8 Types of Jellyfish in Texas

Types of Jellyfish in Texas
Photo by Chitbhanu Singh

There are different types of jellyfish in texas. They are blessed with miles of beach waters, with plenty of opportunities to spot jellyfish and other creatures in the water.

Jellyfish aren’t dangerous, though they can be quite a nuisance sometimes, especially if you plan on swimming or wading in the water! 

While there are many different types of jellyfish in Texas that inhabit the state’s waters, there are a few types that you’ll want to be especially wary of.

Check below for the list of common types of jellyfish in Texas.

1. Comb Jelly

Comb jellies are among the smallest sea creatures, measuring a maximum length of 3 inches. They’re called ctenophores, meaning comb-bearer, because they have rows of stinging cells along their comb-like tentacles. 

These different types of jellyfish in Texas are considered planktonic and will be found in the water column from the surface to much deeper depths.

Unlike other ocean dwellers, these unusual animals don’t use their swimming tentacles to prop themselves through the water. Instead, the many hairlike cilia on their underside keep them afloat!

2. Pink Meanie Jellyfish

The most venomous jellyfish in the world can be found in Texas water. It is usually 5-6 inches long but can grow up to a foot.

Its bell is clear and grayish pink with a shape like an inverted pear or egg yolk, hence its other name of a pink meanie. 

A ruffled, tangled webbing sits between the tentacles and its Phyllida, which are finger-like projections. This is one of the types of jellyfish in Texas that makes its home all along the East Coast.

Though they have powerful venom that causes severe pain and can lead to death within minutes, they’re not aggressive and rarely come near humans.

3. Portuguese Man-o-War

The Portuguese Man-o-War is one of the different types of jellyfish in Texas. They are found mainly in temperate and tropical regions. It floats on the water’s surface with its purple-striped tentacles trailing behind it.

This animal uses stinging cells to paralyze and kill prey and catch their dinner, which they suck up through their mouth-like grooves on the underside of their body.

Interestingly, this animal will even sting animals such as sharks, seals, otters, dolphins, and whales that come too close to them for dinner.

They are not typically considered life-threatening but can cause much discomfort due to their intense pain and formication symptoms (paralysis).

These symptoms only last from 30 minutes to 24 hours, depending on how badly stung someone is by these animals.

4. Cabbagehead

Cabbage Head Jellyfish, or Chrysaora hysoscella, is bell-shaped and light green.

A Cabbagehead can grow up to six inches long, with a width of 3 inches at the end. They are often found near their host organism, which is either a yellow or purple sea nettle. 

The Cabbagehead has 8 tentacles lined with mouthparts called hatchlings. It is used to inject an immobilizing neurotoxin called staurotide into its prey before eating them whole.

5. Sea Nettle

Sea nettles are on the list of types of jellyfish in texas. They are stinging invertebrates that live all over the world. They are often hard to see and look like small seaweed that pulsates back and forth.

Sea nettles have long trailing tentacles up to four feet long, which trail behind them when they swim and capture their prey, which includes shrimp, fish, crabs, and even other jellyfish. 

As sea nettles consume food for themselves, they also leave behind nutrients for other wildlife and add oxygen to the water.

The most dangerous part about sea nettles is their sting which has been known to paralyze people if stung repeatedly or sensitive from injuries or conditions such as allergies.

6. Moon Jelly

If you enjoy exploring the ocean from a boat, scuba diving, or snorkeling. Then there’s a chance that you will see moon jellies. 

Though this type of jellyfish’s spherical body is often mistaken for beach balls, they are active swimmers. Also, They’re quite beautiful and come in various colors- some even with gold stripes down their sides! 

The best time to spot them is at night when they typically ascend up to the surface and feed on plankton. The name moon comes from their tendency to be full during the day but clear at night like an actual moon.

7. Blue Buttons

Blue button jellyfish are some of the most prevalent jellyfish in coastal areas around Texas.

The blue button jellyfish can grow to as large as 15 inches but is rarely found outside a few feet from shore. They are highly venomous and should be avoided at all costs. 

8. Cannonball Jelly

A recent addition to the list of types of jellyfish in Texas, the cannonball jellyfish may be small but pack a big punch. They are known for releasing painful stings. 

They like warmer waters near shorelines, feeding on plankton and other smaller creatures that swim past them. 

The sting from a Cannonball Jelly is rare but can be excruciatingly painful because it often feels like someone has poured gasoline onto an open wound. It can feel a little better with local heat and cold packs if administered quickly after being stung.


By now, you should know a bit more about the most common types of jellyfish in Texas that are seen off the coast.

Hopefully, this has helped clear up some confusion and give you an idea of what to do if someone stings or bites a loved one. 

Meanwhile, Jellyfish live in all the world’s oceans and are found in freshwater lakes and rivers as well.

They can be single-celled or multi-celled, and their name comes from their rubbery, gelatinous appearance and movement through water (jelly-like).

They are almost always transparent, so they are difficult to see until they have washed up on shore or have stung someone.

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