Narooma High School student Georgia Poyner, a keen diver and naturalist, has filed this report about her recent night dives in Wagonga Inlet, Narooma:
Recently Dad and I have been out snorkelling at night.
We have been photographing tropical fish species that are surviving over winter, for a citizen science program called Redmap.
On our most recent snorkel on Tuesday night, we found swarms of jellyfish inhabiting Wagonga Inlet, with water temperatures of 13’C.
The Southern Jimble (Carybdea rastoni) is a member of the box jellyfish family.
Although they pack a nasty sting with their nematocyst, which are venomous stinging cells that they use to catch their prey, they are not deadly to humans - unlike tropical box jellies.
This large bloom of jellies also seems to have appeared at the same time as large numbers of zooplankton and juvenile fish, which is what the jellies feed on.
If you plan on entering the water, you should be aware that there are large numbers of the jellies about.
The jellies grow to about 20cm; have four tentacles, which run off each corner of the bell; and the bell itself is square or “box” shaped.
If stung, wash area with vinegar and apply with a cold pack to relieve pain. Seek medical attention if necessary.
By Georgia Poyner
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