Purple Jellyfish (Pelagia noctiluca)

Purple Jellyfish. Pelagia noctiluca. aka Mauve Stinger.

The Purple jellyfish is a small, beautifully colored stinging jellyfish. It is also known as the Mauve stinger. The taxonomic name is Pelagia noctiluca, indicating that it is a pelagic jelly (lives in the open ocean,"pelagia") and which can give off a bioluminescent glow ("luca") in the dark ("nocti"). They feed on macrozooplankton.

Though these jellies are quite small, measuring just a few inches across the bell, they give a painfull sting, though it usually feels better after an hour or so, even without treatment. Your mileage may vary. I've been stung by them and it is uncomfortable.

purple jellyfish on Cocoa Beach, Florida.

The Purple jellyfish has a beautiful pattern of dots and markings.

Mauve Stinger jellyfish on a Florida beach.

Purple Jelly on Cocoa Beach, Florida.

Pelagia noctiluca jellyfish.

Several Purple Jellies suspended in the water showing their delicate stinging tentacles.

Purple jellyfish mass stranding on Cocoa Beach, Florida.

A mass stranding of Purlple Jellyfish on Cocoa Beach, Florida.

Dried Purple jellyfish on the beach.

The sun quickly dessicates jellyfish on the beach. This former jellyfish looks like a colorful art print on the sand. Even in this dried-up state it could still possibly sting you if you stepped on it with a tender bare foot.

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Copyright: David McRee, BeachHunter.net