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Common Name: Moon jelly
Latin Name: Aurelia aurita
Size/weight: Up to 16 inches in diameter
Range: Arctic to Florida or Mexican; in the Pacific from Alaska to southern California
Habitat: Floats near surface in offshore waters.
Diet: Small plankton, fish eggs, occasionally other developing jellies.
Predators: Sea turtles, sunfish.
Description: Translucent; recognizable for the four horseshoe-shaped organs in their center and a single row of short, hair-like tentacles around the bell. Since they’re not really fish, it is more proper now to call them “jellies,” instead of jellyfish. Moon jellies are only mildly toxic to most people; the sting is likely to cause nothing more than a persistent, itchy rash. But some folks may have more severe reactions.
Conservation Note: An abundant, non-threatened species.