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.
All photographs © David
Wrobel and may not be used or copied without permission!
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