellyfish. They can filter as much as 13,200 gallons of sea water everyday!
When found in warm waters these jellyfish flourish. They are mostly euryhaline but low salinities may have a negative effect on the species.
It is believed that they were introduced to Hawaii and the continental U.S. in the ballast water of commercial ships. Swarms of white-spotted jellies have impacted ecosystems in the Gulf of California, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean Sea. This causes a grave threat to the fragile balance of the marine ecosystem and have devastated the shrimp fisheries. There are many marine creatures like coral and sea anemones and whales that depend on microscopic plankton for their food. The consumption of plankton by a large swarm or smack of white spotted jellyfish leaves little food for a number of these species.