A fluorescent green jellyfish native to East Asia has found its way into Israel's Mediterranean waters, researchers at the University of Haifa recently observed.
Most commonly found in the waters of Japan, the transparent and fluorescent jellyfish likely immigrated to Israel via the ballast waters of commercial vessels, the university said. The Aequorea macrodactyla jellyfish was identified during a routine survey performed by Dr. Gur Mizrahi, a researcher at the university's Leon H. Charney School of Marine Sciences in Dr. Dan Tchernov’s DEEP MED laboratory.
Although this jellyfish is not harmful to humans, its arrival serves as a warning that many much more dangerous creatures could be capable of invading Israel's waters as well, the researchers warned.
"This is a unique jellyfish, particularly because it contains a green colored fluorescent protein, whose role – despite many theories – is still not clear to science," Mizrahi said. "Despite its small body of just a few centimeters, it is considered to be filled with plankton and small crustaceans, but you can remain calm – it is not dangerous to humans."