Aegina

Aegina citrea Eschscholtz, 1829
Phylum Cnidaria / Class Hydrozoa / Order Narcomedusae / Family Aeginidae
Midwater hydromedusa, Aegina citrea, Monterey Bay, Pacific Ocean

You probably won’t see this little beauty too frequently in Monterey Bay and other West Coast locations, but it is unmistakable when making an appearance in surface waters. As with many other narcomedusae, it holds the rigid tentacles above the bell while swimming. Aegina is an active swimmer with a rapid, high frequency pulsation of the bell. The bell is transparent and often colored with a yellowish tinge. Four, and occasionally 5 or 6, tentacles protrude from the bell, which may reach a diameter of 5 cm but is usually no more than 2 cm in Monterey Bay. Hydromedusae, comb jellies, salps and other gelatinous zooplankton fall prey to this jelly. Aegina citrea is widely distributed throughout warm and temperate seas.

 

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