The mythical white Cyanea

Description and Comments

I went on an 8-day kayak trip with some friends on the west coast of Vancouver Island from July 6-13, 2013.
I spotted numerous blooms of jellies, including dozens of what I believe were Polyorchis penicillatus in the eelgrass beds along the southern coast of the Brooks Peninsula.
I had also heard tell of a whitish Cyanea (capillata) that is found in some areas along the west coast of Vancouver Island. Well, seeing is believing! At first I thought the white blobs under the water had to be Phacellophora camtschatica because of their ghostly white color (sometimes with a tinge of yellow), but after seeing many closer to the surface it became obvious that they were Cyanea. There were dozens around Battle Bay and the Bunsby Islands.
As mentioned, some had a tinge of yellow but many were almost pure white. The dramatic color difference with the more commonly encountered Cyanea capillata in inshore waters (purple/brown) provides support to Dr. Mary Arai's suggestion that there are two "species" of Cyanea in British Columbian waters.


Type of organism