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Compass jellyfish


maximum 30 centimeters in diameter


transparent with brown


zooplankton, worms, small crustaceans and small fish


some fish


sexual and vegetative

  • Dut: Kompaskwal
  • Lat: Chrysaora hysoscella
  • Eng: Compass jellyfish
  • Ger: Kompaßqualle
  • Dan: Kompasgoplen

Compass jellyfish

The compass jellyfish is easy to recognize by the brown v-shaped markings found running from the center of the jellyfish down to the outer edge. This jellyfish has long stinging tentacles hanging from the rim. The catching arms around the mouth opening resemble a bridal veil and can grow much longer than the tentacles. A compass jellyfish begins life as a male but eventually turns female in the course of its one year of life.

  • Distribution and habitat
    Compass jellyfish, foto fitis, sytske dijksen

    Compass jellyfish are common in the North Sea and sometimes wash ashore in large numbers, starting in mid July. Unfortunately, this is also the season when many bathers are found on the beach. The jellyfish is mostly seen close to shore.

  • Not always a compass
    Compass jellyfish without a compass, foto fitis, sytske dijksen

    Some compass jellyfish don't have the clear markings which make it look like a compass. However, the brown lobes along the rim are are always visible.

Stinging cells