The Crim Jellies are back: Craspedacusta jellyfish are swarming and looking for mates | 10/13/2017 | Staff
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Yes, they have stinging tentacles. No, they won't sting you—unless you're a tasty-looking zooplankton.

Jellyfish are swarming in the pond at Crim Dell. Jon Allen tweeted out the news shortly after 5 p.m. on Sept. 18.

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"Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water… the Crim Jellies are back!" began the tweet from @AllenLabWM. It went on to tag @williamandmary and @STEM_at_WM, thereby creating a modest ripple in the William & Mary Twitterverse.

Allen is an associate professor in the Department of Biology at William & Mary. He specializes in marine invertebrates and his lab has a rotating roster of jellies, sea stars and other oceanic creatures. Members of his Biology 457 class, Marine Invertebrate Biology, captured a few specimens of the Crim jellies on Thursday.

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But the Crim Jellies are not, strictly speaking, marine invertebrates. They're freshwater jellyfish, only distantly related to the more familiar and sting-y Portuguese man of war and the sea nettle. The Allen Lab was being jocular in its tweet: Swimming is not encouraged in Crim Dell, but it's not because the jellyfish will get you.

"The jellies eat mosquito larvae, so they actually provide a service to the campus in keeping the population of biting insects at bay," Allen noted.

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And it's not quite the case that the "Crim Jellies are back," as they've been here for some time. Craspedacusta jellyfish are an invasive species, native to China. There's nothing unusual about them being in Crim...
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