Portuguese Man-of-War (Physalia physalis)
Although a member of the phylum Cnidaria, the Portuguese man-of-war is not a “true” jellyfish. These animals consist of a complex colony of individual members, including a float, modified feeding polyps and reproductive medusae. Physalia typically inhabit the warm waters of the tropics, sub-tropics and Gulf Stream. Propelled by wind and ocean currents, they sometimes drift into nearshore waters of South Carolina. Though they infrequently visit our coast, swimmers should learn to identify these highly venomous creatures. The gas-filled float of the man-of-war is purple-blue and can reach lengths of 12 inches. Under thefloat, tentacles equipped with thousands of nematocysts hang from the feeding polyps extending up to 65 feet.
The man-of-war can inflict extremely painful stings. Symptoms include severe shooting pain described as a shocklike sensation, and intense joint and muscle pain. Pain may be accompanied by headaches, shock, collapse, faintness, hysteria, chills, fever, nausea and vomiting. Initial contact with Physalia may result in only a small number of stings. However, efforts to escape from the tentacles may further discharge nematocysts and intensify stings. Care should be taken when removing the adhering tentacles. Severe stings can occur even when the animal is beached or dead.
Ashli Jewelers presents this diamond and blue sapphire brooch inspired by nature’s Portuguese man-of-war and designed specifically for a treasured someone special to comfort after being stung! The brooch features Baguette sapphires, carat total weight 16.88; cabochon moonstones, carat total weight 31.07; 2.93 carats of VVS, E- G round brilliant diamonds set in 18k white and yellow gold. Receive a free gift, Swarovski Crystals Handbag valued at $800USD with any purchase.
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