Latest News from Andalusia

01-07-2012
Murcia - Andalusia

Very rare examples of jelly fish are appearing

50 sightings of Rhizostoma luteum in the last few days


andaluz.tv News
Since the 18th of June, the Spanish Jellyfish Alert Institute (IEO) has registered more than 50 sightings of Rhizostoma luteum, a species very little known that was discovered in 1827, and written about less than six times in scientific literature.

The first sighting took place off the coast of Murcia, thanks to a collaborator of the Jellyfish Alert Institute, who took photographs, from which later investigators were able to identify the example as being Rhizostoma luteum.

This type of jellyfish has only been seen on very rare occasions, however during the last week it has appeared more frequently & now there have been 50 sightings all of which have been photographed. The Rhizostoma luteum is appearing mostly off the coast of Murcia, but there have also been sightings from the beaches of Almería, Granada & Malaga.

The Rhizostoma luteum is such a rare species, that despite being discovered for the first time in 1827, figures in less than six scientific reports & until now there has hardly been a photo or drawing of the specimen. Some scientists were even doubted that the species still existed.

Now investigators from the IEO base in Murcia are trying to capture one for in-depth study. “These jellyfish can weigh up to 40 kilograms & have a diameter of 60cms, so they are very difficult to capture without being damaged”, explained Ignacio Franco, the investigator heading the study.

The jellyfish Rhizostoma is not normally dangerous & as Franco pointed out, it has to be seen if it’s sting causes any bad irritation. “We have already been in contact with one & we have not been stung”, he said. However, as very little is known about this species, it’s best to take

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