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Aurelia coerulea
Image courtesy of Michael Dawson, University of California, Merced
Aurelia coerulea
Taxonomic Group: Cnidarians-Scyphozoans


Aurelia species are commonly known as Moon Jellyfish and are characterized as having an opaque white bell with four orange or pink horseshoe shaped gonads. Historically, many authors considered all Moon Jellyfish to be a single species, Aurelia aurita. However, molecular studies now indicate that 'A. aurita' is a complex of at least 13 species. Aurelia coerulea is a genetically and morphologically distinct form, with a Northwest Pacific origin. Molecular studies indicate that this species is most likely native from southern Korea (and possibly China) to northern Japan. Introduced populations have been reported from California, Australia, France, and Wales. Specific impacts of A. coerulea are little known, because of their confusion with native cryptic species. However, local aggregations of this species have affected power plants in South Korea, and pumps flushing a recreational lagoon in Foster City, on San Francisco Bay.

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Fofonoff PW, Ruiz GM, Steves B, Simkanin C, & Carlton JT (2018)
National Exotic Marine and Estuarine Species Information System.
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Marine Invasions Lab
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