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Blue Bottle Stinger

Blue Bottle Stinger
Photo Information
Copyright: Janice Dunn (Janice) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2005-08-16
Categories: Fish
Camera: Canon EOS 300D, Tamron 28-300 XR
Exposure: f/9.0, 1/250 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Travelogue: Fun in the Sun at Fiji
Date Submitted: 2005-08-30 3:40
Viewed: 43884
Points: 36
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Blue Bottle Jellyfish (Portuguese Man of War) (Physalia utriculus)

We were walking around one end of Mana Island in Fiji, where we were having a holiday. The sun was so hot and the beautiful white sand was so soft it was hard to walk on. One of the local Fijian lads called us over to him and he was carrying this blue bottle jellyfish on a large pile of sand. He knew how dangerous they are. He placed it carefully in the water to allow us to see it and for me to photograph it. It was very small, its body was about 4-5 centimetres in width, and its 2 tentacles were about 20cm and 30 cm long. You can only see one in the photo as they seem to have joined together.

We do know about these dangerous jellyfish, that they are able to sting even when lying dead on the beach! But I was surprised to see how small this one was. I expected a BIG jellyfish, not one this small. Apparently the blue bottles colour can range from a blue to a pink hue, with a translucent body. And the body of the blue bottle can measure between 3 to 15 cms. The tentacles can range in length from 15-10metres!

In Oz and NZ, this jellyfish is known as the Blue Bottle, due to its colour and shape when strewn on a beach. Elsewhere it is known as the "Portuguese Man oí War" as it is said to look like a Portuguese battleship with a sail.

The blue bottle is not a single organism, but made up of zooids. Each zooid has a specific role and together they function like an animal. A number of zooids will make up the stinging tentacles, others make up the feeding tentacles, etc.

Blue bottles feed on small fish and they envelope their prey with their tentacles, where a poison is released, paralysing its prey before being consumed. Nice one, eh? The tentacles stick extremely well to their prey. Under the microscope you will see that the tentacle looks like a long string of barbed hooks.

If a tentacle attaches itself to a human, it releases a poison through nematocysts, and if you continue to rub the skin after the tentacle has been removed more poison will be released. If stung, it is best to wash the area without touching and call a Dr immediately. No fatalities have ever been reported within Oz or NZ. Thatís nice to know. I am pleased we hadnít had a swim at that part of the beach Ė but we had swum about 100 metres further along the beach, 20 minutes earlier!


This is my 200th posting on TN in 10 months work! Funny really, because I didn't think I'd ever find enough nature shots around Murrays Bay to post. This was before I had my eyes opened to the beauty around me in the native bush and the coast, all within about 500 metres of my home. This was before I started shooting the NZ ferns and native plants, etc.
Thank you TrekNature members for all your help and encouragement and critiques.

red45, LordPotty, coasties, marhowie, thistle, dew77, gerhardt, bullybeef53, magiqa, touristdidi, sranjan, elizabeth has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To winterpalace: DangerousJanice 1 12-14 15:14
on the beachwinterpalace 1 12-14 08:18
To Alan_Kolnik: StingerJanice 1 07-14 18:55
To magiqa: Box JellyfishJanice 1 09-04 20:00
To luvsdogs3: Thank youJanice 1 08-31 05:04
To coasties: ThanksJanice 1 08-30 05:37
To red45: ThanksJanice 3 08-30 05:34
To zakiwi: NO, not OUR beach!!Janice 1 08-30 04:19
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Critiques [Translate]

Hey Janice,

For a moment I thought that you got that you shot that on OUR beach. I remember these things from South Africa, and remember standing on one as a small boy. Not fun --- so in short I'm glad that this was in Fiji. Nice shot. Your use of a small apperture really works well here.

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2005-08-30 4:02]
  • [+]

Excellent note Janice, supported by very nice and interesting picture. Jellyfish on sand looks very sad and poor, but I saw few documentaries about it on tv and when in water it looks superb - really like some kind of sail ship. Good sharpness, composition and intriguing blue colour. Great place [I pressume ;-)] and great post Janice, my friend!

Hi Janice


Another nice shot from Fiji. Very well composed. Good depth of colour in both the sand and the Blue Bottle. Well done. Thanks.

  • Great 
  • sAner Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1455 W: 74 N: 1426] (4750)
  • [2005-08-30 6:21]

Hello Janice,

First of all congrats on your 200th post! I hope many more will come. :) This is a nice post. Very well exposed and good colors. Composition is good too. Well done & TFS!


Hello Jancie, Well composed with good detail, exposure, DOF and color. Interesting shot - Interesting note.. Well done and congratulations on 200 posts!

Congratulations on 200th post Janice!

It seems that the Fiji's are full of blue - amazing blue sea and amazing blue creatures in it.
Photo is really nice and note, as always, very interesting.

  • Great 
  • dew77 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4432 W: 248 N: 4028] (13270)
  • [2005-08-30 7:39]

200th post! Congratulations Janice:)
Very nice shot with an interesting note.
I agree completely about opened eyes and thank you being a TN member! Keep shooting and presenting them with interesting notes...

Very interesting composition, Janice. I might consider rotating it so that the tail leads the eye to the top right or lower right though. Well done.

you have great D.O. F. and a fantastic and informative note.I also like the placement of the tail.jim

Congratulations, Jancie on the 200th post. This is an interesting creature... can't quite get the picture of someone walking with it in a pile of sand in my mind. I wouldn't be that brave. LOL You did a great job capturing the wet reflection on the jellyfish. Well done! :-)

Good shot Janice,
A very rushed morning, I like this capture.
Thanks for posting

I'll have to read your notes later

  • Great 
  • Toni Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 403 W: 2 N: 316] (2034)
  • [2005-08-31 17:01]

Hi Janice
Interesting shot of this jellyfish. Well composed with the curve of it's tentacle. Would maybe have left a little more room up top.
Regards Toni

Hi Jancie,
Fascinating creatures! Nice composition and colors on this one. Congratulations for your 200th post on TN. Thank you for your beautiful photos. We learn a lot about nature in your posts! Thanks for sharing it with us!

So this is how it looks like, the dangerous Box Jelly Fish, I have heard so much about!!
Good picture and very informative text, Janice!

  • Great 
  • livios Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2150 W: 319 N: 4263] (16942)
  • [2005-09-20 18:07]

Janice, I had missed this. How great I came to your 200th post. I agree with you: we just have to open our eyes. Nature is all around.

Above, an ususual shot to celebrate.


I came across this while looking through your marvellous portfolio again - in Durban, these things were a constant pest. We used to step on the "head", avoiding the tails. If you got stung, you would rub the area with an aloe leaf from the plants that grew along the shore there. Not the most photogenic sea creature to photograph, but you did a good job.

That is an amazing and weird creature. Isn't it a wonder how you suddenly see the world so much more when you become addicted to photography?

Hi Janice

When they are around in the Mediterranean every swimmer beats Olympic speed records :-)



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