Lion’s Mane Jellyfish

Cyanea capillata
Image by Kip Evans.

Lion’s mane jellyfish is the largest type of jellyfish.

The biggest ever found was recorded as to have a bell of 2.3 metres in diameter with tentacles that reached 36.5 metres long! Their tentacles are sticky and are grouped into eight clusters, each containing a hundred tentacles arranged in rows. They are usually found in open water to 20 metres but as they get on in their one year life-span, they move in closer to the shore -to shallow sheltered bays.

Lion’s mane jellyfish are treated as floating oases for different types of shrimps, fish and crustaceans, providing both protection from predators and food. The lion’s mane themselves feed on zooplankton, small fish and smaller types of jellyfish.

They have four stages in their life span, a larval stage, a polyp stage, an ephyrae stage, and medusa stage. The female jellyfish carries fertilized eggs in its tentacles where the eggs grow to larvae. When they are old enough, the female deposits them on a hard surface where they then grow to polyp. They then produce asexually, creating small creatures called ephyraes. These creatures then break off individually growing into lion’s mane jellyfish.