This extremely large scyphozoan is known from relatively few specimens collected by research submersibles and trawls. Several partial specimens were collected from a wide range of locations in the 1960s, from the Gulf of Mexico to the Indian Ocean to the Southern Ocean. It has been reported in the literature only occasionally since. Generally found in water several hundred to 2600m deep, and difficult to collect intact due to its size, anatomical descriptions of this animal are based on incomplete specimens and photographs and observations made through the windows of collecting submersibles. (Russel, 1967)
Deepstaria enigmatica is unusual among jellyfish in possessing a distinct, highly branched canal system distributed uniformly over the bell and resembling wire netting. This network is the animal's digestive tract, and is characteristic of the genus. Deepstaria enigmatica was the first species named in its genus, and was named in honor of the vessel which collected it, the research submersible Deepstar. (Russel, 1967)
The species returned to public attention in April 2012 with a sighting at an unnamed location, captured in a video circulated on the internet. The sighting was confirmed to genus level by researchers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute who promptly published a video describing the natural history of Deepstaria. testing.
- Russel, F.s. 1967. On a Remarkable New Scyphomedusan. J Mar Biol Ass UK, 47:469-473.