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(Although not as common DO occur on tropical islands and the Great Barrier Reef, as well as beaches)

A tiny transparent jellyfish 1-2 cm across with four thin tentacles (some newly described species may be larger), this jellyfish is almost totally invisible in water. A sting from this jellyfish causes an initial minor stinging sensation to the skin followed 20 to 40 minutes later by severe generalised muscular pain, headache, vomiting and sweating. This is caused due to the toxins causing damage to muscles and making the autonomic nervous system work overtime resulting in varying levels of peripheral shutdown. The sting can cause very high blood pressure that may be life threatening.


Signs and symptoms

- Redness
- Muscular pain and weakness
- Vomiting
- Headache
- Sweating
- Vomiting


1. Leave the water immediately
2. Pour vinegar onto affected area
3. Seek medical attention immediately

NB: Intravenous fluids may be required to maintain hydration of the patient, anti emetics may be administered to control vomiting, analgesia for pain relief is common, supportive measures are usually initiated.


Aw, M. (2000). Tropical reef life: A getting to know you and indentification guide. OceanNEnvironment Ltd: Australia.
EMedicine online: www.emedicine.com
Sea Slug Forum:
Photo's by Bill Rudman; ThinkQuest Library


The information provided above is for general purpose use and provided as guidance that is suggestive, not prescriptive, invasive, or medical in nature. You should always consult with or see a medical practitioner for definitive health care information or to receive medical treatment.