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Jellyfish Sting Newsletters: Number 26 - January 2002

Significant Papers Published  

  1. Marques A.C., Haddad Jr. V., Migotto A.E. Envenomation by a benthic Hydrozoa (Cnidaria) the case of Nemalecium lighti (Haleiidae). Toxicon 40; 213-215, 2002

    A case of envenomation caused by the Nemalecium lighti is described. The hydrozoan species lives in many kinds of substrates, being quite common in tropical shallow water. The patient, a marine biologist, had contact with the animal twice while snorkeling. Both contacts produced erythematous and highly puriginous papules in exposed areas of the body. The signs and symptoms persisted for a week and healed without sequellae.

  2. Plozzer C., Stinco G., Mianzan H., Avian M., Kokelj F. Dermotossicita di due preparazioni di nematocisti di Olindias sambaquiensis. G Ital Dermatol Venereol 134; 95-98, 1999

    The procedure of separation of nematocysts used in the present study confirmed that Olindias sambaquiensis venom is dermotoxic. The scratch-patch test is the most useful method to evaluate the dermotoxicity of purified nematocysts. The dermotoxic activity was produced by venom from isolated nematocysts. This is the first demonstration that the toxic activity of jellyfish venom is not influenced by nematocysts walls.

  3. Mianzan H.W. & Guerrero R.A. Environmental patterns and biomass distribution of gelatinous macrozooplankton. Three study cases in the South-western Atlantic Ocean. Scientia Marina 64: 215-224, 2000

    Periodic swarms or blooms of gelatinous macrozooplankton have a negative effect on many human activities such as tourism, fisheries, and industry, but for several reasons (sampling procedures, underestimation of their real abundance, etc.), they have often been neglected in the local literature. The “high spatial resolution” exercise of the South-western Atlantic anchovy Engraulis anchoita Recruitment Project (SARP) was therefore also suitable for estimating standing stocks of “jelly” macrozooplankton, attempting to establish particular environmental patterns exerting control on the spatial distribution of these facultative carnivorous predators in coastal frontal environments. These studies were carried out through a sampling programme on board the German R/V “Meteor” in three different systems, convergence and divergent, in the South-western Atlantic Ocean: Region A (42°S) on the Argentine shelf, characterized by tidal mixing fronts; Region B (36° S), the freshwater outflow from Rio de la Plata; and Region C (28° S), under upwelling events in subtropical waters on the Brazilian shelf. In general, a dominance of gelatinous macrozooplankton, compared with the other fraction of macrozooplankon and micronekton was observed. Mean standing stock of the gelatinous zooplankton was always greater than 50% of organic carbon (org.C) in every section analyzed. The lobate ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi dominated the zooplankton biomass in Region A, Argentina. It represented 60% of total org. C and was more abundant at the stratified zone of the front. Ctenophores were also dominant in Region B, Rio de la Plata, where the related species Mnemiopsis mccradyi and the cydippid ctenophore Pleurobrachia pileus comprised 81% of total org. C. Mnemiopsis was most common in areas of vertical thermal and saline stratification, while Pleurobrachia was dominant in the less stratified areas. Gelatinous zooplankton was also principal component of the macrozooplankton biomass in Region C, Brazil. The hydromedusae Rhacostoma atalntica and Olindias sambaquiensis dominated both the total and gelatinous biomass (68% and 7% of total org. C), being always more abundant under lower thermal stratification. It was found that both in convergent and divergent local systems, gelatinous plankton tended to aggregate in areas where the presence of isolines outcropping to the surface (associated with production processes) was observed. These results are discussed in the context of existing hypotheses regarding ecosystem production and food webs.

Letters to the Editor 

  1. Miracco C., Lalinga A.V., Sbaivo P., Rubegni P., Romano C. Delayed skin reaction to Red Sea coral injury showing superficial granulomas and atypical CD30+ lymphocytes: report of a case. British Journal Dermatology 145: 849-850, 2001

    In subjects suffering from atopic disorders, a delayed skin reaction to coelenterates may be due to immunological mechanisms in which a specific CD30+ T-cell clone might be involved.

  2. Burnett J.W. Seastroke. Southern Medical Journal Vol 94-11; p114, Nov 2001.

    The etiology of the entity “seastroke” described in a 1993 issue of the Southern Medical Journal remains an enigma. The patient in Case 2 unfortunately still remained in the rehabilitation unit 5 years after the acute episode. Theories of trauma, infectious myelitis, infarction, and congenital neurologic defects remain casual possibilities. The paper was distinctive because the injuries occurred in a limited 2-year time period (1990 to 1992) over a restricted geographic location (the southeastern North Carolina coast) and struck three previously healthy young males. Additionally, two of the patients remember stepping on an unusual object on the ocean bottom and the third thought something had strung him on the arm. Thus the possibility that a toxic venom producing these injuries was suggested. The eventual solution of the pathogenesis of seastroke may unravel as additional similar patients appear; therefore another case of a neurological reaction following a vague improbable exposure to a freshwater jellyfish usually regarded as innocuous is described.


  1. Purcell J.E., Graham W.M., Dumon H.J. Eds. 2001, Jellyfish Blooms: Ecological and Societal Importance. Proceedings of the International Conference on Jellyfish Blooms held in Gulf Shores, Alabama 12-14 January 2000. Kluwer, Dordrecht.


  1. Professor Fabio Lang de Silveira & Andre C. Morandini of Sao Paulo writes: The spotted-jellyfish Phyllorhiza punctata von Lendenfeld, 1884 (Scyphozoa, Rhizostomeae), a non-stinger in our region, is making an impressive comeback along de coast of Sao Paulo State, southeastern Brazil. The sting of the medusae (large specimens, up to 30 cm across) had started in early 2001 and has lasted over the following months. Our records started back in 1995, and occasional sittings of the species have occurred over the last years. The last record, of a population explosion of the spotted-jellyfish along our costal waters, dates back to the mid 50s, last century (Moreira, 1961). Nevertheless, Silveira & Cornelius (2000) reported that the local abundant spotted-jellyfish population within Todos Os Santos Bay (13°57’S 38°32’W) has been resident since 1991 and summarized the previous swarming records for the species in different parts of the world.

    Moreira, M.G.B.S. (1961). Sobre Mastigas scintillae sp. Nov. (Scyphomedusae, Rhizostomeae) das costas do Brasil. Bolm Inst. Oceanogr., S. Paulo, 11(2): 5-30

    Silveira, F. L. da & Cornelius, P.F.S. (2000). New observations on medusae (Cnidaria, Scyphozoa, Rhizostomeae) from northeast and south Brazil. Acta Biologica Leopoldensia, 22 (1): 9-18.