Skip Navigation

Go
Species Search:
FieldGuidesthreatened and/or endangered search resultsthreatened and/or endangered

previous  | next

Sea Nettle Chrysaora quinquecirrha

 

enlarge +

Sea Nettle
credit: Dennis Mojado/CCSA

All Images

 

Get Our Newsletters

 

Advanced Search

Category: Jellies, Anemones and kin view all from this category



Description Chrysaora quinquecirrha (known as the Atlantic sea nettle or East Coast sea nettle) is a species of jellyfish that inhabits Atlantic estuaries, such as the Chesapeake Bay. It is smaller than the Pacific sea nettle, and has more variable coloration, but is typically pale, pinkish or yellowish, often with radiating more deeply-colored stripes on the exumbrella, especially near the margin.

The sea nettle is radially symmetrical, marine, and carnivorous. Its mouth is located at the center of one end of the body, which opens to a gastrovascular cavity that is used for digestion. It has tentacles that surround the mouth to capture food. Nettles have no excretory or respiratory organs. Each sea nettle is either in a free-swimming stage or a polyp stage. The free-swimming stage, or medusa stage reproduces sexually, and the polyp stage reproduces asexually.

The Atlantic sea nettle is a bell-shaped invertebrate, usually semi-transparent and with small, white dots and reddish-brown stripes. Sea nettles without stripes have a bell that appears white or opaque. The nettle's sting is rated from "moderate" to "severe" and can be pernicious to smaller prey; it is not, however, potent enough to cause human death, except by allergic reaction. While the sting is not particularly harmful, it can cause moderate discomfort to any individual stung. The sting can be effectively neutralized by misting vinegar over the affected area. This keeps unfired nematocysts from firing and adding to the discomfort.


Warning Mildly toxic. Contact with a Sea Nettle usually results in a mild itchy irritation, but a person stung severely may require hospitalization.


Habitat Open ocean.


Range Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, Florida, Texas, New England.


 

 

 

2007 eNature.com