Brandt, 1835 : Egg-yolk
Phylum Cnidaria / Class Scyphozoa / Order Semaeostomeae / Family Ulmaridae / Subfamily Sthenoniinae
Since Phacellophora specializes on capturing medusae, the tentacles and oral arms are sticky and have only a mild sting. Compared to the sea nettle and purple-striped jelly, the oral arms are relatively short and folded. The name "egg yolk" is derived from the central yellow mass of gonad tissue surrounded by a whitish to yellowish bell. The bell margin is marked by 16 clusters of tentacles, along with 16 lappets and 16 rhopalia. Phacellophora is a delicate jelly that doesn't hold its shape very well. Water motion produced by passing by too close results in a contorted, seemingly lifeless mass. Take a close look at the bell and you will likely find hitchhiking crabs and amphipods. Egg yolk jellies can be found in eastern Pacific temperate waters from the Gulf of Alaska to Chile. On occasion they can be relatively abundant in Monterey Bay, but do not form concentrated swarms. It is relatively easy to establish polyps and culture Phacellophora in captivity. When provided appropriate aquarium conditions (such as a kreisel tank), the medusae do well under captive conditions. They are occasionally displayed at public aquariums that feature jellies.
All photographs © David Wrobel and may not be used or copied without permission!