11 Moon Jellyfish Characteristics,Types,Facts

The moon jelly, technically known as Aurelia Aurita, is a kind of jellyfish. Let us look at their characteristics in detail.

  • Moon jellies are transparent, half-moon-shaped organisms that float across the water.
  • The body of moon jelly lack a skeleton, and they lack eyes, ears, and nose that we identify as regular animal traits. Jellyfish, in general, resemble aliens when contrasted to animals that people are more familiar with.
  • Moon jellies are smaller than some jellyfish. They are only around 3 inches long and weigh between .005 and .007 pounds.
  • Moon jellies may grow up to 15 inches broad, although most only reach 7 or 8 inches.
  • Moon jellies have small tentacles, unlike jellyfish, which have long, flowing tentacles that may hurt prey.
  • Moon jellies can barely extend their arms around 2 inches from their bodies, making them appear less frightening than other jellyfish species.
  • Instead of super thing threads, the tentacles are thick and fringe-like, and they ripple as they glide glacially over the water.
  • The four horseshoe-shaped pictures on top of moon jellies bodies are a defining feature. It resembles a four-leaf clover minus the stalk. The hues of moon jelly might vary.
  • Moon jellies are white at birth, and its moon-shaped body will allegedly change to blue, pink, or purple as they age, depending on its food.
  • Moon jellies are transparent, and when they reflect sunlight in water, they appear to glow. They have an ethereal aspect that draws people’s attention as they float by.
  • Moon jellyfish may survive for up to a year. They live for around ten months on average before dying, and they have an interesting life cycle and reproductive behaviors.

Let us discuss the life cycle, habitat, lifespan and some other facts related to moon jellyfish in this article in detail.

Moon jellyfish life cycle

The mating cycles of moon jellyfish are influenced by environmental factors. Let us explore in detail about their lifecycle.

  • Male jellyfish in their adult medusa stage expel sperm threads into the water that surrounds female jellyfish.
  • The sperm filaments are carried by water currents into the stomach pouches of neighboring females.
  • When these critters are in the polyp stage, they also reproduce abiogenetically.
  • When syngenetically mature (4 to 12 months old), males discharge sperm filaments into the water surrounding females, the general mating behavior of moon jellies begin.
  • Female moon jellies then internalize the sperm through their cilia into their stomach pouches. These gastric pouches hold eggs that are discharged into the water after fertilized.
  • Moon jellyfish reproduce all year, with mating intervals determined by environmental factors.
  • When medusae achieve syngenesis maturity, which takes around 2 to 3 months during the summer and fall, moon jellyfish reproduce. In addition, when in the sessile polyp stage, they reproduce abiogenetic way.
  • Moon jellyfish mating, like other jellyfish, does not entail wooing behavior and has a lifetime that comprises a combination of syngenesis and abiogenetic process.
  • Adult medusas reproduce syngenetic way, whereas polyps proliferate abiogenetically.
  • To reproduce, medusa (adult jellyfish) go to estuaries, rivers, and marshes. Planulae, or free-swimming larvae, grow from fertilized female eggs.
  • The planulae drift away from the female and finally cling to the seabed or whatever item they come into touch with. The abiogenetic stage begins after the insect is fastened to the ground or an item.
  • Planulae grow and evolve into polyps, which are the stationary form of Cnidarian at this stage. The polyps blossom in the spring and generate juvenile medusa called ephyra, which eventually grow into a mature medusa.

Moon jellyfish habitat

The moon jellyfish lives in coastal seas all over the world. Let us check more about their habitat in detail.

Most of the moon jellyfish live in the Atlantic, Pacific, and the Indian oceans. They live outside of the water and are also found in brackish water where freshwater and saltwater meet, such as estuaries and bays. They frequently seem flat in brackish water because salt helps them preserve their rounded bell-like shape.

Image Credits: Moon jellyfish by Cliff (CC BY 2.0) from wikimedia commons

How long do moon jellyfish live?

The lifetime of jellyfish varies by species and can range from a few hours to many months to years. Let us see how long they live.

Moon jellyfish has a lifespan of 12 to 18 months but can survive for up to 20 years under appropriate living conditions. The longevity of a jellyfish is determined by its stage of development. Polyps may survive in an aquarium for up to 25 years.

What do moon jellyfish eat?

Moon jellyfish are both predators and prey in the wild. Let us check what actually moon jellyfish eat.

Moon jellyfish mostly consumes meat. They are not choosy and will eat whatever attaches to their tentacles. This comprises a wide range of tiny creatures, from single-celled diatoms to virtually microscopic or somewhat larger species (fish eggs and small invertebrates like mollusks).

Moon jellyfish facts

Moon jellyfish are tiny, transparent invertebrates found in the northeast Pacific Ocean and the Salish Sea. Let us see some of their facts in brief.

  • Moon jellyfish are identified by four opaque half-circles on a bell and a bell border with 16 scallops.
  • The tentacles of moon jellies are thin and short, spreading around the circumference of the bell, unlike those of other jellyfish.
  • Throughout summer, moon jellies may be drifting near the surface of the Salish Sea, when the water temperature is warmer.
  • Moon jellies frequently congregate in huge numbers in bays and coves.
  • Moon jellyfish feed on fish eggs and larvae, zooplankton, tiny crustaceans, and water fleas.
  • Moon jellyfish have a brief life cycle, often appearing in early spring, breeding, and dying in late summer or early fall.
  • The month of June sees the largest quantities of jellyfish in the Salish Sea. The most common species are the moon jellyfish and the lion’s mane jellyfish.
  • Polyps are young moon jellyfish that adhere to the undersides of docks where they may evade predators and have plenty of room to grow. At any given time, millions of polyps might be clinging to the underside of a dock.
  • Jellyfish are considered a nuisance when unanticipated birth result in large numbers of jellyfish all at once. Their large numbers may block fishing nets and even clog and shut down power stations.

Moon jellyfish sting

The moon jellyfish lacks numerous effective stinging cells, the member of the genus aurelia is considered innocuous. Let us explore it in brief.

Most moon jellyfish stings are moderate and remediable as their tentacles have stingers. When these tentacles comes in contact with skin near the ocean, the stingers inject venom that can produce red blisters. The stingers are tentacles from the edge of the moon jellyfish’s bell.


From the above article, it can be concluded that the name of this strange-looking insect comes from its transparent, moonlike bell. Rather than lengthy trailing tentacles, jellyfish is commonly consumed and regarded as a delicacy in various nations.

Read more about Portuguese Man O War and Box Jellyfish.

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