Who Knew You Could Find Jellyfish In Otsego Lake?
Can you believe there are jellyfish in Otsego Lake? We were shocked.
We thought jellyfish were only found in salt water. Guess not. There's some in Cooperstown! The video above (1:45 mark is amazing) was posted by Nathan Schoellig and Alex Krstevski this August. After a little digging, we discovered an article from the Freemans Journal back in 2014 reporting that a family was fishing in James Fenimore Cooper’s Glimmerglass, and they spotted lots of jellyfish.
It turns out they're called Craspedacusta sowerby, a fresh-water bell-shaped jellyfish.
The jelly waits for suitable prey to touch a tentacle and when it does it injects poison which paralyzes the animal
They're very delicate and have many tentacles when fully grown. Most of the body is transparent or translucent, with a whitish or greenish tinge. Wikipedia reports prey is caught with their stinging tentacles. The jelly waits for suitable prey to touch a tentacle and when it does it injects poison which paralyzes the animal, and the tentacle itself coils around the prey. However, these cnidocytes cells are used for paralyzing very tiny prey and have not been proven to have the capacity to pierce human skin.
This map shows how prevalent jellyfish are on the East Coast. Wow.
Craspedacusta sowerbyi is native to the Yangtze basin in China. It's an invasive species now found are now found all over the world with the exception of Antarctica.
Have you ever noticed Craspedacusta sowerbyi in CNY?