Aurelia aurita   (Linnaeus, 1758)

Moon jelly

Native range | All suitable habitat | Point map | Year 2050
This map was computer-generated and has not yet been reviewed.
Aurelia aurita  AquaMaps  Data sources: GBIF OBIS
Upload your photos 
| All pictures | Google image |
Image of Aurelia aurita (Moon jelly)
Aurelia aurita

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | CoL | ITIS | WoRMS

Scyphozoa | Semaeostomeae | Ulmaridae | Aureliinae

Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range Ecology

Pelagic; brackish; depth range 0 - 1250 m (Ref. 116114).  Subtropical; 78°N - 55°S, 180°W - 180°E

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Introductions

Circumglobal. This species is widespread in all the seas of the sphere, from the equator to the poles. Subtropical to polar.

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?, range 2 - 31 cm Max length : 50.0 cm WD male/unsexed; (Ref. 2376)

Short description Morphology

Maximum diameter: 50 cm (Ref. 358); Height, from 10 to 12.5 cm; diameter, being able to reach 40 to 50 cm (Ref. 363). Plane sunshade; comprising very many tentacles courts with the periphery. One counts 4 oral arms; and 4 sexual organs; of annular form or in the horseshoe shape very many radiate channels. Coloring: generally translucent, with slightly pink reflections, blue or purple; the sexual organs are more clearly colored red or pink (Ref. 358).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

This species is being eaten by predators because of its high fatty acid content (Ref. 122155). Neritic, potentially pathogenic (Ref. 116114). Free living near the water's surface in pelagic zones (Ref. 2997), close to coasts (Ref. 358), and offshore (Ref. 813); also found in brackish waters (Ref. 2993), coastal embayments, fjords and estuaries (Ref. 3289). Their cnidocytes cannot transpierce the human skin. Suspension feeder (Ref. 3269) on tintinnids, rotifers, cladocerans and larvae of copepods (harpacticoid), barnacles (nauplii; Ref. 3053) and on fish larvae (Ref. 7715). Several cases reported sea anemones to feed on this species; fungiid coral is also an occasional feeder. Provides vital fatty acids for fishes and crustacean predators. Nutritional value of this species from macronutrients and key fatty acids appears to be important over only meeting a predator's energy demands (Ref. 122155).

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

High abundances of ephyrae during late autumn can be explained by the large number of poly disc scyphistomae preceding to the appearance of ephyrae (Ref. 3062). Polyps begin to develop in August-September, matures in October and dies in November (Ref. 3271). Budding doesn’t occur in winter months (Ref. 7721). Can live up to 2 years (Ref. 3049).

Main reference References | Coordinator | Collaborators

Wrobel, D. and C.E. Mills. 1998. (Ref. 2376)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 130435)

CITES status (Ref. 108899)

Not Evaluated

CMS (Ref. 116361)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

Human uses

Fisheries: commercial
| FishSource |


Internet sources

BHL | BOLD Systems | CISTI | DiscoverLife | FAO(Publication : search) | Fishipedia | GenBank (genome, nucleotide) | GloBI | Gomexsi | Google Books | Google Scholar | Google | PubMed | Tree of Life | Wikipedia (Go, Search) | Zoological Record

Estimates based on models

Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969): 4.7 - 25.3, mean 12.3 (based on 3533 cells).
Resilience (Ref. 69278): High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (K=0.45-3.83).
Vulnerability (Ref. 71543): Low vulnerability (25 of 100).
Price category (Ref. 80766): Unknown.