E-Fauna BC: Electronic Atlas of the Wildlife of British Columbia

Aequorea victoria (Murbach and Shearer, 1902)
Crystal Jelly
Family: Aequoreidae

Photo of species

© Les Leighton  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #12501)

E-Fauna BC Static Map
Distribution of Aequorea victoria in British Columbia
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The Crystal Jelly is pelagic hydrozoan jelly that is found in the eastern Pacific Ocean, from the Bering Sea to California. It is a common species in Puget Sound (Wikipedia 2011). It is a bioluminescent species that produces flashes of green light.

Wikipedia (2011) provides the following species description: "Almost entirely transparent and colorless, and sometimes difficult to resolve, Aequorea victoria possess a highly contractile mouth and manubrium at the center of up to 100 radial canals that extend to the bell margin. The bell margin is surrounded by uneven tentacles, up to 150 of them in fully-grown specimens. The tentacles possess nematocysts that aid in prey capture, although they have no effect on humans. Specimens larger than 3 cm usually possess gonads for sexual reproduction, which run most of the length of the radial canals ... The bell margin is ringed with the muscular velum, which is typical of hydromedusae, and aids in locomotion through muscular contraction of the bell. Larger specimens are frequently found with symbiotic hyperiid amphipods attached to the subumbrella, or even occasionally living inside the gut or radial canals." Max length : 7.0 cm WD male/unsexed (Sealifebase 2011).

Crystal jellies reproduce both sexually and asexually "by budding during hydroid stage and release of gametes in medusae stages" (Sealifebase 2011). Mills (2009) says: "Tiny jellyfish, including Aequorea, are asexually budded off their hydroid colonies in early spring in the Puget Sound / Strait of Georgia region of Washington State and British Columbia."

Mills (2009) provides the following detail on this species: "They feed primarily on soft-bodied prey including other jellyfishes, ctenophores, and appendicularians. Most probably live 6 months or less in the field. The entire population of Aequorea medusae disappears (dies) by mid-autumn every year. Polyp colonies persist on the bottom and produce a new generation of medusae each spring, using specific, but undetermined, environmental cues for the fairly precise timing of this annual event."

Status Information

Origin StatusProvincial StatusBC List
(Red Blue List)
BC Ministry of Environment: BC Species and Ecosystems Explorer--the authoritative source for conservation information in British Columbia.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Aequorea aequorea (Forskal, 1775)
Aequorea forskalea Peron and Lesueur (1809)

Additional Range and Status Information Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References

Recommended citation: Author, Date. Page title. In Klinkenberg, Brian. (Editor) 2021. E-Fauna BC: Electronic Atlas of the Fauna of British Columbia [efauna.bc.ca]. Lab for Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, Vancouver. [Accessed: 2024-02-26 1:01:15 AM]
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