Mediterranean jellyfish

Mediterranean jellyfish

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The colonies ofjellyfish in the Mediterranean are on the rise. The reasons are closely related to pollution and human activities. If you are wondering what the species arejellyfish in Italyand which are most common inAdriaticor in the Ionian, in this article you will find all the answers you are looking for.

Mediterranean jellyfish: what are the species of jellyfish in the seas of Italy (Tyrrhenian, Adriatic and Ionian), why they are on the rise and what to do in case of a sting.

Mediterranean jellyfish

In recent decades, the number ofjellyfish in the MediterraneanIs increasing. The reason? Experts believe that the increase in jellyfish colonies is linked to the overheating of the waters, and therefore to climate change. In fact, jellyfish reproduce more easily with higher water temperatures. Other factors that create the ideal conditions for the proliferation of these animals are human activities such as pollution, erosion, soil consumption and some types of fishing.

These activities, even if they are apparently not connected with the life of jellyfish, go to upset entire marine ecosystems. For example, in the case of fishing for dates of the sea, percebes, sea lemons ... the seabed is destroyed. The depths, devoid of other benthic fauna, becomefreeand available to jellyfish that can thrive in their sessile form (polyp).

Who seeksdeadly jellyfish in Italy, he must know that he will find very little. Only for some time, in fact, the Mediterranean Sea that bathes the Italian coasts has been populated by more dangerous species.

The list of jellyfish species of the Mediterranean Sea

The species of jellyfish more abundant in the Mediterranean are

  • Pelagia noctiluca, commonly known as the luminous jellyfish
  • Rhizostoma pulmo, known as the sea lung
  • Cotylorhiza tubercolata, the tuberculate jellyfish
  • Valella valella, known as St. Peter's boat

In recent times it happens to also see non-native jellyfish such as the species Physalia physalis, orPortuguese caravel. The Portuguese caravel is not onejellyfishproperly called but a siphonophore, that is, a colony of organisms that live in symbiosis with each other. It is among thepoisonous jellyfishmost feared in our seas.

The Portuguese caravel is considered among the most dangerous jellyfish in the Mediterranean and undoubtedly in our seas. It is, in fact, very poisonous. It releases toxins that cause severe pain in humans but only rarely causes cardiac arrest. As stated, there are nonedeadly jellyfish in Italy but the Portuguese Caravel - which has also arrived on our shores for some time - could, in some cases, be fatal.

Pink jellyfish

There luminous jellyfish (Pelagia noctiluca) prefers the waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea but is found almost everywhere in the Mediterranean. This jellyfish is shown in the photo above, due to its appearance it is often described aspink jellyfish.

Lung of the sea: among the most widespread Adriatic jellyfish

Despite its appearance, it is not very formidable: its "tentacles" are not very stinging for humans.

It is known as sea lung (Rhizostoma pulmo), it is found throughout the Mediterranean Sea but is more easily sighted in the Adriatic and Ionian Sea. Particularly widespread in late-summer and early-autumn periods. This jellyfish has a hemispherical opalescent but tending to transparent hat, with blue-purple fringed edges.

Mediterranean Cassiopeia

The tuberculate jellyfish (Cotylorhiza tubercolata) or Mediterranean Cassiopeia, reaches 30 cm in diameter. It is very showy and despite its large size, this species is not very stinging for humans.

St. Peter's boat or blue medusa

Velella velella is a small hydrozoan that is often found beached after storms. Due to its appearance it is nicknamed the "St. Peter's boat”, In fact, has a triangular crest that recalls the sail of a small boat. Thanks to its "sail", this jellyfish is able to move on the surface of the water by the thrust of the wind. Again, let's not talk aboutdangerous jellyfish. Of course, close contact is not pleasant but the toxins produced by the animal cannot penetrate the skin. Due to the color of its "tentacles" it is often known asblue jellyfish.

Cubomedusa: another very common species in the Adriatic

Carybdea marsupialis is the only one cubomedusa present in the Mediterranean Sea. Until recently, its presence had not been registered in the waters of Italy. In the last decade, however, we have seen an increase in the frequency of blooms of the cubomedusa Carybdea marsupialis, along the Spanish and Adriatic Mediterranean coasts.

Always for those looking for the list of species ofdeadly jellyfish in Italy, the cubomedusa Carybdea marsupialis could cause some concern. Is it a dangerous jellyfish? Relatively. The poison of this species can cause serious burns on humans and sometimes even endanger their life. The reason is not strictly related to the poison but to anyallergic reactionstriggered by certain particles present in the protein set that makes up the animal's poison.

Jellyfish sting: what to do

In the event of a jellyfish sting, you can take advantage of the advice seen in the dedicated article: jellyfish sting

Video: Swimming with Mediterranean jellyfish (July 2022).


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