- It is found in both tropical and sub-tropical waters.
- Other countries call them Portuguese-men-of-war.
- Its body is a large blue-green, gas filled float, approximately 30 cms in diameter.
- Blue tentacles approximately 10 m in length, trail from the body.
- They are not single creatures, but consists of colonies of individual animals, each with its own function, be it catching prey or digesting food.
- The tentacles contain stinging capsules, which they use to stun small sea animals.
- Firstly, the prey is paralysed by the sting in the tentacles and secondly, the tentacles contract to bring the prey to the bluebottles body for consumption.
- Their sting, whilst painful to humans is not fatal.
- Immediate and severe pain
- Red line is visible on the skin, where stung by the tentacle
- Red line can have a raised, beaded appearance
- Area is swollen and itchy.
- Blisters may occur in severe circumstances, which may cause scarring.
- People with low tolerance may also suffer, stomach cramps, nausea and vomiting.
- Remove any remaining tentacles by washing area in sea water to dislodge them - (wear gloves to avoid being stung).
- To relieve pain - immerse area where stung in hot water (45 degrees Celsius), for minimum 20 minutes, or alternatively use hot shower for same period of time on effected area.
- If pain continues, or if there is blistering or itchiness at sting location, visit your local GP for a topical treatment to assist in reducing the inflammatory reaction.
- In the absolute extreme, that the sting triggers an anaphylactic reaction, which can be life threatening, call 000 for immediate medical help.
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