Other Free Encyclopedias » Animal Life Resource » Jellyfish, Sponges, and Other Simple Animals » Box Jellies: Cubozoa - Behavior And Reproduction, Sea Wasp (chironex Fleckeri): Species Account - PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS, GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, BOX JELLIES AND PEOPLE, CONSERVATION STATUS

Box Jellies: Cubozoa - Sea Wasp (chironex Fleckeri): Species Account

wasps coast reach transparent

Physical characteristics: Sea wasps reach a diameter of about 12 inches (30 centimeters) but because they are transparent, they are difficult to see despite their large size. There are as many as fifteen tentacles in each corner of a sea wasp, and the tentacles can be as long as 98 feet (30 meters).


Geographic range: Sea wasps live in waters on the northern shore of Australia, on the coast of Papua New Guinea, around the Philippines, and on the coast of Vietnam.


Habitat: Sea wasps live in shallow seawater near the coast.


Diet: Sea wasps eat fish and shrimp.

Sea wasps reach a diameter of about 12 inches (30 centimeters) but because they are transparent, they are difficult to see despite their large size. (Illustration by John Megahan. Reproduced by permission.)

Behavior and reproduction: Sea wasps swim around pier pilings. Polyps have been found in mangrove swamps and river outlets, but scientists do not know how the larvae (LAR-vee, the plural of larva) find their way to these locations. Polyps start to transform into medusae in the spring and continue until the rainy season, when they are flushed out into the ocean.


Sea wasps and people: The venom of sea wasps causes nerve, heart, and skin damage. Death occurs very quickly. Antivenin is available but must be administered rapidly. Vinegar can be used to remove undischarged stingers.


Conservation status: Sea wasps are not threatened or endangered. ∎


FOR MORE INFORMATION

Books:

Aaseng, Nathan. Invertebrates. New York: Venture, 1993.


Periodicals:

Seymour, Jamie. "One Touch of Venom: A Box Jellyfish Is a Killer." Natural History (September 2002): 72–75.


Web sites:

"Sea Wasp." Extreme Science. http://www.extremescience.com/DeadliestCreature.htm (accessed on January 28, 2005).

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