#5265 – Jellyfish
2018 50c Bioluminescent Life
Value: 50¢ 1-ounce first-class letter rate- Forever
Issued: February 22, 2018
First Day City: Fort Pierce, FL
Type of Stamp: Commemorative
Printed by: Banknote Corporation of America
Format: Pane of 20
Quantity Printed: 40,000,000 stamps
While bioluminescent jellyfish are not uncommon, the atolla jellyfish uses its glow differently than most other species.
The atolla jellyfish (also known as the coronate medusa) is usually found up to 16,400 feet below the ocean’s surface across the globe. It is a crown jellyfish, identified by the deep groove around its bell that makes it resemble a crown. Atollas can vary greatly in size – from just half an inch up to eight inches across. They have 22 tentacles around the rim of their bodies, one of which is usually significantly longer than its body’s diameter. Scientists believe they use this long tentacle to trapfood moving through the current.
Atollas are red in color, which is beneficial because few creatures can see that color so deep underwater. However, when the atolla jellyfish is threatened, it can flash bright blue to attract even larger predators that come to eat the original attacker. They are the only species of atollas that use their bioluminescence for defense and are sometimes called “alarm jellyfish” because of this habit.
Scientists have found a way to replicate the atolla’s blue flash to lure in deep sea creatures for photography and study. By copying the atolla’s signal, they could discover previously unseen or rare deep-sea life.