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Scientific name: Physalia utriculus
Common name: Bluebottle
Phyulm Sub Phylum Class Sub Class Order Sub Order Family Sub Family Genus Species
Cnidaria Not Defined Hydrozoa Not Defined Siphonophora Cystonectida Physaliidae Not Defined Physalia Physalia utriculus


Short Description:

A blue transparent gas filled bladder allows it to float on the surface, propelled currents, tides, and by a sail at the top of the bladder, which may be left or right-handed. A single long tentacle of venomous cnidocytes, hanging below the float, provides the animal with a means of capturing prey.Each individual is actually a colony of four specialized polyps and medusoids.

P. utriculus is distinguished from the Atlantic Portuguese Man o' War (Physalia physalis) by the smaller size of the float (six inches compared to twelve) and by having a single long fishing tentacle. Like its larger relative, P. utriculus often occurs in swarms. 
Size: Float 50mm with tentacles up to 10m
Behaviour: Individuals of P. utriculus sometimes become stranded on beaches, where their toxic nematocysts can remain potent for weeks or months in moist conditions. P. utriculus is responsible for most of the reported injuries
Diet: Plantonic animals
Distribution: Troughout Southern Africa
Depth: Open ocean
Habitat: Open ocean
  • Two Oceans
    (A guide to the marine life of Southern Africa)

    GM Branch;CL Griffiths;ML Branch;LE Beckley
  • Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Similar Species:
  • None on database

Database Statistics
(Click on the links for more information)
Photographer Date City Area Dive site Temp Size Depth Camera Photo Video
Riaan Rossouw-(East Londen) 2008-03-28 East Londen Nahoon (EL)-Nahoon Reef 17 50mm 1m Panasonic DMC FX10 photo
Riaan Rossouw-(East Londen) 2008-03-28 East Londen Nahoon (EL)-Nahoon Reef 17 50mm 1m Panasonic DMC FX10 photo
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eastern cape scuba diving