Florida Sea Grant Extension in Collier County

Welcome to the Collier County Sea Grant Extension Blog

This blog is an opportunity for me to share with you my extension outreach efforts and useful information to make you a more informed coastal citizen. If you have any questions about what you see, feel free to contact me at fluech@ufl.edu.

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Monday, February 13, 2012

Have You Seen This Box Jelly?

I was recently sent an email from a colleague of mine at Rookery Bay regarding box jellyfish sightings in our area. Typically, when people hear "box jelly", they think of the highly venomous cnidarians found in Australia. However, there is also a box jellyfish that inhabits the waters of southern Florida. The tiny box jelly (Tripedalia cystophora) is  only a few centimeters in length and has clusters of three "pedalia" (tentacles) at each corner of its box-shaped body. It also has complex eyes which appear as small dark spots. Unlike its potentially lethal Australian cousins, this species is thought to be harmless to humans, and thrives in mangrove fringed waters of the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea. If you come across any of these, you are encouraged to report your sightings to Evan Orellana at e_orellan@hotmail.com or 954-675-5625. Click on the image below for details.

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