Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Capturing the jellyfish king; the box jellyfish

So In a few weeks I will be going to Pine Knoll Shores in North Carolina. This is essentially the best jellyfish spot in NC. The last time I was there was before I got my live jellyfish. But this beach was my inspiration. I was there with family and friends. The surf was filled with dead moon jellies. It was an interesting sight. There was even a dead atlantic sea nettle there as well, although I didn't realize it until a few months afterwards. So that beach is known to have Cannonball jellyfish, moon jellyfish and, atlantic sea nettles. Thats already a very nice diversity. 

However, recently I found a website for tracking jellyfish in North Carolina (http://www.jellyfish.appstate.edu/). On the very same island ,no more that 6 miles away from where we are staying, there was a box jellyfish sighting recently. This was a Chiropsalmus quadrumanus. This species of box jellyfish is toxic and can be potentially fatal. This isn't particularly something I want to handle, although it seems like it is about as poisonous as a portugese man of war. So in other words, it could be deadly if stung near the heart, respiratory system or in the face. I'm sure if you were stung say, on the arm you would be left with large amounts of pain and scarring but no death unless you had other medical conditions. 

This box jelly isn't my real goal. there is a second species, one of which I prefer much more, found up north of the island (Tamoya haplonema). These have been found year after year at cape lookout. apparently the wash up dead on the beach often, and can even be found swimming in the tides. 


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