What on earth are fried-egg jellyfish?

The Deep has welcomed six Fried-egg jellyfish, just in time to celebrate National Breakfast Week..

Six young adult jellyfish, looking much like undercooked fried eggs, have come all the way from Vienna Zoo to be re-homed at The Deep in Hull, in the Cool Seas exhibit. They will be the first UK aquarium to attempt to culture the species.

Tom Rowe, Aquarist in charge of jellyfish at The Deep says “It’s great to have new species to work with. It presents a new challenge. We have recently become the first UK aquarium, to culture the Black Sea Nettle which is a great achievement as every advancement allows us to learn more about their biology and identify species specific requirements for aquarium husbandry”.

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The fried egg jellyfish in action using currents to trail along the water.

 

The scientific name for the fried egg is Phacellophora camtschatica. It’s quite large, the bell can grow up to 60cm (2ft) in diameter and the tentacles up to a 6 metres (20ft) long.

Found in cooler waters in the wild, they drift around the oceans feeding on smaller jellyfish and zooplankton. They use the current to trail along, and use their long tentacles to latch onto prey, subsequently stinging them with their oral arms beneath the bell. Interestingly, the colour of the ‘yolk’ can be affected by what other species of jellyfish it eats, making the diet of this species relatively easy to study.

 

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The jellyfish has a striking resemblance to an undercooked egg.

 

 

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Photographs: The Deep