Fried Egg Jelly

Fried Egg Jelly (Phacellophora cantschatica)

A large Fried Egg Jelly (Phacellophora cantschatica) hugs the basalts along the floor of Axial Volcano. VISIONS ’13, Leg 4. Photo credit: NSF-OOI/UW/CSSF.

The Fried Egg Jellyfish is a large jelly, normally found drifting in the upper portions of the ocean. The central mass of tentacles and gonads is yellowish in color, and surrounded by a pale white bell. This resemblance to an egg is where these creatures get their common name. This species can have a bell 60 cm (2 ft) in diameter and tentacles reaching 6 m (20 ft) in length.

Its preferred foods are gelatinous creatures, particularly other jellyfish, which it catches in its long tentacles. This species’ sting is mild, and as a result, small and larval crustaceans have been known to hitch rides on its bell and even take food from its tentacles.

Fried Egg Jellyfish are normally seen in the pelagic region of the ocean. At Axial Seamount they have been imaged near to and on the seafloor, shortly before becoming a crab buffet.