The Plankton Star Jellyfish (Oceania sp.) is a soft-bodied invertebrate marine (saltwater) plankton animal. An invertebrate is an animal with no bones. It is related to the Turritiopsis.
The Plankton Star Jellyfish is translucent (see-through) with an umbrella-shaped circular dome and long tentacles (arms). It has no brain, no heart, no blood, no bones, no excretory system, and no gills or lungs. It has nerve receptors in its body that enables it to detect smell, light, pressure, and touch.
It measures 25-40 centimetres (10-16 inches) long.
The Plankton Star Jellyfish is found in most of the world’s oceans, although it is predominantly found close to shore or inshore, in estuaries and harbours. It prefers warm waters with currents (not still waters).
It pulsates through the water or drifts with the ocean currents and tides.
It eats plankton, mulluscs, crabs, fish eggs, and other small organisms. It captures its food with its long venomous tentacles. Each tentacle has stingers which release toxins (poison). It brings the food into its body to digest.
It has a lot of predators, such as birds, fish and turtles.
Both males and females release eggs and sperm. So, each jellyfish can produce young without mating with the opposite sex. It is hermaphroditic.
The Plankton Star Jellyfish begins its life cycle as planula larvae, then as sedentary polyps, and finally as medusa (the adult reproductive phase).
It lives for about six months.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM