Sea Nettle Jellyfish (Chrysaora quinquecirrha)

Sea Nettles are the typical-looking jellyfish--a rounded bell with long flowing tentacles. A visible characteristic of this jelly is orange-brown stripes radiating from the center of the bell toward the edges. The ones you see in the Gulf of Mexico tend to have noticeably more colorful stripes than the ones you see in the bays and canals. Note how the ones pictured below are very light in color. They to have a sharp sting, but most reports indicate that the pain subsides after an hour or so.

The above photo is a sea nettle swimming in a canal in Cape Coral, Florida. The dark water gives it a ghostly appearance. Note that the radiating stripes are very faint because this is a bay specimen.

Sea Nettle jellyfish with radiating stripes.

The above photo of a Sea Nettle was taken on the Gulf beach in Biloxi Mississippi. Note the prominent and colorful radiating stripes characteristic of the Gulf of Mexico specimens.

Jellyfish with companion fish.

I took the above photo from the Lady Chadwick tour boat in Pine Island Sound next to the docks on Useppa Island. The little companion fish hiding next to the jellyfish caught my eye.

Sea nettle jellyfish on the beach.

Sea Nettle on Sanibel's Lighthouse Beach, next to the fishing pier.

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stinging jellyfish swimming in the Gulf of Mexico

The above photo of a sea nettle jellyfish was contributed by Tami Swain. It was about 200 yards off Caladesi Island in the Gulf. She was stung by it, or another like it. This one has long stinging tentacles trailing several feet behind it. Tami says the tentacles wrapped around her ankle when she was swimming.

Tami writes: " I can only describe it as having an electrical wire wrapped around your skin with someone hitting the “on” switch.  It lasted for about half an hour and finally faded.  Now I only have some small little redmarks to show for it."

Sea nettle jellyfish in Pine Island Sound, Florida.

Ghostly Sea Nettle in Pine Island Sound, Florida, near North Captiva.

Copyright: David McRee,