Moon jellies (Aurelia aurita) drift on the ocean currents. They have short stinging tentacles outlining their bells that capture food like zooplankton floating past. Moon jellies can grow to have a bell diameter the size of a dinner plate, nearly 16 inches across.
Moon Jellies are carnivorous. They eat tiny zooplankton, mollusk larvae, crustaceans, and small fishes. When a moon jelly has eaten, food items can be seen in the jelly’s stomach, which is the flower shaped organ in the bell.
Found worldwide in temperate and tropical oceans as well as in shallow bays and harbors.
Moon jellies thrive in healthy oceans and coastal areas and are not a conservation concern.
Animals can confuse plastics floating in the ocean for food items. If ingested these can cause serious issues. Many aquatic animals depend on jellies for food, and many plastics in the ocean look like jellies in appearance.