Unknown Box Jellyfish Species?

A friend of mine in the U.S. is a professional amateur jellyfishologist (as best I can describe him), and for some years he has been trying to track down a particularly rare type of box jellyfish which he believes has not yet actually been properly IDed and classified. And I’ve been trying to help him here on Bonaire. It started with a promotional video someone here on Bonaire shot some years ago, that just happened to have a scene where the videographer was swimming with the particular box (cubazoid) jellyfish my friend Bud was looking for.

That was several years ago. Since then, there have been a few rare sightings of this critter – identified by four long tentacles which are brown/white banded – similar to a sea wasp, but a lot more toxic. But in recent weeks there have been several reports of people seeing this box jelly.

And on Sunday, a teen aged girl a few minute walk from my house was unfortunate enough to have found out how dangerous the sting could be. She’s apparently doing well now, but did end up going to the hospital. Through a combination of efforts described on a thread on the BonaireTalk web site, I ended up with the jellyfish in question, and in the image above you can see my wife Linda holding the still live jellyfish down with her finger in a rubber glove so I could take a picture to send to Bud for him to forward to the various scientists he works with.

More pictures can be found here, along with information on how the pictures were taken.

The next step will be to get the jellyfish – which I now have preserved in formalin – a watered down version of formaldehyde (that nasty smelling carcinogenic liquid you may recall from biology class, as it was what the frogs we had to dissect were stored in) – to the U.S. for DNA analysis.

 

One Response to “Unknown Box Jellyfish Species?”

  1. Alastair says:

    Hey there, this looks exactly like the box jelly fish I have seen here in Japan just today.
    Here it is called “andon kurage” in Japanese but the Latin name is “Charybdea rastonii”

    Hope this helps to identify the critter.