Mastigias papua primarily derives energy from the carbon fixed by its symbiotic zooxanthallae. This energy can be absorbed from these algae directly, since they dwell within the jellyfish's tissues. Thirty percent of the jellyfish's energy is obtained from collecting zooplankton, phytoplankton, tiny invertebrates, and microbes within the oral arms' mouths. Unlike other jellies, which need to collect food with their tentacles and bring them to a central mouth under the bell, Mastigias papua engulfs its food through its mouths on the oral arms and sends it to the body via canals along these arms.
Animal Foods: aquatic crustaceans; other marine invertebrates; zooplankton
Plant Foods: phytoplankton
Other Foods: detritus ; microbes
Primary Diet: carnivore (Eats non-insect arthropods, Eats other marine invertebrates); planktivore
- Turner, P. 2006. "Darwin's Jellyfish" (On-line). National Wildlife Federation. Accessed May 02, 2011 at http://www.nwf.org/News-and-Magazines/National-Wildlife/Animals/Archives/2006/Darwins-Jellyfishes.aspx.