MarLIN

information on the biology of species and the ecology of habitats found around the coasts and seas of the British Isles

Compass jellyfish (Chrysaora hysoscella)

Distribution data supplied by the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS). To interrogate UK data visit the NBN Atlas.

Summary

Description

Chrysaora hysoscella has a thickened bell (manubrium) that can grow up to 30 cm in diameter. The edges of the bell are developed into 32 lobes and bear 24 marginal tentacles. These are arranged in eight groups of three which alternate with eight sensory organs and are capable of great elongation. The marginal tentacles are conical in shape with a flattened thicker base giving the jellyfish a fluted appearance. They are also covered with clusters of stinging cells (nematocysts). It has a long and slender manubrium which leads onto 4 oral arms that are fused for a short distance at its base. Typically Chrysaora hysoscella is yellowish white in colour with a highly distinctive brown pattern like the radii of a compass.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

Chrysaora hysoscella occurs in coastal waters all round the British Isles. It is prevalent off the south and west coasts of England and Wales. It has been recorded off the Cumbrian coast, the Isle of Man and off the north coast of Ireland.

Global distribution

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Habitat

Chrysaora hysoscella is a pelagic species. Young Chrysaora appear in British waters in May.

Depth range

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Identifying features

  • Flattened umbrella or saucer shaped bell.
  • Four frilly oral arms that are longer than the bell tentacles, these may also coil up at their tips.
  • Upper surface of the bell has 16 v-shaped brown markings radiating from a dark apical circle or spot at the centre.

Additional information

May be confused with the common jellyfish Aurelia aurita when stranded. Aurelia aurita however, has shorter tentacles with no brown v-shaped markings on the bell. Instead it has 4 purplish-blue horseshoe shaped gonads that are easily distinguished through the upper surface of the bell. The stinging cells and venom of Chrysaora hysoscella are strong and can produce painful, long lasting weals in humans.

Listed by

- none -

Further information sources

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Bibliography

  1. Bruce, J.R., Colman, J.S. & Jones, N.S., 1963. Marine fauna of the Isle of Man. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press.

  2. Fish, J.D. & Fish, S., 1996. A student's guide to the seashore. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  3. Gibson, R., Hextall, B. & Rogers, A., 2001. Photographic guide to the sea and seashore life of Britain and north-west Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  4. Hayward, P., Nelson-Smith, T. & Shields, C. 1996. Collins pocket guide. Sea shore of Britain and northern Europe. London: HarperCollins.

  5. Howson, C.M. & Picton, B.E., 1997. The species directory of the marine fauna and flora of the British Isles and surrounding seas. Belfast: Ulster Museum. [Ulster Museum publication, no. 276.]

  6. MarLIN (Marine Life Information Network), 2005. SEArchable BEnthic Data (SEABED) Map [on-line]. Data Access Sub-programme, Marine Life Information Network for Britian and Ireland http://www.marlin.ac.uk,

  7. Russell, F.S., 1970. The medusae of the British Isles. Vol II - Pelagic Scyphozoa, with a supplement to the first volume on hydromedusae. Cambridge University Press

Datasets

  1. Centre for Environmental Data and Recording, 2018. Ulster Museum Marine Surveys of Northern Ireland Coastal Waters. Occurrence dataset https://www.nmni.com/CEDaR/CEDaR-Centre-for-Environmental-Data-and-Recording.aspx accessed via NBNAtlas.org on 2018-09-25.

  2. Cofnod – North Wales Environmental Information Service, 2018. Miscellaneous records held on the Cofnod database. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/hcgqsi accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-09-25.

  3. Fenwick, 2018. Aphotomarine. Occurrence dataset http://www.aphotomarine.com/index.html Accessed via NBNAtlas.org on 2018-10-01

  4. Isle of Wight Local Records Centre, 2017. IOW Natural History & Archaeological Society Marine Invertebrate Records 1853- 2011. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/d9amhg accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-09-27.

  5. Kent Wildlife Trust, 2018. Kent Wildlife Trust Shoresearch Intertidal Survey 2004 onwards. Occurrence dataset: https://www.kentwildlifetrust.org.uk/ accessed via NBNAtlas.org on 2018-10-01.

  6. Marine Conservation Society, 2018. UK Jellyfish Sightings from 2003 to 2015. Occurrence dataset: https://www.mcsuk.org/ accessed via NBNAtlas.org on 2018-10-01.

  7. Merseyside BioBank., 2018. Merseyside BioBank (unverified). Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/iou2ld accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-01.

  8. National Biodiversity Network (NBN) Atlas website. Available from: https://www.nbnatlas.org.

  9. National Trust, 2017. National Trust Species Records. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/opc6g1 accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-01.

  10. OBIS,  2018. Global map of species distribution using gridded data. Available from: Ocean Biogeographic Information System. www.iobis.org. Accessed: 2018-10-19

  11. Outer Hebrides Biological Recording, 2018. Invertebrates (except insects), Outer Hebrides. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/hpavud accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-01.

  12. South East Wales Biodiversity Records Centre, 2018. SEWBReC Marine and other Aquatic Invertebrates (South East Wales). Occurrence dataset:https://doi.org/10.15468/zxy1n6 accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-02.

  13. Suffolk Biodiversity Information Service., 2017. Suffolk Biodiversity Information Service (SBIS) Dataset. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/ab4vwo accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-02.

Citation

This review can be cited as:

Sabatini, M. 2008. Chrysaora hysoscella Compass jellyfish. In Tyler-Walters H. and Hiscock K. (eds) Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Reviews, [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 19-10-2018]. Available from: https://www.marlin.ac.uk/species/detail/2020

Last Updated: 08/05/2008