Pelagia noctiluca

Pelagia noctiluca
Sounine area is characterized by a beautiful beach called Ain Mestir, which is a sandy beach with a rocky area on the east side. Note the presence of parking.

Stinging

Description

It is a high stinging species with important effects on humans. It is recommended to avoid all contact with this jellyfish.

The sting produced by Pelagia noctiluca generally produces immediate pain with urticaria and edema. It may also appear and remain burning sensation, vesicles, papules and scabs. Pruritus is typical. The sequelae can be scars or keloids. Most of the jellyfish stings recorded during the bathing season in Catalonia are attributed to this species.

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

Usually has a bright pink and mauve colour in its adult phase, and brown in its juvenile phase. The umbrela is semi-spherical and can measure up to 20 cm in diameter. The surface of the umbrela is covered with warts with a different pigmentation. It presents four oral arms, long and thick, of the same coloration that the umbrela. From the outer edge of the umbrela eight long marginal tentacles are born which, extended, can reach up to 2 meters in length. Pelagia noctiluca, like other jellyfish, has bioluminescent properties that allow us to detect this species at night. It is an oceanic species and presents a completely pelagic life cycle, i.e. without polyp phase (benthic stage).

Frequency

It is considered one of the most abundant and important species along the Catalan coast. Due to the absence of polyp phase, it is a common species throughout the year in the open sea. Their presence in coastal waters depends on the environmental and climatological conditions that determine the arrival of this species in the bathing waters.

Distribution and Habitat

Widely distributed in all warm and temperate waters of the world's oceans. It is typically an open sea species and can form extesnive swarms, and depending on the environmental conditions it can reach the coast. In the open sea they are usually observed during the night as they rise to the surface to feed, while during the day they go down to the depths.