A 20-cm-diameter individual of the Compass jellyfish – Chrysaora hyocella – was yesterday found by bathers at Ramla l-Hamra in Gozo.
Alan Deidun of the Spot the Jellyfish campaign said the species is closely related to the much more common mauve stinger – Pelagia noctiluca.
The compass jellyfish is a stinging species which is common in the Atlantic and in the western half of the Mediterranean, being known from Spanish, French and Italian waters, but not from Maltese waters to date. Its stings should be treated by applying ice packs wrapped in a towel or cloth (not directly on the skin) or by applying a baking soda slurry. Stings should never be rubbed and should always be washed with seawater (never with freshwater).
Dr Deidun said that in synchrony with the opening of the dolphin fish (lampuki) fishing season, the first young 'fried egg' jellyfish (Cotylorhiza tuberculata) were observed by divers in Gozo yesterday. This jellyfish species, which is innocuous, is in fact known in Maltese as ‘qassata’ or ‘tal-lampuki’ since it occurs during such a fishing season.
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