Photo By: Brian Bollig


Habitat and Geography

      Originally, this Hawaiian Box Jellyfish also called Carybdea alata, was only believed to live in the Atlantic Ocean.  Now these species have been found in more specific areas of the Atlantic Ocean, and in some cases they have been found in Indo-Pacific (Lewis et al. 2013).  Later research finds that these species are distributed widely in the tropics of the Atlantic, Pacific and Inidian Oceans (Nagai et al. 2000).  They are distributed in many different areas in the saltwater tropics such as the Caribbean, Australia, and off of the shore of Hawaii.  These Hawaiian Box Jellyfish have been found to live at or close to the continental shelf’s edge and few times have been seen in greater depths of the ocean (Bentlage et al. 2009). Photo published By: Wikipedia

       Extensive research has been done specifically in Hawaii off of the shores of Waikiki Beach.  The ninth or tenth day after a full moon a large invasion of these species swarm the shores.  The believed reason as to why this happens is for the Hawaiian Box Jellyfish's feeding.  When this massive invasion happens it brings about a public health concern and a danger for tourism in the area. These species have a toxic and painful sting which is why a massive amount of themare dangerous (Nagai et al. 2000). To learn more about this occurence and more species intereactions with the Carybdea alta go to our Interactions with Other Species page.

        These animals are used to living in warmer temperatures around 24-26 degrees Celcius.  Obviously because they live in the tropics and the ocean, they need salt water to survive.  A healthy salinity level range for their ideal environment is around 33-36 psu but the Carybdea alata can survive in levels as low as 13 psu (Lewis and Long, 2005).  Photo By: Marlin Harms

    There are many other organisms that live in these types of habitats as well.  The ocean is huge and any marine animal that requires salt water to survive, requires warmer temperatures and spends most of their time near the continental shelf's edge are living in the same type of environment as this Hawaiian Box Jellyfish.  For example, some of these animals the Carybdea alata might encounter would be the sea turtle, crabs and butterfish (Marsh et al. 2010).

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