Moon Jellyfish

Aurelia Aurita


Jellyfish float near the surface of the sea, catching tiny animals and plankton with their stinging tentacles. Though jellyfish predominantly float with the current, they can pulse its bell to migrate. The Moon Jellyfish catches plankton, molluscs, crustaceans and nematodes in a layer of mucus that covers its body, using its tentacles to sting and catch larger prey. The four gonads visible through the bell are the reproductive organs located at the bottom of the stomach, and they commonly assume the colour of any prey being devoured. It lives up to its name in British waters and is often spotted washed up on shore. Jellyfish are 95% water and have no brain, blood or heart.

How to identify

A round, dome-shaped jelly, transparent with four C-shaped markings around the centre. You can usually see these jellyfish floating just below the surface of the water.

Where to find it

Found in seas all around our coasts.


When to find it

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

How can people help

The Common Jellyfish is just that: common. But our seas and coastline are in need of protection if we are to keep our marine wildlife healthy. The Wildlife Trusts are working with fishermen, researchers, politicians and local people towards a vision of 'Living Seas', where marine wildlife thrives. This work has recently had a massive boost with the passing of the Marine Bill, promising sustainable development of the UK's marine environment. Do your bit for our Living Seas by supporting your local Wildlife Trust.

Species information

Common name
Moon Jellyfish
Latin name
Aurelia Aurita
Anemones corals and jellyfish
Diameter: 5-40cm Lifespan: Up to 25 years in the wild; Little over 1 year in captivity.
Conservation status