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  1. Spotted_jelly_g_edgar Spotted Jelly by J Edgar

Spotted Jelly

Phyllorhiza punctata


  • A large jellyfish with a rounded bell shape that is clear or tinted brown or yellow. 
  • The bell has many obvious small white crystalline spots close to the surface that are evenly distributed.
  • The tentacles are located in the centre of the bell, with eight individual arms visible. Two sets of tentacles are visible (1) short, fleshy (cauliflower-like) and (2) longer, clear to white (rope-like) which extend beyond the shorter fleshy tentacles
  • The longer tentacles also have white spots on their ends. 
  • Size: Average adult bell width is 35cm. Can reach a diameter of 60cm and weigh up to 10kg.

What to Observe

Search area for 30 minutes and record under the following categories:

  • Abundant - found easily with little searching
  • Frequent - found with minimal searching
  • Rare - only 1 or 2 individuals found with intensive searching
  • Not found - not present during search

ClimateWatch Science Advisor

Changing ocean currents and productivity, as a result of climate change, may lead to an increase in jelly fish abundance (which may result in detrimental impacts on fishing and coastal industries). In other locations, a change in conditions may result in a reduction of jelly fish numbers.  

When To Look

Throughout the year.

Where To Look

  • Throughout Australia.
  • Coastal and estuarine habitats. 
  • Washed up on beaches after storm events. 
Spotted Jelly distribution map - GBIF

Spotted Jelly distribution map - GBIF



Perry H. and K. Larsen. 2004. Picture Guide to Shelf Invertebrates of the Northern Gulf of Mexico. NOAA/NMFS online publication.

Graham W.M., Martin D.L., Felder D.L., Asper V.L., and H.M. Perry. 2003. Ecological and economic implications of a tropical jellyfish invader in the Gulf of Mexico. Biological Invasions 5:53-69.


Heeger T., Piatkowski U., and H. Moeller. 1992. Predation on jellyfish by the cephalopod Argonauta argo. Marine Ecology Progress Series 88:293-296.


  1. Search Species

  1. What Else?

    The white spotted jelly could be mistaken for the moon jelly (Aurelia aurita) or jelly blubber (Catostylus mosaicus) which are similar in size and can also be white to brown in colour. However, the white spots on the bell of the white spotted jelly can be used to distinguish this jelly from all others.  

  1. Did You Know?

    The species invaded areas including the Gulf of Mexico where it is found in abundance and also sightings were reported in Southern California, Hawaiian Islands and the Caribbean.