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Marine Animal Encyclopedia

Stalked Jellyfish Haliclystus auricula

Most jellyfish drift and swim freely in the water, but stalked jellyfish spend their lives attached by a stalk to vegetation. The body of the jellyfish is shaped like a tiny funnel made up of eight equally spaced arms joined together by a membrane. Each arm ends in a cluster of tentacles on the funnel rim, and between each of these clusters is an extra anchor-shaped tentacle. This animal cannot swim, but it can move by bending over on its stalk and turning “head-over-heels,” using the anchor tentacles to fix itself temporarily to the sea bed as it flips over and then reattaches its adhesive disk.

Stalked jellyfish can be found attached to seaweed or seagrass in the intertidal zone and shallow water, where they feed by catching prey, such as small shrimp and fish fry, with their tentacles and passing it to the mouth inside the funnel. Undigested remains are expelled from the mouth.

Stalked Jellyfishzoom image
  • Class Scyphozoa
  • Height Up to 2 in (5 cm)
  • Depth 0–50 ft (0–15 m)
  • Habitat On seaweed or seagrass
  • Distribution Coastal waters of north Atlantic and north Pacific
Stalked Jellyfish habitat mapzoom image