Tracking Jellyfish in Western North Carolina

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The Mountain Jellyfish Project is run by Professor Rebecca Rae Helm at the Universtiy of North Carolina, Asheville. Its goal is to track freshwater jellyfish in lakes throughout the region.

Freshwater jellyfish (known to scientists as Craspedacusta sowerbii), occur in lakes, ponds and flooded quarries in WNC. It is thought that these jellies are native to China, and were introduced to America by European settlers as they imported aquatic plants. But the truth is, we know very little about these jellies, and how they get from pond to pond. This project aims to fix that, by studying their distribution, ecology, and relatedness to other freshwater jellyfish.

But we need your help! Please keep an eye out for freshwater jellies, which often occur in the summer and fall. If you see some, report your sighting on this website, along with any additional information to help us track them down.

We’ll submit updates during jelly season, so others can also find these odd and unique mountain jellies!

Freshwater jellyfish
Freshwater jellies collected in the fall of 2018 from a pond in Hendersonville, NC.