Fried egg jelly    Phacellophora camtschatica



This animal is one of the largest jellies in the Pacific Northwest.  By the way, while commonly called jellyfish, these animals are not related to fish. It's larger cousin (Lion's mane) is orange in the middle rather than yellow and the bell margin is divided into 8 distinct lobes.  The Fried egg jelly has 16 indistinct lobes and grows up to 2 ft. The Lion's mane can attain a size of 6 ft in more northerly waters and just under 2 ft in our area. The Fried egg jelly is more commonly seen in the late spring and early summer while the Lion's mane usually appears later in the summer.  The Fried egg jelly ranges along the Pacific coast from Chile to Japan, while the Lion's mane commonly occurs from Washington north and is circumpolar with populations in the Atlantic Ocean.  


The colored portion of the body under the transparent swimming bell consists of the gonads, stomach and the oral arms surrounding the mouth.  Reproduction is complicated, involving egg and sperm production by the swimming adult or medusa resulting in a planulae larva that seeks a sheltered home.  After attachment it grows for a while forming a polyp which then buds off small medusa.


The tentacles, which hang down some 10 to 20 ft, contain stinging cells (nematocysts).  They use the stinging cells to capture prey such as shrimp and fish (Lion's mane) or other medusa (Fried egg jelly).  While the Fried egg jelly's sting is described as a mild, the Lion's mane sting can be quite painful.  If you are stung by either, jelly experts recommend that you: 1) Remove tentacles by lifting off rather than scraping. 2) Rinse affected area with sea water - not fresh water.  3) Deactivate remaining nematocysts by rinsing with a dilute acid such as vinegar or, in an emergency, human urine. 4) If nematocysts still remain, remove by covering with wet baking power or flour and scraping off with a dull knife. 5) Finally treat pain with topical anesthetics and see a doctor.