Pacific Sea Nettle Facts
- The Pacific Sea Nettle is an ocean-dwelling species which many mistakenly consider dangerous, yet actually, poses no serious threat to humans even if their sting is irritating.
- Since they represent a multi-stage life form, this creature is capable of reproducing in different ways. They reproduce sexually in the medusa stage, and asexually in the polyp stage.
- While many species have dwindled in recent decades, the Pacific Sea Nettle has actually increased in numbers. In parts of their range, their numbers have become considered hazardous to boating.
- Many consider their increase in numbers in specific portions of their range to be a potential side effect of climate change.
Pacific Sea Nettle Physical Description
The Pacific Sea Nettle ranks as a medium-sized species of “true” jellyfish. They hold this ranking because their bell attains a maximum diameter of just over 3 ft (1 m), and typically displays a distinctive golden-brown color with a reddish tint.
The species has long white oral arms and 24 mobile, maroon colored tentacles which attain lengths of as much as 15 ft (4.6 m). In addition, each tentacle contains thousands of tiny stingers. These the creature uses to inject their venom into their prey. Their sting can be painful to humans, yet rarely proves dangerous.
Species: C. fuscescens
Pacific Sea Nettle Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
The endemic range of the beautiful Pacific Sea Nettle, as the name implies, consists of a rather specific portion of the Pacific Ocean. Specifically, this range extends from the coast of Mexico to Canada.
While they have the ability to dwell at moderate depths, they typically remain near the surface. What’s more, the species typically prefer to float on the surface, allowing the waves to move them. While there, they spread their tentacles wide and consume captured prey which usually consists of zooplankton, crustaceans, and small fish.
In recent years, the animal has become extremely plentiful off the coast of Oregon. Scientists have not determined the reason for this, yet many believe the cause to be climate change.