Portuguese Man-of-War Physalia physalis    
Kingdom Animalia   >   Phylum Cnidaria   >   Class Hydrozoa   >   Order Siphonophora   >   Family Physaliidae   >   Genus Physalia   


This species is not a jellyfish, but a siphonophore. Siphonophores are colonial organisms, composed of many tiny organisms that are so closely integrated that they cannot survive independently and together resemble a single creature. They are wandering predators with tentacles averaging 30 feet long, but sometimes reaching over 150 feet. Their potent venom is powerful enough to stun and capture fish, and is severely painful to humans. They are prey to Loggerhead Sea Turtles and Ocean Sunfish (Mola Mola), both of which are also possible on a Maryland pelagic trip.

There are 3 records in the project database.

View taxon at iNaturalist

View taxon at NatureServe

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A Portuguese Man-of-War far offshore in Maryland waters (8/15/2010). Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list)

A Portuguese Man-of-War far offshore in Worcester Co., Maryland (6/4/2016). Photo by Mike Hudson. (MBP list)

A Portuguese Man-of-War on Hutchinson Island in Fort Pierce, Florida (1/11/2017). Photo by Matthew Beziat. (MBP list)

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