MANGROVE JELLYFISH: AN UPSIDE-DOWN UNDERWATER LIFE


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MANGROVE JELLYFISH: AN UPSIDE-DOWN UNDERWATER LIFE

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Production still from the television series BAHAMA BLUE © 2014 Parallax FIlm Productions Inc.

             Production still from the television series BAHAMA BLUE © 2014 Parallax FIlm Productions Inc.

The Mangrove Jellyfish Cassiopea, also called the ‘upside-down jellyfish’ for reasons I needn’t dwell on, is the only member of its particular jellyfish family. These creatures prefer warm waters, and typically live upside-down on the sea-bottom, which no doubt makes catching prey very simple. They can be found individually, though more likely in large groups, with individuals displaying different shades and colours.

NEW An excellent video by Melinda Riger of Grand Bahama Scuba

The Mangrove Jellyfish has one of the milder stings of the numerous species, though human reactions to the sting will vary with the individual. A greater problem may come from swimming around or over a mass of these creatures. Their stinging cells are excreted in a transparent mucus which may invisibly cover the unwary swimmer. Apart from skin-irritation and a rash, the stings are apparently very itchy. My guess is that scratching can only make things worse (cf No-see-ums…). The first of the two videos below was taken recently by Sarah Bedard (to whom thanks) who “found a great tidal pool full of them at the end of Rock Point Road, Treasure Cay (Abaco)”. The second is short, but with some amazing footage of the Jellyfish in action.

6 thoughts on “MANGROVE JELLYFISH: AN UPSIDE-DOWN UNDERWATER LIFE

  1. Excellent videos. Our Key West kayak guide showed us these mangrove jellyfish and thinking they did not sting, put one briefly in my hand. Resulted in a mild tingle and itching at my wrist but no harm. Interesting creatures.

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    • Hi Kay, thanks for dropping by Rolling Harbour. Apologiers for delay in responding. There’s nothing like a first-hand experience, is there?! Actually, many people wouldn’t want to touch one at all – at least you know what it feels like… All the best RH

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  2. Like corals, Cassiopea hosts a symbiotic, blue-green algae, the majority of which reside in the tentacles and palps. This is why they are mostly upsidedown gettin’ sun. They do feed on small critters that come into contact with the tentacles, but the majority of their energy is from the photosynthesis process through the algae. Most turtles eat them, especially the Leatherbacks.

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