Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Caught a new Jellyfish :)

So while on a 6 day beach trip with family and friends I caught a Cannonball jellyfish (Stomolophus meleagris). My friend and I were casually drifting in the surf when we found it. I waded over to grab  the jellyfish. When I flipped it over to inspect it I noticed a large cut stretching from the top of his bell down to near the bottom. It was about 1 inch thick. I wasn't sure whether I should have tossed him back or taken him in. So I ran with him back to my bucket for collecting jellyfish.

Cannon balls, as far as I know, are the thickest and hardest of all jellies. They feel like bone ligaments or cartilage.
I decided to keep it and see how if it would live through the night. In the mean time I decided to sample its gonads and check its gender. The gonads were already partially exposed and no dissection was necessary. Interestingly the gonads are a fine turquoise color.

This one is male. I have pictures of its gonads under 10x magnification and I will upload them soon.
He lived through several nights and his cut was healing up at a remarkable pace until I added some other items to his bucket. I added a few hermit crabs and snails to keep the pollutants in the 10 gallon bucket to a minimum but it appears it re-scratched the cut. so i dont know how he is going to do now. He is sitting in a large bag full of seawater inside the 10 gal. bucket strapped to the back of the car. With a large cut like that Im really not sure if he will make the trip back but we will see.

If it lives, then it gets the Cassiopeia tank Im building for right now. I think its 15-20 gallons and that should do fine for him. I will be getting an internal overflow filter since cannonballs behave and look very similar to lagoon jellyfish and blue blubbers (this filter works well for those jellies).

I gathered several samples of live rock, two snails three hermit crabs and some seaweed. Im hoping this and the internal overflow will keep the tank in balance. Cannonball jellies can be very nasty especially when introduced into a new tank, and taken from the wild. As a stress reaction, they release balls of goop with nematocysts (stinging cells) into the water. This stuff really makes the water go foul quick.

Anyways huge update right? Well I will also be posting a second update soon on how my jellies at home are doing. My father was responsible for their care but he had an unexpected work call and had to go out of town as well. So I really don't know what to expect.

Heres a photo of the Cannonball jellyfish. My friend took the photo while I held him in place.

They dubbed the jelly "aussie" after the infamous australian box jellyfish. although cannonballs have a very weak sting. I gained an immunity to it after 1 day. In fact the sting never really burned or hurt. It just itched a little.


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