Last modified on July 23rd, 2020 at 8:14 am

Box Jellyfish Location & Behavior

Box Jellyfish Distribution

In spite of the fact that the famously deadly types of box jellyfish are to a great extent confined to the tropical Indo-Pacific area, different types of box jellyfish can be discovered in tropical and subtropical seas.

These areas include the Atlantic Ocean and the east Pacific Ocean, with species as far north as California, the Mediterranean Sea (Carybdea marsupialis)and Japan, (Chironex yamaguchii),and as far south as South Africa (Carybdea branchi)and New Zealand, (Copula sivickisi).

Box Jellyfish Age And Growth

It has been found that the statoliths, which are made out of calcium sulfate hemihydrate, display clear successive incremental layers, thought to be laid down once a day. This has allowed specialists to gauge development rates, and age. Chironex fleckeri, for instance, expands its inner-pedalia distance (IPD) by 3 mm (0.12 in) every day, coming to an IPD of 50 mm (2 in) when 45 to 50 days old. The most extreme age of any individual analyzed was 88 days by which time it had developed to an IPD of 155 mm (6 in).

Typical Box Jellyfish Behavior

The box jellyfish effectively chases its prey (little fish), instead of simply floating as do other jellyfish. They are able to reach swimming speeds of up to 1.5 to 2 meters every second or around 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph).

A completely developed box jellyfish can measure 20 cm (7.9 in) along every side (or 30 cm (12 in) in distance across), and the tentacles can grow up to 3 m (9.8 ft) long. They can weigh up to 2 kg (4.4 lb). There are around 15 tentacles on every corner. Every tentacle has around 500,000 cnidocytes, containing nematocysts, a spear formed minuscule system that infuses venom into the victim. Many various types of nematocysts are found in cubozoans.

The venom of cubozoans is different from that of scyphozoans, and is utilized to catch prey (little fish and spineless creatures, including prawns and bait fish) and for protection from predators, like the butterfish, batfish, rabbitfish, crabs (blue swimmer crab) and different types of turtles including the hawksbill ocean turtle and flatback ocean turtle. It appears that ocean turtles are unaffected by the stings since they appear to relish box jellyfish.

Julie Adams

I have been a nature enthusiast since I was a small girl. My background is in online marketing and website development. It only makes sense to merge my love for nature with my skills in online marketing to help spread awareness, and appreciation for Our Beautiful Planet.