This week’s jellyfish video is great and unusual! YouTube user ‘memutic’ brings us an informative, witty and somewhat poetic explanation of the life cycle of Cassiopea sp. from Wakatobi, Indonesia. I am not sure which species of Cassiopea is in the video, as I have seen a few different species or varieties from Indonesia, like many other Rhizostomes the taxonomy of the genus is poor. While the genus has been used in various studies over the years, few have focused on the classification of these beautiful and unique jellies. (And so continues the trudging of taxonomy by molecular biology!) Probably the most widespread and descriptive work was done over 100 years ago by the likes of Haeckel, Mayor and Bigelow, just to name a few old dudes. They described many varieties of certain species of Cassiopea from around the world which most likely deserve their own species. Any who, back to the video, you can see some planulae being liberated as small white specks when the hand disturbs the jelly. The planulae are super irritating to your skin, they cause an itchy rash to appear. You’ll also notice the long green oral arm appendages, I have no idea what purpose they serve, but they sure look like seagrass. Not sure how that would protect them from grazing sea turtles though!?
Enjoy your jellyfish video of the week, the voice over combined with subtle bass guitar somehow reminds me of early nineties bands like Butthole Surfers, King Missile and another I can’t name right now? Hilarious, love it!