Category: Jellies, Anemones and kin view all from this category
Description Aequorea victoria, also sometimes called the crystal jelly, is a bioluminescent hydrozoan jellyfish, or hydromedusa, that is found off the west coast of North America. This species is thought to be synonymous with Aequorea aequorea of Osamu Shimomura, the discoverer of green fluorescent protein (GFP). Shimomura together with Martin Chalfie and Roger Y. Tsien were awarded the 2008 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the discovery and development of this protein as an important biological research tool. Originally the victoria species was supposed to designate the variant found in the Pacific, and the aequorea designation was used for specimens found in the Atlantic and Mediterranean. The species name used in GFP purification was later disputed by M.N. Arai and A. Brinckmann-Voss (1980), who decided to separate them on the basis of 40 specimens collected from around Vancouver Island. Osamu Shimomura notes that this species in general shows great variation: from 1961 to 1988 he collected around 1 million individuals in the waters surrounding the Friday Harbor Laboratories of University of Washington, and in many cases there were pronounced variations in the form of the jellyfish. In September 2009, Aequorea victoria was spotted in the Moray Firth, an unusual occurrence, as crystal jellies had never been seen or reported in British waters. The specimen is now on display in Macduff Marine Aquarium in Aberdeenshire, Scotland.
Habitat Open ocean.
Range California, Texas, Western Canada, Alaska, Florida, New England, Northwest, Mid-Atlantic.