New ‘unusual’ spotted jellyfish arrive at SEA LIFE in Hunstanton after long journey from Australia to Norfolk
- Credit: Supplied/SEA LIFE
White spotted jellyfish all the way from Australia are the latest creatures to arrive at the SEA LIFE centre in Hunstanton.
Neither fish nor jelly, the Phyllorhiza punctatas are extremely fragile and are unique as their nutrition comes primarily from zooplankton.
These creatures don't have brains, blood, bones or eyes. Jellyfish also use their mouths both for eating and for waste excretion.
"Their sting is not strong or harmful to humans, but is effective enough to catch their prey," said Cody Townsend, aquarist at SEA LIFE Hunstanton.
"These simple invertebrates are a lot more complex than you might realize and are unusual creatures."
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This particular species of jellyfish needs constant feeding to help grow and be healthy and are typically found around North Australia and South-east Asia.
The Australian white spot jellyfish is now classified as an invasive species, which means they are taking over an area where they don't naturally reside - this includes the eastern Mediterranean, Caribbean, and the Gulf of Mexico.
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White spot jellyfish prefer warmer temperate seas and tend to congregate near the coastlines.
Cody added: "In order to keep jellyfish thriving, a specially designed tank called a kreisel is required.
"The water needs to be pumped around the tank in a circular motion similar to a washing-machine
"Jellyfish need to be kept suspended in the water column and it is very important that they do not damage themselves by hitting the sides or corners of a tank.
The tank needs to be provided with strong lighting to help produce the photosynthesis energy for the jellyfish to thrive.
John Elliot, displays supervisor, said: "As a species to keep in an aquarium, you need to be an experienced aquarist to be able to notice the slight changes.
"Water quality, body condition, the correct flow rate of the tank, lighting changes and adjusting their diets."
What to do if you get stung by a jellyfish?
There are many suggestions to treat jellyfish stings ranging from applying vinegar to urinating on the affected area.
The best option according to the NHS is to rinse off any remaining stinging cells with salt water before immersing in warm water.