Aglantha digitale (O.F. Muller, 1776)
Phylum Cnidaria / Class Hydrozoa / Order Trachymedusae / Family Rhopalonematidae
Trachymedusae, Aglantha digitale, Puget Sound WA, Pacific Ocean

You probably won’t see this distinctive gelatinous jewel in California waters. If you are within its range farther to the north, look for a transparent, thimble-shaped jelly with a bell up to 4 cm high, but usually no more than 2 cm. The bell may be colorless or infused with a touch of orange, pink or red. The stomach is attached to a long gastric peduncle, and 8 radial canals run along the length of the peduncle. At the top of the peduncle, 8 highly visible cigar-shaped gonads attach to the radial canals and hang down. The bell margin is lined with 80 or more thin tentacles that are used to capture its favored prey, copepods. Normally Aglantha swims lazily with tentacles extended while seeking prey. When disturbed, it has a quick escape swim pattern to hopefully evade danger. It typically spends its time near the surface, both nearshore and farther out to sea, but may drop to deeper midwater zones during the day. Aglantha is a common resident of Arctic and subarctic waters, but can also be found as far south as Oregon.


FacebookTwitterGoogle+PinterestLinkedInGoogle BookmarksStumbleUponRedditShare

Comments are closed