[Coral-List] Sea wasps in Bahamian waters

Charles Booth booth at easternct.edu
Wed Jul 18 12:30:08 EDT 2007

RE: Megan Berkle¹s questions about sea wasps around San Salvador, Bahamas:

I am certainly no expert on this, but we have frequently encountered them
(Carybdea sp) in the waters around San Salvador in May (I don¹t remember
them as being there in the winter or early spring). According to Fred Diehl
(Field Guide to the Invertebrates of San Salvador Island, Bahamas ­
available in the GRC library),
 ³they are seldom found in shallow water except at night when they rise to
the surface, especially if attracted by light. They are most frequently
encountered when night diving or when the water temperature is quite warm.²

He also states that the Atlantic species of Carybdea are not as virulent as
the Indo-Pacific species (their sting is of limited pain and danger).
However, another source (Caribbean Reef Invertebrates, by Nancy Sefton and
Steven K. Webster) indicate that the Caribbean species, C. alata, can cause
severe pain and, if you are sensitive, respiratory difficulty and blackout.

Wearing a wetsuit or protective clothing would be a good idea, but they
don¹t help when the tentacles hit your face!

Chuck Booth

*   *   *   *   *   *   *
Dr. Charles E. Booth
Dept. of Biology
Eastern Connecticut State University
Willimantic, CT  06226

Ph: 860-465-5260
Email: booth at easternct.edu
FAX:  860-465-5213

More information about the Coral-List mailing list