Lion’s Mane Jellyfish (Cyanea capillata)

Lion’s Mane Jellyfish (Cyanea capillata) seem to be fairly common around Sitka. Sometimes they wash up on shore dead (which is how I usually find them), but this one was fun to watch as it moved up and down through the water column while slowly drifting on the current past Magic Island.

This jellyfish can give painful stings to humans, and I’ve heard about some kind of miserable seine hauls that were full of these (instead of the salmon they hoped for) with tentacles raining down on the hapless crew member assigned to stack the net (at least I think that’s the one that ended up in the tentacle shower – I’m not so familiar with seining operations and I may have misremembered).

About matt goff

I am an aspiring naturalist who seeks to learn all that I can about the more-than-human aspects of this place that is my home.
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4 Responses to Lion’s Mane Jellyfish (Cyanea capillata)

  1. Karen says:

    The crew members that stack the leads and web usually get the brunt of it, unless it’s windy, then everyone is fair game. Even dried up strands can cause discomfort later on, when working a dry net on a windy day we ended up inhaling them, it was not fun to say the least.

  2. matt goff says:

    Thanks Karen, I’m glad to hear from someone with first-hand experience, and even happier that I’ve never experienced jellyfish tentacles in my lungs!

  3. Anonymous says:

    So these jellyfish are all year round we almost mid Jan seen one at doc never seen it this late in winter.

  4. matt goff says:

    Good question – I’m not sure if they sometimes survive in this form into winter. I know I’ve never seen one around Sitka in the winter though.

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