Beautiful, Golden Jellyfish Invading Fisher's Nets Is a New Species
Hundreds of golden jellyfish that clogged fishing nets off the coast of Venice, Italy, are in fact a new species, experts say.
Last fall, fishers in the Adriatic Sea (map) near Venice, Italy, pulled up nets full of hundreds of two-inch-wide (five centimeter), golden jellyfish. Having never seen the jellyfish before, the fishers sent pictures to researchers, who identified the beautiful interlopers as a new species.
About two or three new jellyfish species pop up every year, says Claudia Mills, a marine biologist at the University of Washington in Friday Harbor. However, finding such a conspicuous newcomer in a relatively shallow body of water close to shore is extremely rare, says Stefano Piraino, a jellyfish researcher at the Università del Salento in Lecce, Italy.
Piraino and his colleagues published their description of the new jellyfish—dubbed Pelagia benovici—this month in