Aequorea victoria, crystal jelly : The Race Rocks Taxonomy


Aequorea in a kelp bed at Race Rocks, photo by Chris Blondeau

Kingdom: Animalia Subkingdom: Eumetazoa Phylum: Cnidaria Subphylum: Medusozoa Class: Hydrozoa Subclass: Leptolinae Order: Leptomedusae Suborder: Conica Family: Aequoreidae Genus: Aequorea Species: A. victoria The following quote  is from Wikipedia.. noted here because of the reference to Dr. Anita Brinckmann-Voss.

“Aequorea victoria, also sometimes called the crystal jelly, is a bioluminescent hydrozoan jellyfish, or hydromedusa, that is found off the west coast of North America. This species is thought to be synonymous with Aequorea aequorea of Osamu Shimomura, the discoverer of green fluorescent protein (GFP). Shimomura together with Martin Chalfie and Roger Y. Tsien were awarded the 2008 Nobel Prize in Chemistry[1] for the discovery and development of this protein as an important biological research tool. Originally the victoria species was supposed to designate the variant found in the Pacific, and the aequorea designation was used for specimens found in the Atlantic and Mediterranean. The species name used in GFP purification was later disputed by M.N. Arai and A. Brinckmann-Voss (1980),[2] who decided to separate them on the basis of 40 specimens collected from around Vancouver Island. Osamu Shimomura notes that this species in general shows great variation: from 1961 to 1988 he collected around 1 million individuals in the waters surrounding the Friday Harbor Laboratories of University of Washington, and in many cases there were pronounced variations in the form of the jellyfish. “

 An interesting account by Claudia Miils about the misidentification of the bioluminescence in Aequorea in various scientific journals and magazines  can be found in Bioluminescence and other factoids about Aequorea, a hydromedusa See this link for other hydroids: 

This file is provided as part of a collaborative effort by the students, faculty and staff and volunteers of Lester B. Pearson College
originally published 2006, updated: 2014 Garry Fletcher