Hanging Stomach Jelly
Friday Harbor Marine Laboratories, University of Washington
San Juan Island, Washington
Archival Pigment Print
Aptly named, this small jellyfish’s stomach hangs well below its bell and terminates in a flower-like mouth. Covering the stomach are conspicuous white or brown, folded gonads. Numerous short tentacles and two longer, opposite ones line the rim of the bell. The longer tentacles are tightly contracted in this photograph but can extend to more than ten times the length of the bell and are used to capture food. Like all jellyfish, this one is a predator: The species feeds entirely on other jellyfish. Its two long tentacles stretch behind it as it swims, entrapping and subduing its prey with the help of countless stinging cells in their tissues.