Australian Blue Bottle Jellyfish (Portuguese Man of War)
The blue bottle feeds on small fish and other small ocean creatures. They envelope their prey with their tentacles, where a poison is released thus paralysing its prey before being consumed. The tentacles adhere extremely well to their prey. If a tentacle is put under the microscope you will see that it looks like a long string of barbed hooks, which explains the ability of the tentacle to attach.
If a tentacle attaches itself to a human, it releases a poison (through the use of nematocysts), and if you continue to rub the skin after the tentacle has been removed more poison or venom will be released. If you are stung, it is best to wash the area without touching. A cold pack should be used to relieve the pain. If stung, please consult a doctor immediately. No fatalities have ever been reported within Australia or New Zealand from the sting of a blue bottle.
The blue bottles colour can range from a blue to a pink hue, with a transluscent body. The float or body of the blue bottle measures between 3 to 15 cms. The tentacles can range in length from 15 cms up to 10 metres!.
Did you know? The blue bottles tentacles can range up to 10 metres in length!