Geryonia

Geryonia proboscidalis (Forskal, 1775)
Phylum Cnidaria / Class Hydrozoa / Order Trachymedusae / Family Geryoniidae
geryonia

This beauty of a jelly is one you’ll rarely encounter on the West Coast. With the exception perhaps of Liriope, it’s hard to confuse this species with any other. The transparent, colorless bell can get quite large, up to 8 cm, but is usually a bit smaller. Among the more notable features is the very long conical peduncle, to which is attached the small stomach. The 6 radial canals continue all the way down the peduncle to the stomach. Six flat gonads, seen in the photo as the translucent white areas, lie on the radial canals. There are a total of 12 tentacles, with 6 long alternating with 6 shorter ones. The peduncle is quite active and swings around to bring the mouth in contact with the bell margin when prey has been captured. Geryonia is relatively uncommon and never as abundant as its relative, Liriope. It can be distinguished from Liriope by the typical larger size, tentacle number (12 vs. 8), and number of gonads (6 vs. 4). Geryonia prefers warm waters, inhabiting surface zones in tropical and subtropical seas. It occasionally ventures as far north as central California.

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