Like any other living thing, Box Jellyfish also needs to eat to live. They do sting us but they do not eat us as we are not part of their diet. Box Jellyfish are carnivores which means that their diet consists of meat only. Box jellyfish love to eat arrow worms, shrimps, prawns, annelid worms, small fishes, krill, crayfish etc. Unlike other jellyfish which mostly float in water, the Box Jellyfish can move and go after their hunt. We have gathered complete information about What Do Box Jellyfish Eat and list down the Box Jellyfish Diet for you. Along with that we have also explained how they seize their prey and their unique ability to fish and capture prey as big as their own size, so continue reading.
What Do Box Jellyfish Eat
- Box Jellyfish are classified as carnivores (meat eaters) i.e. they feed on other sea animals.
- They love to eat fish, plankton, and crustaceans.
- They would also eat the larvae of other species of jellyfish.
- They are also known to eat fish eggs whenever it finds them.
- A box jellyfish has the ability to consume its prey less than a minute.
- Unlike other jellyfish, box jellyfish go after their food rather than just float along with the flow of the water.
- They are opportunistic predators and will eat more than usual if there is plenty of food available. This is possible due to their large stomach.
- They capture their prey using their tentacles by immobilizing them with its venom.
- They completely swallow their prey and looks for more after swallowing it.
- Fish and shrimp can easily tear down the box jellyfish, so it is why box jellyfish have to kill its prey with its venom before swallowing it.
Box Jellyfish Diet
- Box jellyfish are carnivorous to the core and love to eat fleshy animals. Most of its diet consists of:
- tiny fishes
- arrow worms
- mantis shrimp
- annelid worms
- The box jellyfish is bigger in size than crustaceans and thus they are easy to hunt.
- The Box Jellyfish Diet also include other species of jellyfish. They do not feed on their own species.
How do Box Jellyfish Kill their Prey
- Box jellyfish are expert hunters with a deadly weapon i.e. their tentacles.
- As soon as their tentacles touch their prey, the sting reaches out to the skin to release the venom.
- This paralyzes the prey and kill it instantly.
- Within a minute, the prey is swallowed down then.
Box Jellyfish Fishing Technique
- Box Jellyfish actively fish for food.
- They lure larval fish by twitching their tentacles and showing off their stinging structures.
- Such behavior is very amazing from an animal with no brain.
- Box jellyfish is small in size and has no brain & central nervous system, still they are able to use their tentacles and stinging structure to lure fish like any expert fisher.
- The most amazing thing in this behavior is that these simple creatures are hunting more complex creatures with brain and as big in size as they are.
- Box jellyfish are less active during night as they contract their tentacles and sting structures.
- During the day, they stretch their tentacles out for about 1.2 meters and evenly place their sting structures just like an invisible fishing line.
- The stinging structure is like a series of bright pearls, which the box jellyfish uses to attract the prey by twitching it.
- As soon as the fish come in contact with the stinging structure, it is paralyzed with the venom.
- For a simple creature like box jellyfish, employing such a complex fishing strategy is very amazing.