Jellyfish discovered in lake at Lawton refuge

Friday, January 4th 2008, 11:50 am
By: News 9

Associated Press - January 1, 2008 3:25 PM ET

LAWTON, Okla. (AP) - Biologists at the Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge have added an unusual species to the list of wildlife living on the refuge - a freshwater jellyfish.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist Steve Hodge says he was skeptical when he first heard a report in September that the jellyfish were discovered by a visitor to 1 of the lakes at the refuge.

During a September survey of species by the Oklahoma Biological Survey, participants counted more than 1,000 species within the refuge's nearly 60,000 acres, but the jellyfish was not 1 of them.

But Hodge says later that month he observed about 8 of the jellyfish floating around the lake.

Hodge says the freshwater jellyfish do not eat enough to be a detrimental influence on the ecosystem.