New Jellyfish Species Discovered in the Gulf of Venice

Posted on May 16, 2014

Pelagia benovici

A new jellyfish species has been discovered in the Gulf of Venice. The 2-inch wide (5 cm) golden jellyfish were discovered when they were captured in nets by the hundreds by fisherman last year. During this prolonged bloom scientists say there was a density of "hundreds of mature medusae per trawl." The discovery took scientists by surprised because the Adriatic Sea is "one of the best studied bodies of water in the world" according to Science magazine. Science says the new species, Pelagia benovici, may have been transfered to the Adriatic through a ship's ballast water system.

The Guardian reports that the newly discovered jellyfish is very similar to Pelagia noctiluca, which wiped out a salmon farm in 2007. Scientists don't know if the newly discovered species will pose a similar threat.

A research paper on the new jellyfish can be found here in Zootaxa.

Photo: Fabrizio Marcuzzo

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