Stalked jellyfish

Lucernariopsis campanulata


These stalked jellyfish are always a uniform colour – red, green or brown – and live low down on rocky shores or in shallow water. They can be found on most types of seaweeds and seagrasses, but prefer to attach to the leaf-like fronds of kelp plants.

Stalked jellyfish (in common with their close relatives the anemones, free-floating jellyfish, quill-like sea pens and corals), use stinging cells within their tentacles to stun or kill prey and as a means of defence against predators. These animals are all cnidarians – which means ‘stinging creatures’.

Stalked jellyfish are unusual members of the group as most cnidarians have two phases of their lifecycle; one attached as anemone-like polyps and the other as free-drifting jellyfish.  Stalked jellyfish, however, remain attached to seaweed or seagrass all their lives.

Although called a ‘jellyfish’, the stalked varieties are upside-down jellyfish with their tentacles on the top.  Their funnel-shaped bodies grow up to 5cm in height, and have eight webbed arms, each with about 50 tentacles on the ends.  The reproductive organs of a stalked jellyfish are also at the end of the arms. 


European distribution

This stalked jellyfish is widespread around the British Isles, but occurs less frequently on the east coast. It may be found in other parts of the North Sea and north-east Atlantic, and in the Mediterranean.


Conservation status/need

  • Stalked Jellyfish FactThis is a UK BAP Priority Species (BAP species are now Species of Principal Importance/Priority Species).
  • Species of principal importance for the purpose of conservation of biodiversity under the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006.


Further information

Marine Life Information Network

World Register of Marine Species

JNCC - UK BAP Priority Species and Habitats