Commonly known as the Mauve Stinger, or Pelagia noctiluca, this exquisite animal is found around the globe in temperate waters. In Latin, Pelagia means “of the sea”, nocti stands for night and luca means light thus Pelagia noctiluca can be described as a marine organism with the ability to glow in the dark.
Mauve stingers can move vertically, but are unable to propel themselves horizontally and so are carried by currents. They move up and down in response to migrations of their prey, zooplankton.
They are most venomous in the Mediterranean, but their sting is usually limited to the skin surface with local pain only. In an unprecedented event on November 21, 2007, an enormous 10-square-mile swarm of billions of these jellyfish wiped out a 100,000 fish salmon farm in Northern Ireland.
Photo by Roland Bach
Mare Nostrum Photography