Sea Life

How To Identify The Types Of Jellyfish In Hawaii?

The most interesting thing about visiting Hawaii is the beautiful beaches which attract visitors the most. Many peoples visit Hawaii to explore more about the aquatic life because there is a variety of life existing under the water due to the abundant food available there. Many species of jellyfish are found on the coast of Hawaii Island that you may encounter while swimming. Let’s see, what types of species are found in the Hawaii waters and know their features so you can easily identify them. Scroll down!

How To Identify The Types Of Jellyfish In Hawaii?

More than 1,800 species of Jellyfishes are found in all the open waters of the ocean but in Hawaii, there are few species have been spotted. Some of them with their distant features which distinguish them from each other is explained below:

1:  White-Spotted Jellyfish

The most common type of Jellyfish found in the water of Hawaii is the White-spotted Jellyfish. These are invasive species from Australia and are found near the shoreline along the rocky coast and high cliffs. The species ranges in size from 2 inches to 6 feet. Interestingly, these are not very harmful species but when coming in contact with humans, they sting but it’s not very severe, it may cause swelling or redness.

2:  Moon Jellyfish

Moon Jellyfish also fall under the category of harmless species. These jellyfish are named so because they look like a moon. They are purple or bluish-colored and are flat and round. These species range in size from 10 to 16 inches. The body of jellyfish is covered with small tentacles which protect them from any kind of danger.

3:  Box Jellyfish

Box jellyfish as the name indicates look like a box. These Jellyfish have a unique appearance just like a box, they have four corners. The size of the body ranges from 1 to 3 inches in length but the outer surface is covered with long tentacles that are about 2 feet long. Interestingly, they have 24 eyes which gives them a vision of 360 degrees. Further, the sting of Box Jellyfish is quite painful and shall be avoided.

4:  Spotted Jellyfish

The spotted Jellyfish have green to brownish coloration. The bell is rounded but slightly higher than the rest of the body, covered with polka dots of about 4 inches in diameter but can grow to a length of 1 foot as well. The arm of spotted jellyfish is located below the bell, each has an opening that serves as a mouth and helps the jellyfish in grabbing the plankton.

5:  Upside-Down Jellyfish

As the name indicates, these unique species of Jellyfish lives upside down on the sandy floor of the coastal waters. They are mostly sighted near the bottom surface along the mangroves or lagoons. They are sometimes confused with sea anemones because they have yellow bells with white spots and 8 brown colored tentacles. These species can grow to a length of 30 cm or 11.8 inches in diameter. They mostly feed on zooplankton. Further, the stings of Upside-down Jellyfish depend upon the size of the species as it could either be mild or severe.


Jellyfish are found along the shallow coastal waters of Hawaii Island. There are many species of Jellyfishes sighted in the Hawaiian waters but some of the common species are White-spotted Jellyfish, Moon Jellyfish, Box Jellyfish, Spotted Jellyfish, and Upside-down Jellyfish. These all have a distant feature that will help you if you ever encounter them while swimming.

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