(ORDO NEWS) — An unusually large and very spectacular looking deep-sea jellyfish from the genus Atolla was described by American marine biologists from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in California.
The new species was named Atolla reynoldsi in honor of the aquarium’s oldest volunteer, Jeff Reynolds. An article about this was published in Animals magazine.
Representatives of the genus Atolla are distributed throughout the world, usually they live at great depths. They are characterized by one feature that researchers often use for identification – one hypertrophied elongated tentacle that can stretch to a distance six times the diameter of the umbrella of the jellyfish itself.
Observations by researchers from Japan have shown that this tentacle helps the atoll to effectively catch its prey, which may include other cnidarians – siphonophores.
Representatives of the species A. reynoldsi are relatively large compared to other Atolla: the largest specimen that was caught had a diameter of 13 cm.
Like other similar deep-sea jellyfish, A. reynoldsi has characteristic warty outgrowths and ridges, and the umbrella edge forms a peculiar crown, thanks to which this group of intestinal cavities received the name corona jellyfish. The new species also has a cruciform reddish intestine clearly visible through the translucent body.
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