Eupilema inexpectata

The root-mouthed jellyfish (Eupilema inexpectata) is a species of cnidarian, a jellyfish in the small family Rhizostomatidae. It is the only member of the genus Eupilema.

Eupilema inexpectata
Root-mouthed jellyfish at Long Beach DSC00505.JPG
At Long Beach, Simon's Town, South Africa
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Cnidaria
Class: Scyphozoa
Order: Rhizostomeae
Family: Rhizostomatidae
Genus: Eupilema
E. inexpectata
Binomial name
Eupilema inexpectata
Pages, Gili & Bouillon, 1992[1]


This large jellyfish grows up to more than 1 m (3 ft 3 in) in diameter. It has a smooth-surfaced bell with no tentacles. Its large manubrium (mouth) has many microscopic holes which extend directly into the gut.[2]


This jellyfish is found around the whole South African coast from the surface to at least 35 m (115 ft) underwater.


This is a large jellyfish which feeds on microscopic prey. It is often seen with small fish, which use its bulk to hide from predators.


  1. ^ accessed 6 August 2013
  2. ^ 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.