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Old 05-18-2010, 01:14 AM
Location: The 12th State
22,974 posts, read 56,294,637 times
Reputation: 14855


Ok I just learn after reading this article we have harmless Jellyfish.
The following information was provided by the South Carolina goverment
I couldnt find North Carolina at this time.
There is little difference since we share same water in close proxmity.


Few marine creatures are as mysterious and intimidating as jellyfish. Though easily recognized, these animals are often misunderstood. Some bathers and beachcombers react with fear upon encountering these invertebrates, but, in fact, most jellyfish in South Carolina waters are harmless. This article was prepared to help coastal residents and vacationers learn the difference between the jellyfish to avoid and the ones you can safely ignore.

Cannonball Jelly
(Stomolophus meleagris)
(Also known as the jellyball, and the cabbage head jelly)
Cannonball jellyfish are the most common in our area. During the summer and fall, large numbers of this species appear near the coast and in the mouths of estuaries. Cannonball jellies can be easily identified by their round white bells that are bordered below by a brown or purple band of pigment. They have no tentacles, but they do have a firm, chunky feeding apparatus formed by the joining of the oral arms. Cannonballs rarely grow larger than 8-10 inches in diameter. They are considered to be pests by commercial trawl fishermen because they clog and damage nets and slow down sorting and trawl times, although turtle excluder devices in trawl nets somewhat alleviate that problem. Fortunately, this species is one of the least venomous of our jellyfish.

Mushroom Jelly
(Rhopilema verrilli)
The mushroom jelly is often mistaken for the cannonball jelly, but it differs in many ways. The larger mushroom jelly, growing 10-20 inches in diameter, lacks the brown band associated with the cannonball and is much flatter and softer. Like the cannonball, the mushroom jelly has no tentacles and chunky feeding apparatus; however, it possesses long fingerlike appendages hanging from the feeding apparatus. This species is also considered a pest by commercial fishermen, but they are much less of a problem than cannonball jellies. The mushroom jelly does not represent a hazard to humans.

Southern Moon Jelly
(Aurelia marginalis)
Probably the most widely recognized jellyfish, the moon jelly is relatively infrequent in South Carolina waters. It has a transparent, saucer-shaped bell and is easily identified by the four pink horseshoe-shaped gonads visible through the bell. It typically reaches 6-8 inches in diameter, but some are known to exceed 20 inches. Recent evidence suggests that there are several similar-looking species of moon jellies within a group of species that were once called the moon jelly, Aurelia aurita. The southern populations, including those in South Carolina, are now considered to be a distinct species (A. marginalis). The moon jelly is only slightly venomous. Contact can produce symptoms from immediate prickly sensations to mild burning. Pain is usually restricted to immediate area of contact.

Lion’s Mane
(Cyanea capillata)
Also know as the winter jelly, the lion’s mane typically appears during colder months of the year. The bell, measuring 6-8 inches, is saucer-shaped with reddish-brown oral arms and eight clusters of tentacles hanging underneath. Cyanea are generally considered moderate stingers. Symptoms are similar to those of the moon jelly but, usually more intense. Pain is relatively mild and often described as burning rather than stinging.

Sea Nettle
(Chrysaora quinquecirrha)
The sea nettle is frequently observed in South Carolina waters during summer months. This jellyfish is saucer-shaped with brown or red pigments, usually 6-8 inches in diameter. Four oral arms and long marginal tentacles hang from the bell and can extend several feet. Considered moderate to severe, symptoms from sea nettle stings are similar to those of the lion’s mane. Given that they are most abundant in the summer, when the greatest number of people are likely to be swimming in the ocean, this species is thought to be responsible for most of the jellyfish stings that occur in South Carolina. Exercise caution if sea nettles are observed in the water, and do not swim if large numbers are present.

Sea Wasp
(Chiropsalmus quadrumanus)
Known as the box jelly because of its cube-shaped bell, the sea wasp is the most venomous jellyfish inhabiting our waters. Their potent sting can cause severe dermatitis and may even require hospitalization. Sea wasps are strong, graceful swimmers reaching 5-6 inches in diameter and 4-6 inches in height. Several long tentacles hang from the four corners of the cube. A similar species, the four-tentacled Tamoya haplonema, also occurs in our waters.

Portuguese Man-of-War
(Physalia physalis)
Although a member of the phylum Cnidaria, the Portuguese man-of-war is not a "true" jellyfish. These animals consist of a complex colony of individual members, including a float, modified feeding polyps and reproductive medusae.

Physalia typically inhabit the warm waters of the tropics, subtropics and Gulf Stream. Propelled by wind and ocean currents, they sometimes drift into nearshore waters of South Carolina. Though they infrequently visit our coast, swimmers should learn to identify these highly venomous creatures.
The gas-filled float of the man-of-war is purple-blue and can reach lengths of 10 inches. Under the float, tentacles equipped with thousands of nematocysts hang from the feeding polyps extending as much as 30 to 60 feet.
The man-of-war can inflict extremely painful stings. Symptoms include severe shooting pain described as a shock-like sensation, and intense joint and muscle pain. Pain may be accompanied by headaches, shock, collapse, faintness, hysteria, chills, fever, nausea and vomiting.

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Old 05-18-2010, 01:16 AM
Location: The 12th State
22,974 posts, read 56,294,637 times
Reputation: 14855
Treatment of Sting

Primary first aid for any jellyfish sting should be to minimize the number of nematocysts discharging into the skin and to reduce the harmful effects of the venom.
If stung by a jellyfish, the victim should carefully remove the tentacles that adhere to the skin by using sand, clothing, towels, seaweed or other available materials. As long as tentacles remain on the skin, they will continue to discharge venom.
A variety of substances have been used to reduce the effects of jellyfish stings. Meat tenderizer, sugar, vinegar, plant juices and sodium bicarbonate have all been used with varying degrees of success. Methylated spirits and other forms of alcohol formerly recommended for inhibiting stinging cells actually stimulate them and may increase pain and cause severe skin reactions. Picric acid and human urine also cause a discharge of nematocysts and should not be used.
Victims of serious stings should make every effort to get out of the water as soon as possible to avoid drowning. If swelling and pain from more serious stings persist, prompt medical attention should be sought. Recovery periods can vary from several minutes to several weeks.

Care should be taken when swimming in areas where dangerous jellies are known to exist or when an abundance of jellies of any type is present. Keep in mind that tentacles of some species may trail a great distance from the body of the organism and should be given lots of room. Stings, resulting from remnants of damaged tentacles, can occur in waters after heavy storms. Rubber skin-diving suits offer protection against most contact.
Be careful when investigating jellyfish that have washed ashore. Although they may be dead, they may still be capable of inflicting stings. Remember to take precautions when removing tentacles after contact or additional stings may result.

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Old 05-18-2010, 08:24 AM
Location: Southeastern North Carolina
1,497 posts, read 3,004,512 times
Reputation: 2517
I was stung by a jellyfish in 2008. I felt some sort of tentacle wrap around my leg briefly, leaving me with a burning sting. I had been hearing about using apple cider vinegar as treatment, and I had some with me at the beach. I got right out of the water and sprayed the sting with vinegar, it didn't help at all.

I mentioned this later to a doctor (while he was removing a fishhook from my big toe). He said you should scrap the barbs out with a credit card, and rinse the sting with hot water (which you don't really have access to at the beach).

I don't know what type of jellyfish stung me because I never saw it. I'm thinking that maybe it was a lion's mane, because the sting wasn't as bad as what you'd expect from a man o' war or sea wasp.
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Old 05-29-2013, 10:07 AM
Location: The 12th State
22,974 posts, read 56,294,637 times
Reputation: 14855
I thought this is a good time revive and add to this thread and found a NC source for information.
Do not touch the jellyfish, they can sting even when dead!

Jelly Fish spotting map. Click on the spotting and it will tell you what kind it is.
Jellyfish Spotting Map | Jelly Stalkers | Appalachian State University
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