Psychedelic jellies captured on video in Monterey Canyon
Marine biologists from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) have observed several species of the jellyfish genus Crossota in Monterey Bay, California.
Crossota is a genus of deep-sea jellyfish in the hydrozoan family Rhopalonematidae.
It includes five scientifically recognized species: crossota alba, crossota brunnea, crossota millsae, Norwegian Crossota, and Crossota rufobrunnea.
Described for the first time in 1902 by the German zoologist Ernst Vanhöffen, it is widespread in all the oceans.
Crossota The species tend to be solitary and pelagic in nature. Although they can also be found near the bottom, down to depths of 4000 m, they have not been observed resting on the bottom.
They have a red coloring, a hemispherical bell, eight tubular or hanging gonads, tentacles in single or multiple rows.
They swim with a series of strong, pulsating contractions, usually followed by a period of rest.
MBARI biologists used a remotely operated vehicle to observe Crossota jellyfish in Monterey Canyon, an underwater canyon in Monterey Bay, California.
“Our robotic submersibles give us insight into how animals thrive in the dark depths of the ocean,” they noted.
Among the frosts encountered by the team was crossota millsae, a recently described species from the Pacific Ocean off Hawaii and California and nicknamed “psychedelic jelly”.
“The remarkable coloration of this jelly alerted scientists that they had found a previously unknown species,” the scientists said.
“It was named in honor of Claudia Mills for her dedication to the study of delicate ocean dinghies.”
“Unlike many jellies, we can see obvious differences between males and females,” they added.
“Female eggs are large and globose, while male gonads are sausage-shaped.”
“Baby jellyfish stay attached under the mother’s bell until they are ready to be launched.”
“Although the brooding behavior is not unique to this jelly, it is still exciting to observe it in the open ocean.”