Surname: Light jellyfish
Other names: Fire jellyfish
Latin name: Pelagia noctiluca
classPhotos: Umbrella jellyfish
sizeabout 10 cm
Appearance: pink, mauve
Sexual dimorphism: No
Nutrition type: predominantly plankton filter (planktivor)
food: Plankton, fish, crabs, sea squirts and smaller jellyfish
distribution: Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, Red Sea, Mediterranean Sea
original origin: unknown
Sleep-wake rhythm: nocturnal
habitat: Ocean, sea
natural enemies: Dolphins, fish, turtles, jellyfish
sexual maturity: unknown
mating season: all year round
Threatened with extinction: No
Further profiles of animals can be found in the Encyclopaedia.
Interesting facts about the light jellyfish
- The light jellyfish or Pelagia noctiluca describes one of the Pelagiidae counted umbrella jellyfish, which is also known under the name Feuerqualle.
- Their name derives from the Greek word pelagós, which means translated sea.
- She lives pelagic, that is, she mostly swims in the open sea.
- The light jellyfish is distributed worldwide and inhabits warmer marine waters such as the Red Sea or tropical zones of the Atlantic. In Europe, it is mainly distributed in the Mediterranean.
- It is from pink to purple brownish color and has a comparatively small screen, which has a diameter of ten or twelve centimeters. This appears high vaulted and is of bell-shaped or hemispherical shape. The surface of the umbrella is covered with pink or purple warts, which are covered with nettle cells.
- At the bottom of the screen is the mouth opening, where the mouth tentacles are to transport the prey.
- From the edge of the parachute go out a total of eight thin catch tentacles, which have a length of about one meter and are also covered over and over with nettle cells.
- Its German name Leuchtqualle and the Latin style name noctiluca owes its property to dimly glow in the dark. Their bioluminescence is especially evident when the jellyfish experiences slight shocks.
- Light jellyfish are found in depths of up to twenty meters and capture as a hunter, especially zooplankton, sea squirts and small jellyfish.
- They are sociable animals that live in huge swarms and can travel long distances in the course of their walks. Often the swarms are several kilometers long.
- Encounters with light jellyfish have unpleasant consequences for humans, as the nettle cells, upon contact, inject a poison into the skin within fractions of a second, which causes hives with blistering. Rarely, nausea and vomiting as well as more severe headache may accompany the symptoms. The skin injuries are extremely painful, but do not affect the health and heal with targeted treatment after some time without a scar.
- A mass occurrence of light jellyfish can cause significant economic damage in tourist-frequented bathing areas and in aquaculture. In Northern Ireland, hundreds of thousands of salmon died in November 2007, resulting in a loss of one million pounds.
- In contrast to other jellyfish species, jellyfish do not develop sessile polyps but fully developed young medusae.