Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Lion's Mane Jellyfish

Recently I ordered 5 Lion' Mane Jellyfish. I got them half because I hope to offer them for sale. As for the other half... let's be serious I just bough them because they are amazing! I wasn't disappointed when I got them either. I've never seen aquacultured Lion's Manes for sale so I had them collected and shipped over. Of the five, four were in good shape and nor seemed a little off but okay. Wild jellyfish are never in perfect condition, so I was happy.

Some quick info on the local Lion's Manes. They occur in the fall and winter from the Gulf of Mexico on up the Atlantic coast. They are found all over, but these ones seem to be slightly different. They get to be about basketball sized, and very long. Their relatives, the other Lion's Manes, can get several feet in diameter. There was a recent article on a giant jellyfish in Australia causing some buzz. Gulf Lion'Manes are kind of white, with brown stripes. From pictures I have seen, many other lions manes are more solid in color, and lack stripes. 
The jellies during acclimation. You can really see the cool stripes they have. 

A jelly, in mid pulse. 

Lions Manes have bushels of tentacles, instead of one per location. That leaves them with quite a lot of tentacles, hence their name. Their sting is pretty fair. I was impressed, and I find it worse than Atlantic Sea Nettles. 

I had my Lion's Mane Jellies for a few weeks, and then they began to fall apart. I was having a hard time getting the flow right in my tank, which I think was a key issue. The jellies need a slow but lifting current. I could either not supply the current, or have them flying around the tank. I went with the latter. Luckily for me, they bred profusely. The tank is covered in young polyps. One polyp even released a single jellyfish. I would really enjoy breeding Lion's Manes and getting to know their care requirements a little better. I believe in the first to breed them as a hobby and not through a public aquarium. 

I was able to remove planula from adult females and get them to settle in a dish. I was originally hoping to successfully do in vitro by mixing eggs and sperm. I think that happened, but there were so many planula mixed in all ready that I'll never know. Lion's Manes seem to make little bundles of planula that they spit off into the water. They are easily visible to the naked eye. 
Eggs from a female.
Many polyps that are just a few days old.