As the tourist season approaches in Dalmatia, the compass jellyfish makes an appearance.
As Morski writes on the 14th of May, 2019, potentially harmful compass jellyfish (Chrysaora hysoscella) have made an appearance in the sea near Betina, experts warn that if one sees this jellyfish they should give it a very wide berth and make no attempt whatsoever to go near it or touch it as a sting from this animal is very painful.
Chrysaora hysoscella, known as the compass jellyfish, is a species that typically lives in the coastal waters of the Atlantic ocean and the Mediterranean sea, often appearing along the coast of the United Kingdom, especially in the North sea, Ireland, and as far south as Turkey. It is characterised by a yellow-brown ”cap” that resembles a compass and it can grow to up to thirty centimetres in diameter, with tentacles reaching up to one metre long. The compass jellyfish has 24 tentacles that are divided into three groups of eight, as was described by the Centre for Invasive Species, which reported that the same had jellyfish appeared near Poreč in Istria last summer.
Although during spring compass jellyfish may occur in slightly larger numbers, a small number of individuals reach sexual maturity and continue to survive until the summer. This type of compass jellyfish belongs to a group of jellyfish which possess their cnidocite on their tentacles and thus, if one comes into contact with it, it can cause painful burns and marks on the skin.
Compass jellyfish tend to appear in cycles but not each and every year, and their lifespan is one year. They feed on zooplankton, and the natural enemies are sea turtles and the Ocean sunfish (Mola Mola) – a large fish that feeds on them.
The aforementioned centre advises that if you do come across and come into accidental contact with a compass jellyfish while swimming, then you need to cool the burned area with aloe vera or a similar gel which soothes burns.
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