Exciting news – another pink meanie jellyfish has been discovered and is on display at the Two Oceans Aquarium. Although this jellyfish has yet to be formally described and given a scientific name, this second find by the Two Oceans Aquarium Collections Team suggests that this elusive jelly may be a much more crucial part of our offshore ecosystem than previously imagined.
As with the first pink meanie, which was discovered accidentally at the Aquarium in 2017, this newcomer was also an accidental find. Approximately one month ago, the Collections Team and volunteer commercial divers were collecting nightlight jellyfish in the waters around Robben Island and in Cape Town Harbour. These night light jellyfish had been washing up in unusually large numbers all around the Western Cape in the previous few months, so we thought this would be an excellent opportunity to collect a few for display at the Aquarium.
Little did the collections team know that their smack of nightlight jellies had a tiny stowaway…
A tiny pink meanie ephyra (the free-swimming baby form of a jellyfish) was hidden amongst the oral arms of the nightlight jellies and over a few short days, as it grew to metaephyra (basically a jelly teenager) stage it consumed all the nightlight jellies that our team had collected!
Needless to say, resident jelly expert Krish Lewis was thrilled by the rediscovery of this elusive jelly that he had previously dubbed “the unicorn of jellyfish”, and the discovery of one so young gave us the opportunity to study some of the early life stages of this unusual animal.
WHERE: The pink meanie is now officially on display at the Two Oceans Aquarium in the Jelly Gallery near our I&J Ocean Exhibit.
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