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Rhizostoma pulmo

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Rhizostoma pulmo
Rhizostoma pulmo
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Cnidaria
Class: Scyphozoa
Order: Rhizostomeae
Family: Rhizostomatidae
Genus: Rhizostoma
R. pulmo
Binomial name
Rhizostoma pulmo
Macri, 1778
  • Medusa pulmo Gmelin, 1788
  • Rhizostoma Aldrovandi Péron & Lesueur, 1810

Rhizostoma pulmo, commonly known as the barrel jellyfish,[1] the dustbin-lid jellyfish or the frilly-mouthed jellyfish, is a scyphomedusa in the family Rhizostomatidae.[2] It is found in the northeast Atlantic, and in the Adriatic, Mediterranean Sea, Black Sea and Sea of Azov. It is also known from the southern Atlantic off the western South African coast and into False Bay.[3] They are found typically in late summer, and early fall in increased populations which are known as blooms. This is due to higher temperatures and other environmental factors such as wind.[4][5][6]

It is common in the Irish Sea. It typically is up to 40 cm (16 in) in diameter, but can exceptionally reach 150 cm (59 in) or larger,[7][8] making it the largest jellyfish in British and Irish waters (Cyanea capillata reaches an even larger size, but is generally smaller in Britain). On 13 July 2019, wildlife biologist Lizzie Daly dived off the coast of Cornwall in the United Kingdom, along with the underwater cinematographer Dan Abbott.[9] The two divers shared their encounter with a human-sized barrel jellyfish, Rhizostoma pulmo. The species could typically grow up to one meter (3.2 feet) and weigh up to 25 kilograms (55 lbs). However, they are not larger than the lion's mane jellyfish.[10]

Rhizostoma pulmo is moderately venomous but not as deadly as other species. Effects include a burning sensation on the skin, dermatitis, and ulcers which confirms it is toxic to humans. However, it does not pose a serious threat to humans.[11]

It is a favourite food of the leatherback turtle.[12]

Rhizostoma pulmo washed ashore at Bournemouth in southern England
Orifice of a barrel jellyfish

In Asia, they are a source of bioactive compounds used in traditional food and medicine.[13] One study indicates that washing in aqueous solutions and the separation of high molecular weight proteins from the extract, e.g., by membrane filtration, could be a way to remove possible toxic compounds from jellyfish extracts and to concentrate potentially bioactive soluble compounds. The potentially active soluble components may have uses as nutraceutical and cosmeceutical ingredients.[14]


  1. ^ Aquarium of Genoa – species description: Rhizostoma pulmo. Retrieved 31 May 2013.
  2. ^ "Dustbin-lid jellyfish - Rhizostoma pulmo". MarLIN. Retrieved 16 September 2011.
  3. ^ Branch, G.M., Branch, M.L, Griffiths, C.L. and Beckley, L.E. 2010. Two Oceans: a guide to the marine life of southern Africa ISBN 978-1-77007-772-0
  4. ^ Dönmez, M. A.; Bat, L. (2023). "Distributions of Rhizostoma Pulmo (Macri, 1778) between the Kızılırmak and the Yeşilırmak coast of the Black Sea, Türkiye". Oceanological and Hydrobiological Studies. 52 (3): 273–286.
  5. ^ Leoni, V.; Molinero, J. C.; Meffre, M.; Bonnet, D. (2021). "Variability of growth rates and thermohaline niches of Rhizostoma Pulmo's pelagic stages (cnidaria: Scyphozoa)". Marine Biology. 168 (7): 1–19.
  6. ^ Reyes Suárez, N. C.; Tirelli, V.; Ursella, L.; Ličer, M.; Celio, M.; Cardin, V. (2022). "Multi-platform study of the extreme bloom of the barrel jellyfish rhizostoma pulmo (cnidaria: Scyphozoa) in the northernmost Gulf of the Mediterranean Sea (gulf of trieste) | in April 2021". Ocean Science. 18 (5): 1321–1337.
  7. ^ "Rhizostoma pulmo, barrel jellyfish".
  8. ^ "Massive, Human-Size Jellyfish Stuns Divers off the Coast of England". Live Science.
  9. ^ "Divers 'humbled' by giant jellyfish encounter". BBC News. July 17, 2019.
  10. ^ "Humans Who Swam Along a Human-Sized Jellyfish". Mirror Herald. Archived from the original on 20 July 2019. Retrieved 17 July 2019.
  11. ^ Mariottini, Gian Luigi; Pane, Luigi (4 April 2010). "Mediterranean Jellyfish Venoms: A Review on Scyphomedusae". Marine Drugs. 8 (4): 1122–1152. doi:10.3390/md8041122. PMC 2866479. PMID 20479971.
  12. ^ "COAST : Community of Arran Seabed Trust - Barrel Jellyfish". www.arrancoast.com. Archived from the original on 29 May 2018. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  13. ^ Omori, Makoto; Nakano, Eiji (1 May 2001). "Jellyfish fisheries in southeast Asia". Hydrobiologia. 451 (1): 19–26. doi:10.1023/A:1011879821323. S2CID 6518460.
  14. ^ De Domenico, Stefania; De Rinaldis, Gianluca; Paulmery, Mélanie; Piraino, Stefano; Leone, Antonella (2019). "Barrel Jellyfish (Rhizostoma pulmo) as Source of Antioxidant Peptides". Marine Drugs. 17 (2): 134. doi:10.3390/md17020134. PMC 6410228. PMID 30813405.