Saturday, April 12, 2008

Jellyfish of North Cottesloe Reef - Phyllorhiza punctata

Today's weather was bright and sunny. However, underwater off Cottesloe was only poor visibility. It must be the swells. And so there was so much sand particles and other stuff swimming in the water.

Anyway I still managed to get some nice photos of an Australian spotted jellyfish, Phyllorhiza punctata. One easy diagnostic feature of this species is the white-spotted umbrella. And the umbrella is brownish because of algae living in it. Another feature is the filaments trailing behind the mouth arms. These filaments end in knobs.

Australian spotted jellyfish (Phyllorhiza punctata)

Watching it from below

Close-up on the mouth arms and the filaments

Another close-up on the mouth arms and the filaments

If you look closely, there were actually two small fish with the jellyfish.

I have seen one Australian spotted jellyfish which was surrounded by a rather dense layer of this small fish once at North Cottesloe. But my camera was at the repair shop then. I had no photos, so you will have to believe me ;p

Another Phyllorhiza punctata - I just think this photo looks nice. So it is here.

A small one. Note the brown patterns on the umbrella (or bell) look different.

The small Phyllorhiza punctata moving away.

This one was just floating around near the surface. It seemed to have turned its umbrella flat. Was that to increase the surface area to intercept more sunlight for the photosynthetic algae in the umbrella?

The same jellyfish as the last one. Doesn't this photo look quite artistic?
Actually, it wasn't taken on purpose. Half of the animal was cut off because it just won't stay still when I took the photo.


Wois said...

is this species a danger jellyfish? it seem like a mushroom which me normally eat.

Tsun-Thai Chai said...

Hi Wois,

It's so nice to hear from you again.

Apparently this jellyfish is not lethal to humans. And its sting is said to be mild or unnoticeable ( This is important because while photographing them, I must have spent ten minutes or more swimming around each one.

Although I was within a patting distance from them, I avoided touching them.

Two reasons:
(1) even though their sting is said to be mild and non-lethal, a sting is a sting.
(2) I try to be marine-life friendly when I photograph them. They might consider a touch a harassment to them. I don't know. So the best thing to do is just watch and admire them from a safe distance. Safe to them and to myself.

Cheers, Chai