Atlantic Sea Nettles at a Glance
; APPEARANCE: The Atlantic sea nettle is a translucent white
and can sport brown, red, or purple stripes. Up to twenty four
stinging tentacles hang from the edge of the dome-shaped
bell. Ribbon-like oral arms hang from the underside and help
guide food to the nettle’s mouth.
; SIZE: The bell of a mature Atlantic sea nettle is about the size
of a softball. Tentacles can be up to six feet long.
; GEOGRAPHIC RANGE: Atlantic sea nettles are found on the
Atlantic and Gulf coasts from Cape Cod to Texas.
; DIET: Sea nettles eat zooplankton; small fish, crustaceans, and
worms; and other jellyfish.
Although both Atlantic sea nettles and comb jellies
eat larval oysters, the sea nettle spits them out
unharmed. And, sea nettles help protect baby oysters by eating comb jellies during the summer
months when oyster larvae are most abundant.