jelly blubber

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Jelly Blubber (Catostylus mosaicus)

Also known as the Blue Blubber Jellyfish, the jelly blubber is a species of jellyfish that is native to the coastal regions of the Indo-Pacific. They usually remain in the coastal regions but can be found in intertidal estuaries as-well. Like most jellyfish the jelly blubber, despite its threatening name, is a predator and will feed on plankton, fish, and small crustaceans using its stinging nematocysts to dispatch its prey. These stinging tentacles can be very painful but will not cause death in humans.

Phylogeny

Animalia-Cnidaria-Scyphozoa-Rhizostomeae-Catostylidae-Catostylus-mosaicus

Image Source(s)

Awestruck

A/N: A request from @peytonnation for a Spencer x Reader where he asks her to hang out with him at an aquarium because he knows she’s fascinated by marine life. During the day, he admits to her what she means to him. @coveofmemories

                                                              —-

“What’re you up to this weekend, kid?” Morgan asked from across the room. He’d invite him out with the rest of the team, but almost every week, Reid decided to go home and Reid. He was the definition of an introvert.

Still in a daze, his head snapped toward Morgan after he called for him the second time. “What’re you doing this weekend?”

“Nothing much. Probably just reading.” 

And there it was. He was so predictable. “Well, if you change your mind, Emily, JJ, Penelope, Hotch, Rossi and I are going to bar tomorrow night. Y/N, you coming?”

“I’m not sure,” you said, walking back to your desk to grab your things for the weekend. “I’ll text you and let you know.”

He gave you a look that said your loss and walked away, leaving you and Spencer alone in the bullpen. “I was actually thinking of going to that new aquarium that opened up a few months ago,” Spencer said without looking up from his desk. He was fiddling with his thumbs. It was like he’d been dying to say that he had other plans but he didn’t want to get talked into doing something else.

“Oh, I’ve been wanting to go there!” you cried. As a kid, you’d always loved marine life and had even thought of becoming a marine biologist. Eventually, you decided on law enforcement, but your love of marine life had never faded.

With a twitch of his head, he looked up, opening his mouth to speak and then hesitating. “You wanna come with me?” he asked.

“Yea,” you said with a smile. “I’d like that. When tomorrow? Noon?”

He nodded and walked with you to the elevator, eventually going your separate ways at the parking garage to grab your cars and head home. If you didn’t know any better, you’d think that Spencer had just asked you out on a date. He was blushing…wasn’t he?

                                                             —-

“We meeting there?” you asked, having called him that morning. You’d agreed on a time, but hadn’t actually said where you were meeting.

Spencer cleared his throat. “If you want, I could come pick you up. I heard the parking over there is horrible, so it doesn’t really make sense to take two cars.” 

“Cool, see you in 15?”

Not even 10 minutes later, Spencer was at your door, ready to go. When he looked at you in your dolphin shirt, which you’d picked out specifically for the occasion, he smiled that little smile he got when people told him he was cute and he didn’t know how to react. “So what are you looking forward to seeing the most?” he asked, driving the 20 minutes to the aquarium.

Hmmm….that was a good question. You’d always loved sharks and dolphins and sting rays, but recently, you’d become really fascinated by jellyfish. “I love dolphins, obviously,” you laughed, pointing at your shirt. “But I also like sharks and rays and jellyfish. I heard they have ones called moon jellys. I just like the sound of that.”

“Moon jelly or aurelia aurita feed on zooplankton mostly and the top part, the bell, can grow to be about 12 inches wide, or the size of a dinner plate. When deprived of food, they can shrink to one-tenth their size to save energy and will regrow when food is available. On top of that, their population used to be kept in check by predators like sea turtles, tuna, and sunfish, but because of the rise in water-based pollution, their predators are starting to die, so jellyfish populations are growing at an alarming rate.” As he rambled on about moon jellys while he drove, you smiled, turning in your seat to watch the expressions play across his face. You’d always thought Spencer was cute - had even thought about kissing him on more than one occasion, but there was something about his face when he spoke about something he knew a lot about (which was most things) that made you exceedingly happy. 

He got off the exit for the aquarium, which was the first time he’d seen your face on the ride there. “I’m rambling, aren’t I?” he asked, quickly stifling himself. “Sorry.”

“Don’t be sorry, Spence,” you laughed. “I love all this stuff. So by all means, ramble away.”

The corners of his lips turned up as he pulled into the parking lot. “Thanks,” he said softly. “It’s nice to not annoy someone with my ramblings.” 

It was a good thing he’d turned his head away from you to park the car, because your face dropped. He couldn’t help how excited he got about things, and although everyone on the team tended to be polite and hear him out, occasionally they’d make a comment. At the very least, he could tell that they didn’t want to listen but were just being polite. That was all well and good, but it was nice to have someone actually be interested in what you were saying. “Ready?” he asked. The sound of his voice brought you out of feeling bad for him. Today, you were going to let him tell you all about the exhibits you passed. He’d probably know more about them than the employees would anyway.

After you walked inside, you skipped toward the directory. You needed to figure out where to go first. “Blue blubber jellies,” you said. You imagined your wide eyes made you look like a crazy person. But saying blue blubber jellies was really fun. 

                                                            —-

She really was like a kid in a candy store in here. Spencer walked slowly behind Y/N as she looked from the floor to the ceiling and taking in everything the aquarium had to offer. “This is definitely the best aquarium in the area now,” she said, coming to stop in front of the jellyfish exhibit.

For a few moments, he just stared at her awe-struck face. The jellyfish in front of her actually went from white to light blue to dark purple in color despite their name. The reflection of color in her eyes did nothing to lessen how amazed she looked. If anything, they made her eyes sparkle even more than they did naturally. On the way in, he’d promised to tell her all about all of the creatures they’d pass during the day, but he found himself unable to speak. With all of the sea life around him, one would think he’d be fascinated, but he was more than content taking in the joy on her face.

                                                           —-

“Spence?” you said. He blinked, coming back to you after being in a far away land or something like that. “Tell me about these jellies.” Again, you turned to stare at the blobs of light. They were purple when you’d turned to grab Spencer’s attention, but now they were light blue. 

Spencer stuttered as he started, but as he got into telling you all about the jellyfish, he fell into a confident rhythm. “Well, just like the moon jellyfish, these guys feed on zooplankton. They do grow a little bigger. About 16 inches. And they’re found in the coastal waters of eastern and northern Australia. Fun fact,” he said, his fingers fidgeting at the speed of light, “In Asia, they are considered a delicacy, which is somewhat dangerous because if they aren’t prepared properly, they can be deadly. They’re very poisonous.”

After staring at the jellyfish for another 10 or 15 minutes, you began walking toward another area of the aquarium. At first you didn’t notice, but by the time you’d reached the bottlenose dolphins, you were leaning against his arm with your arm looped through his. “You want me to tell you about the dolphins, now?” he asked happily. He was really enjoying telling you all about these creatures.

“Can I tell you about the dolphins even though you probably know all about them already? Because I did a project on them when I was in elementary school and I was obsessed with them. I memorized everything I could.” Now you were rambling. 

“Sure. Go ahead.” He smirked. 

You turned toward the tank, your hands spread wide across the glass as you put your nose up to it to get the best look you could. “So, adult dolphins can get anywhere from 6-12 feet in length and weigh between 400 and 800 pounds. Males are slightly larger than females. Meh. They feed on fish, squid and crustaceans which can be found through cooperative hunting with other dolphins, feeding in association with fishing boats and even digging in the sand to uncover food.” Spencer had been so quiet you weren’t sure whether or not he was paying attention - but he was, he was staring right at you with a soft smile, so you kept going. “They are found in tropical and temperate waters all over the world, but unfortunately, because people suck and don’t recycle or anything, a lot of populations are being depleted. Thankfully, they aren’t endangered yet. But they could be soon, and that makes me so sad. I mean-” 

All of a sudden, you felt his lips on yours before he pulled away again. “I’m sorry,” he said, seeing the stunned look on your face. “I couldn’t help it.”

“You…like me?” you asked in amazement. You could feel your lips curling up into a smile. You’d never expected him to like you. He never really expressed an interest in anybody.

At your question, his own eyes mirrored your look of confusion. “Of course I do,” he said softly. “Why wouldn’t I? You’re smart, and pretty. Funny, and nice. And when it comes to certain things like this, you get like me. Plus, you always seem genuinely interested in what I have to say.” He trailed off, blushing at how much he was gushing over you. 

“Come here,” you said, taking him by the collar and pulling him into you. “Kiss me again.” As you closed your eyes, you felt the softness of his lips again. You could get used to this. “We should do more of this later when there aren’t so many kids around.” 

“Definitely.” His forehead rested against yours for a few moments before he suggested walking over to the giant pacific octopus tank.

You shuddered at the thought. “They’re so cool, but also really unsettling. Good thing I have someone here I can cling to.”

As you walked over, you felt him gather you to his side. You were sure the rest of the team was having a great time together, and maybe one day soon, you and Spencer would join them together, but for now, you were ecstatic you’d decided to ditch them.

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Blue Blubber Jelly

Ranges in color from white to light blue to dark purple

This venomous jelly can be safely eaten once it’s been correctly dried and processed. Dried jellies are popular in many Asian countries, especially Japan. They’re sold as the “rubber band salad”  in China. The Chinese believe eating jellies will reduce high blood pressure.

The blue blubber’s bell can be up to 16 inches wide

They’re found in the coastal waters of eastern and northern Australia.

A Note From a Caretaker:

“ Blue blubbers often come to us with tiny symbiotic copepods that eat dead tissue off the jelly and usually don’t harm the animal, as long as it is healthy. However, if the animal’s delicate tissue rips even slightly, the copepods begin to feast on the jelly, often leading to its demise. The aquarists work diligently to keep these copepods to a minimum. 

“Blue Blubber Jellyfish” (Catostylus mosaicus)

Also known as the “Jelly Blubber”, C. mosaicus is a species of Catostylid jellyfish which is widely distributed throughout coastal areas in the Indo-Pacific, including Australia. Catyostlus mosaicus is a fairly commonly encountered species and can occur in large swarms at times. Like most jellyfish C. mosaicus uses stinging nematocysts to dispatch its prey which typically consists of small fish and zooplankton. C. mosaicus has several color morphs with more southern individuals possessing a white or brown color and northern individuals sporting a distinct blue color. 

Classification

Animalia-Cnidaria-Scyphozoa-Rhizostomeae-Catostylidae-Catostylus-C. mosaicus

Image: Via Fernandez