Freshwater jellyfish

Originally from the Yangtze basin in China, this freshwater jellyfish is an invasive species now found throughout the world. It prefers still or slow moving bodies of freshwater.

This species was first found in England in 1880 in artificial ponds containing the giant water-lily in London’s Regent's Park. Over the following decades reports were made of its presence in ponds with exotic plants around the UK.

Vallentin first discovered the medusa in a virtually natural habitat, the Exeter Ship Canal. Vallentin reports that he found two specimens in July 1928, and several hundred specimens 'a short time later' the same year. Then on 5 September 1929 the water he was sampling was 'swarming with medusae' of all age-groups. All specimens were male.

Christine Aves collected this specimen (just 1cm across) during a freshwater plankton survey 15 September 1976. It was found 300m on the Exeter side of the Turf Lock (map reference SX 963 863) and the net, mesh size 50 mpi, was towed from a small rowing boat at a depth of approximately 1m at noon in weather of occasional sunshine, the water temperature being 20C.

This is still the only known wild site in British Isles

Aves, Christine R & Nichols, David. Occurrence of the freshwater medusa Craspedacusta in Exeter Canal. Journal of the Marine Biological Association (1977) 57, 569-570.
Accession Loan No.
Collection Class
Other Invertebrates
Common Name
freshwater jellyfish
Simple Name
Full Name
Craspedacusta sowerbyi Lankester: freshwater jellyfish
Family Group

Collector / Excavator
Aves, Ms Christine
Collection Parish
Collection Town
Collection County
Collection Country
United Kingdom: England
Collection Area Region
Northern Europe
Collection Continent

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