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**Missouri Jellyfish: Facts and Safety**
Have you ever wondered about the existence of jellyfish in the landlocked state of Missouri? Surprisingly, Missouri is home to a unique species of freshwater jellyfish known as Craspedacusta sowerbyi. In this article, we will explore some fascinating facts about these jellyfish and address any concerns regarding their safety.
**1. The Origin of Missouri’s Jellyfish**
– Native to eastern Asia, the Craspedacusta sowerbyi can now be found worldwide in suitable habitats.
– Unknowingly transported through various means like aquatic plants, stock tanks, or even migrating birds.
**2. Life Phases and Characteristics**
– Craspedacusta sowerbyi undergoes two life phases: the polyp form and the medusa form.
– The tiny polyps adhere to submerged plants or objects and form buds that separate to become new individuals.
– The medusa form, resembling typical jellyfish, emerges when surface waters reach about 80F, usually between July and September.
– The jellyfish clusters in bell-like bodies with tentacles.
**3. Habitats and Distribution**
– Freshwater jellyfish cannot tolerate strong currents and are commonly found in calm or standing waters.
– Lakes, ponds, reservoirs, and standing pools next to flowing water are ideal habitats for these jellyfish.
– Reports indicate their presence in lakes such as Ozark, Stockton, Table Rock, Lake Pomme de Terre, and Lake Tom Sawyer.
**4. Sting and Safety**
– While Craspedacusta sowerbyi is capable of stinging and uses its tentacles to feed on microorganisms, their stingers cannot penetrate human skin.
– Rare cases of itching or redness have been reported, but most people do not feel any effects.
– These jellyfish seem to be harmless when it comes to the ecosystems they inhabit.
**5. Missouri’s Enchanting Jellyfish**
– Observing the bloom of these jellyfish can be a captivating experience.
– Their translucent bodies, delicate tentacles, and gentle pulsations create a mystic ambiance.
Missouri’s freshwater jellyfish, the Craspedacusta sowerbyi, provide a unique glimpse into the fascinating world of aquatic life. While they may be a curious sight, their stinging capability is minimal and poses no significant threat to humans. So, the next time you come across these delicate creatures in Missouri’s waters, take a moment to appreciate their enchanting presence.
**FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)**
1. Are Missouri jellyfish dangerous to swimmers?
– No, the Craspedacusta sowerbyi jellyfish pose no significant danger to swimmers as their stingers cannot penetrate human skin.
2. Can I keep these jellyfish as pets in an aquarium?
– Due to their specific habitat requirements and delicate nature, it is not recommended to keep the Craspedacusta sowerbyi as pets in aquariums.
3. Are these jellyfish common in other states?
– While they are primarily found in Missouri, sightings of freshwater jellyfish have been reported in other states as well, although they are relatively rare.
4. How do these jellyfish affect the local ecosystem?
– Freshwater jellyfish are considered non-native species in Missouri, but they have not shown any significant negative impact on the local ecosystem.
5. Are there any regulations regarding freshwater jellyfish in Missouri?
– Currently, there are no specific regulations regarding freshwater jellyfish in Missouri. However, it’s always advisable to follow local guidelines for responsible aquatic activities.