Physalia physalis (Linnaeus, 1758)

Physalia physalis
Physalia physalis
Photographer: 
Ian Shaw
Date: 
Thursday, 26 July 2012
Location: 
Red Rock Estuary
Depth: 
0m
Physalia physalis
Physalia physalis
Photographer: 
Ian Shaw
Date: 
Thursday, 26 July 2012
Location: 
Red Rock Estuary
Depth: 
0m
Physalia physalis
Physalia physalis
Photographer: 
Ian Shaw
Date: 
Wednesday, 3 September 2014
Location: 
Red Rock
Depth: 
0m
Additional Notes: 

Drifts of dried bluebottles beached after strong south easterly winds.

Common name: Blue Bottle
Distribution:

Common in the Solitary Islands Marine Park. Found throughout the Indian and Pacific oceans.

Ecological Notes:

Drifts on the ocean surface trailing a long tentacle which it uses to catch plankton, small fish and crustaceans.

Additional Notes:

Physalia physalis is not a single animal but consists of colonies of four specialized polyps and medusoids (tentacled heads) that drift on the surface of the oceans. Bouyancy is provided by the blue coloured gas-filled bladder, and a long tentacle containing venomous nematocysts measuring up to 3m trails underneath. With strong on shore winds, thousands of individuals sometimes become stranded on beaches, where their toxic nematocysts can remain potent even dried in the wind and sun. May cause intense pain to swimmers but not known to cause fatalities. Predators are known to include Loggerhead and Leatherback turtles and the Common Violet Snail, Janthina janthina. The float may reach 150mm but 75 to 100mm in length is more common.