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South American Sea Nettle

Classification
  • Order: Coronatae
  • Family: Perophyllidae
  • Genus: Chrysaora
  • Species: plocamia
Fun Fact

Baby crabs may hitch rides on sea nettles' oral arms until they get close to shore, where they drop them off. 

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About South American Sea Nettles

South American sea nettles usually have a yellow, semi-transparent dish-shaped body, about one foot wide, that expands and contracts to allow the jellyfish to swim. It has 24 thin, red tentacles that look like ribbons and four “oral arms” that range from 3-10 feet in length which help catch and digest prey. The tentacles and oral arms are lined with barbs that contain toxins to inject and kill or paralyze predators and prey. If humans are stung, it usually causes a painful rash lasting around 30 minutes, although symptoms may vary and can become more serious. 

South American Sea Nettle in the Wild

Habitat

South American sea nettles live in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. In the summer they live near the surface of the water in shallow bays, while in the winter they travel further into the deep ocean waters.

Location

The South American sea nettle resides in coastal areas within the southwest Pacific from Peru to Chile and Atlantic from Argentina to Uruguay.

Diet

South American sea nettles are carnivores who feed on zooplankton, fish eggs, small crustaceans and other jellyfish.

Population Status

Due to the reduction of sea nettle predators such as sea turtles and spiny dogfish, the jelly population is growing dramatically.