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Marine Animal Encyclopedia

Moon Jellyfish Aurelia aurita

The moon jellyfish is possibly the most widespread of all jellyfish and can be found in almost every part of the ocean except for very cold waters. It exists mainly in coastal waters and is sometimes cast ashore in large numbers because it is not a strong swimmer and lives near the surface. The moon jellyfish's body is shaped like a saucer with a fringe of fine, short tentacles, which it uses to catch plankton. It can also trap plankton in sticky mucus on its bell and slide this down into its mouth on the underside. The gonads show through the translucent bell as four opaque horseshoe shapes.

Moon Jellyfishzoom image
  • Class Scyphozoa
  • Diameter Up to 12 in (30 cm)
  • Depth Near surface
  • Habitat Open water
  • Distribution Worldwide; polar distribution unknown
Moon Jellyfish habitat mapzoom image