Image of the Day

283 / 366

Pelagia noctiluca (

Purple Parasol

Elegant and diaphanous, the jellyfish Pelagia noctiluca is pretty, but packs a punch. These jellies (also called “purple-striped jelly” or “mauve stinger”) produce bright bioluminescent light (noctiluca means “night light”) and feed by catching smaller plankton animals, or zooplankton, on tentacles laden with stinging cells. Common in coastal waters of most oceans, they can cause problems for humans—swarms of thousands of Pelagia plagued Mediterranean beaches in summer 2008, causing painful stings to swimmers.
(Photo by Laurence Madin, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


Image and Visual Licensing

Text, images, graphics and other material contained on this website are subject to copyright. For more information or to license material, please contact the Director of Digital Assets, or (508) 289-2647.

Explore Visual WHOI

Search multimedia database

License our Visuals