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East Japan aquarium finds new jellyfish species, names it after bridal headdress

A "Wataboshi Kurage" jellyfish is seen in this photo provided by the Enoshima Aquarium.
A "Wataboshi Kurage" jellyfish is seen in this photo provided by the Enoshima Aquarium. According to a staff member, the jellyfish is in a relaxed state.

FUJISAWA, Kanagawa -- An aquarium here has discovered a new species of jellyfish in waters near the island of Enoshima, confirmed after repeated analyzation.

    The species was named "Wataboshi Kurage," as it resembles a cotton hat called "wataboshi" worn by the bride at a Japanese-style wedding ceremony, and the Enoshima Aquarium has begun displaying the jellyfish in its research section.

    The species is a small jellyfish with a diameter of about 1 centimeter. It has four tentacles, and red streaks in the gonads. A staff member who developed an interest in the jellyfish, which was collected in the sea near Enoshima between 2018 and 2020, identified it as a new species by conducting DNA analysis and other research with the cooperation of the Kuroshio Biological Research Institute in Kochi Prefecture.

    The aquarium is one of the leading exhibition and research facilities for jellyfish in Japan, but this is the first time it has discovered a new species. The staff are also surprised that there was an undiscovered species in the seas of Enoshima.

    (Japanese original by Kenetsu Inaba, Kamakura Local Bureau)

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