31st May 2017
The Deep has welcomed Spotted lagoon jellyfish from Oceanario de Lisboa, another new species! On arrival, they were only babies (ephyrae) and had plenty of growing to do. Now fully formed adults, they have gone onto display in Cool Seas zone for visitors to enjoy.
Since their arrival, The Deeps specialist jellyfish aquarists have managed to breed them and rear more to adulthood in just a few short months. These jellyfish (Mastigias papua) can grow 10-30cm in diameter and can either feed on tiny zooplankton or generate their own food, using sunlight to photosynthesise the algae carried within their body. They are strong swimmers and travel the ocean in small swarms following the path of the sun before descending to the depths at nightfall. Their trailing oral arms are armed with paralysing stinging cells to subdue their prey. Also used to deter predators, these cells are highly irritant and can cause rashes and nausea. Many young fish use this stinging ‘nest’ as a refuge and can often be seen swimming inside these tentacles to steer clear of predators.