Phyllorhiza punctata von Lendendfeld, 1884 
Phylum Cnidaria / Class Scyphozoa / Order Rhizostomeae / Family Mastigiidae

Rhizostome jellies typically inhabit shallow tropical and subtropical seas. A few, like this species, occasionally can be found in waters of Southern California and Baja California. Phyllorhiza is native to warm Indo-Pacific waters, and has been introduced to Hawaii, eastern Pacific tropical and subtropical areas, and the western tropical Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico. During the last few years late summer months have brought huge hordes of large individuals (up to 50 cm bell diameter) to nearshore waters within the Gulf of Mexico. Off Southern California they are far less likely to be encountered. The bell is distinctive, with a bluish or brownish color and numerous white spots. Characteristic of rhizostome jellies, Phyllorhiza lacks marginal tentacles – the trailing structures are 8 fleshy oral arms, each with three wings. The oral arms have blue and white tips. The edges of the fused oral arm lobes possess many openings that serve as mouths to ingest small zooplankton prey which are captured on filaments on the lower surface of the oral arms. This jelly is a very active swimmer. The pulsing of the bell creates water motion that helps to collect prey. Polyps are not known from the field, but planulae can be collected from the oral arm filaments of females and settled in laboratory culture dishes. Small individuals survive relatively well for several months under appropriate captive conditions.

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