Chrysaora quinquecirrha

Atlantic sea nettle
Washington DC Zoo - Crysaora quinquecirrha 9.jpg
Scientific classification edit
C. quinquecirrha
Binomial name
Chrysaora quinquecirrha
(Desor, 1848)
  • Dactylometra quinquecirrha Agassiz, 1862

The Atlantic sea nettle (Chrysaora quinquecirrha), or East Coast sea nettle, is a widely distributed species of jellyfish that inhabits tropical and subtropical parts of the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is frequently seen along the eastern Coast of the United States, such as the Chesapeake Bay. It is smaller than the Pacific sea nettle, and has more variable coloration, but is typically pale, pinkish or yellowish, often with radiating more deeply colored stripes on the exumbrella, especially near the margin.


Chrysaora quinquecirrha.jpg

The sea nettle is radially symmetrical, marine, and carnivorous. Its mouth is located at the center of one end of the body, which opens to a gastrovascular cavity that is used for digestion. It has tentacles that surround the mouth to capture food. Sea nettles have no excretory or respiratory organs. Each sea nettle is either in a free-swimming stage or a polyp stage. The free-swimming stage, or medusa stage reproduces sexually, and the polyp stage reproduces asexually.

The Atlantic sea nettle is a bell-shaped invertebrate, usually semi-transparent and with small, white dots and reddish-brown stripes. Sea nettles without stripes have a bell that appears white or opaque. The sea nettle's sting is rated from "moderate" to "severe" and can be noxious to smaller prey; it is not, however, potent enough to cause human death, except by allergic reaction. While the sting is not particularly harmful, it can cause moderate discomfort to any individual stung. The sting can be effectively neutralized by misting vinegar over the affected area. This keeps unfired nematocysts from firing and adding to the discomfort.[1]