Maeotias

Maeotias marginata (Modeer, 1791)
Phylum Cnidaria / Class Hydrozoa / Order Anthomedusae / Family Olindiidae
maeotias1
maeotias

This striking jelly is actually an alien invader from the Black Sea of Asia. It’s now found in brackish backwaters of San Francisco Bay, apparently introduced by ballast water from shipping tankers. Although the bell may be up to 5.5 cm diameter, it’s usually less than 4 cm. The bell has a milky white coloration. The stomach is relatively large and has 4 long frilly lips. Each of the 4 distinct radial canals holds a curtain-like gonad. A marvelous fringe of up to 600 tentacles and numerous statocysts line the bell margin. You’ll typically find this jelly from late spring through summer. The usual behavior pattern is to sit motionless on the bottom in shallow water, with occasional bouts of swimming. Maeotias feeds primarily on small crustaceans.

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