Image from page 154 of “The Victorian naturalist” (1884)


Image from page 154 of

Identifier: victorian929319751976luca
Title: The Victorian naturalist
Year: 1884 (1880s)
Authors: Lucas, A. H. S. (Arthur Henry Shakespeare), 1853-1936 Barnard, F. G. A Field Naturalists’ Club of Victoria
Subjects: Natural history Natural history
Publisher: [Melbourne] Field Naturalists Club of Victoria
Contributing Library: Smithsonian Libraries
Digitizing Sponsor: Biodiversity Heritage Library

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l treat-ment is advised if the sting is serious. It is important to remember thatjellyfish washed up on the beach canstill sting, and even if they appearto be dead, the stinging cells are activefor a considerable time. It is best toavoid beached specimens and dis-courage children from handling them. A common jellyfish, the BrownBlubber, Catostylus, is often encoun-tered in shallow water (Diagram 1).This species has a brown to cream bellabout 30 cm across that may be tingedwith red, yellow or blue, with a lightcoloured cross on top and eight shortthick tentacles below. It can cause anasty sting, particularly during itsbreeding season — spring and earlysummer. A common relation of the jellyfishfound on ocean beaches is the Por-tuguese Man O War or Blue-bottle, Physalia (Diagram 2). Thisanimal floats on the surface of the seaby means of a gas-filled bag about5 cm in length and a delicate blue in *Assistant, Department of Invertebrates, NationalMuseum of Victoria. 142 Vict. Nat. Vol. 92

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colour. Beneath this float are foundthe feeding organs of the animal andthe long stinging tentacles which canstretch to many times the animalslength. These act as food gatheringorgans, catching and kiUing small fishby stinging them. The stinging cellsare therefore very powerful and cangive human beings painful and seriouswounds. The Man O War is oftenwashed onto our coasts in great num-bers and is a hazard to swimmers.Many appear on the beaches and canstill be dangerous even when theanimal appears dehydrated and harm-less. There are many jellyfish foundaround Victoria, so it is wise to as-sume that they all sting and it is bestto leave them all alone. Of all the shells found along thecoast, few are considered poisonous,and most species in this group aredangerous only if eaten. However, onegroup of shells with a bad reputationis the Cone Shells (Diagram 3). Sometropical cones have caused fatalitiesand although Victorian species are notas dangerous, care should be takenwith them. Cones

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