A peculiar and puzzling phenomenon found in Northern California’s Stumpy Meadows Reservoir, leaving wildlife experts intrigued and cautious.
In late September, Casey Neet captured a remarkable video of numerous jellyfish gracefully floating in the reservoir’s waters within the Eldorado National Forest. This sight is raising eyebrows because jellyfish are typically associated with oceanic habitats, not freshwater reservoirs.
The particular species in question is scientifically known as Craspedacusta sowerbyi, more commonly referred to as the Peach Blossom Jellyfish. Originating from the Yangtze River valley in China, these tiny jellyfish, about the size of a penny, possess a fascinating and complex life cycle. They have the unique ability to reproduce both sexually and asexually.
While freshwater jellyfish have been detected in various parts of the world for decades, their precise impact on local ecosystems remains a subject of intense study. In Canada, for example, researchers view these jellyfish as invasive species and are researching how the Peach Blossom is affecting local food webs. They primarily feed on plankton and small fish, similar to other organisms within the ecosystem.
Despite their tentacle-like appearance, these freshwater jellyfish are relatively harmless to humans and lack the size to deliver stinging attacks. However, their stings are potent enough to immobilize small macroinvertebrates and small fish.
The Eldorado National Forest emphasizes that the impact of Peach Blossom Jellyfish on local ecosystems is not yet fully understood. If you happen to spot these intriguing creatures in your local waterways, wildlife officials urge you to report the sightings, as this information could contribute to a better understanding of their presence and potential effects.