Crystal Jelly

Crystal Jelly ("Aequorea Victoria"), Monterey Bay Aquarium, Monterey, California, USA
jimg944/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

The crystal jelly (Aequorea victoria) has been called "the most influential bioluminescent marine organism."

This cnidarian possess green fluorescent protein (GFP) and a photoprotein (protein that gives off light) called aequorin, both of which are used in laboratory, clinical and molecular research. Proteins from this sea jelly are also being studied for use in early detection of cancer.


The aptly named crystal jelly is clear, but may glow greenish-blue. Its bell may grow up to 10 inches in diameter.


  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Cnidaria
  • Class: Hydrozoa
  • Order: Leptothecata
  • Family: Aequoreidae
  • Genus: Aequorea
  • Species: victoria

Habitat and Distribution:

The crystal jelly lives in pelagic waters in the Pacific Ocean from Vancouver, British Columbia, to central California.


The crystal jelly eats copepods, and other planktonic creatures, comb jellies, and other jellyfish.