Rhizostoma pulmo

Rhizostoma pulmo
Barrel jellyfish

Stinging

Description

It is a stinging species that could produce important effects on humans. It is recommended to avoid all contact with this jellyfish. In addition, in this species special care must be taken with the secretion they produce because this may also contain stinging cells.

Rhizostomapulmo sting produces moderate pain and commonly a burning sensation. Local symptoms include hives in the area of contact, sneezing and eye irritation.

In case you have been stung by this species:
DO NOT APPLY FRESHWATER, NO VINEGAR, NO PRESSURE BANDAGE, NO ALCOHOL. Seek immediate medical attention if shock or breathing difficulties occur.

1) CAREFULLY WASH WITH SEAWATER, DO NOT RUB.
2) IF AVAILABLE, APPLY A BAKING SODA SLURRY (50% commercial baking soda; 50% seawater) FOR FIVE MINUTES to prevent further envenomation from attached tentacles.
3) USE A PLASTIC CARD TO REMOVE RESIDUALS OF TENTACLES.
4) APPLY ICE PACKS (wrapped in a cloth or thin towel, not directly on the skin) for 5-15 minutes - Warn victim that ice pack may be uncomfortable at first!
5) REASSESS PAIN AND REAPPLY ICE PACKS IF NECESSARY.
6) IF PAIN PERSISTS, CONSULT YOUR PHARMACIST OR HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS – Ask for analgesic + hydrocortisone preparations (eg. lidocaine 3-4% + hydrocortisone).

Characteristics

It is the largest jellyfish on the Catalan coast. The umbrela is bell-shaped, with a diameter that can reach up to 40 cm and weigh up to 10 kilograms. The color is milky white or slightly bluish with a violet border surrounding the lower margin of the umbrela. This species presents eight oral arms, fused and unbranched of the same color as the umbrela and lacks marginal tentacles. Sometimes, other organisms such as juvenile fish and small crabs use this species as a refuge.

Frequency

Small jellyfish are released in spring and keep on growing until they reach the adult phase.The larger adults are more evident on our shores in summer and fall.

Distribution and Habitat

Its distribution includes the North and South Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea, the Black Sea, and the Red Sea. It is usually observed on or near the water surface.