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Last updated on April 16, 2014 at 17:13 EDT

Phyllorhiza punctata

The Phyllorhiza punctata is a specific species of jellyfish that is an inhabitant of the southwestern Pacific. It has been found on Sunset Beach in North Carolina and Bogue Sound which is further north along the North Carolina Coast. It has also been found in the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico and spotted in Hawaii but not confirmed.

The Phyllorhiza punctata has numerous names such as the Australian spotted jellyfish or the White-spotted jellyfish.

The P. punctata feeds mainly on different snail species. These jellyfish have the ability to consume plankton, eggs, and larvae of crucial fish species which lead to concerns. Because each of these jellyfish filter as much as 13,200 gallons of sea water a day they also ingest the plankton that many species need. They have also become a threat to species of shrimp in the Gulf of Mexico.

The average P. punctata is 9.8 to 19.7 inches in bell diameter; the maximum reported size was found on Sunset Beach, NC in October, 2007 measuring in at 28.3 inches. This jellyfish is not a hazard to humans due to its mild or unnoticeable sting which can often be cured with vinegar. As a last resort salt water may be used.

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Phyllorhiza punctata