Red Sausage Jelly    Euphysa sp.



This half-inch long jellyfish is an inhabitant of the northern Atlantic, Arctic and northern Pacific coastal waters.  In the Pacific it ranges from the Bering Sea of Alaska to California. It is the sexually reproductive life history phase of a hydroid and can be seen most of the year.  The hydroid phase grows and replicates asexually.  Then it buds off a series of jellyfish that swim away.  This serves to disperse the species throughout the area.  The hydroid is very small, around 1/4 inch high.  They feed with a tentacle-bearing structure called a polyp.  


This jellyfish feeds primarily on crustacean plankton such as copepods and barnacle larvae. The general feeding behavior of consists of intermittent swimming then holding motionless with its four tentacles extended. The tentacles are covered with numerous weapons called nematocysts (white bumps on the tentacles). When prey contacts one of the fishing tentacles, the nematocysts discharge adhering to the exoskeleton of the prey.  After capture, the tentacle bends inward towards the mouth  and the prey is engulfed and digested.  In this species the mouth is at the end of the long stomach located in the middle of the bell which is covered by the red gonad or reproductive structure.