Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

C. quadrumanus has a transparent coloring with the exception of the tentacles, which are a mauve color. It is venomous, and is particularly lethal for small children. Generally 5-6 inches in bell diameter, it a lobe attached to each bell corner with several long tentacles attached.

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Distribution

Distribution extends northward of the subprovince of Carolinian, Cape Hatteras through Florida
  • North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS)
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North Carolina; Caribbean; Gulf of Mexico; Mexico; Brazil.

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Physical Description

Diagnostic Description

Description

Width to 14 cm, 10 cm high. Bell surface covered with stinging warts. Up to nine tentacles on each corner, on stout, hand-like structures. Finger-shaped gastric saccules, 1/2 length of bell cavity or shorter. Rhopalial pits about 1/6 up from bell edge. Habitat: occasionally inshore. Distribution: pantropical. Sting may be life-threatening (Richmond, 1997).
  • Richmond, M. (Ed.) (1997). A guide to the seashores of Eastern Africa and the Western Indian Ocean islands. Sida/Department for Research Cooperation, SAREC: Stockholm, Sweden. ISBN 91-630-4594-X. 448 pp.
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Bell dome-shaped; translucent; four large, hand-shaped pedalia with 7 to 9 finger-like branches, each branch giving rise to long slender tentacle; tentacles covered with closely set rings of nematocysts.

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Ecology

Habitat

Depth range based on 4 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 4 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 7.9 - 15.2
  Temperature range (°C): 23.636 - 23.720
  Nitrate (umol/L): 0.325 - 0.501
  Salinity (PPS): 35.785 - 36.080
  Oxygen (ml/l): 4.807 - 4.855
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.100 - 0.110
  Silicate (umol/l): 0.756 - 0.805

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 7.9 - 15.2

Temperature range (°C): 23.636 - 23.720

Nitrate (umol/L): 0.325 - 0.501

Salinity (PPS): 35.785 - 36.080

Oxygen (ml/l): 4.807 - 4.855

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.100 - 0.110

Silicate (umol/l): 0.756 - 0.805
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Trophic Strategy

Feed on small fish that are caught in their trailing tentacles.

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Wikipedia

Chiropsalmus quadrumanus

Chiropsalmus quadrumanus, commonly known as the four-handed box jellyfish, is a species of box jellyfish in class Cubozoa. It is found in the west Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean. The sting is venomous and dangerous to humans, especially children.

Description[edit]

Chiropsalmus quadrumanus is a cube-shaped, colourless, transparent jellyfish with a diameter of about 14 centimetres (5.5 in) and height a little less than this. The body is composed of a gelatinous material and the top edges are rounded while the top surface is flat. Bundles of 7 to 9 tentacles dangle from pedalia, palmate appendages at the four lower corners of the bell, with a tentacle on each "finger". The outer two tentacles are pinkish and the inner ones yellowish white and they can be up to 3 to 4 metres (9.8 to 13.1 ft) long. Halfway up the inside of the bell is the velarium, a horizontal ring of tissue partially blocking the aperture. The manubrium is a central column hanging down inside the bell with the mouth at its tip. The rounded stomach has four pouches connecting to radial sinuses along the edges of the bell. The gonads are on either side of the radial canals.[2]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

Chiropsalmus quadrumanus is found on the east coast of North America in North and South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico and Mexico, and a disjunct population in Brazil.[3] It also occurs in the Pacific Ocean and has been reported from Hawaii and Australia. It is usually found in the warm, open seas but it is sometimes found inshore in large numbers in places where it has not been previously found. When this happened on the Texas Gulf coast in 1955 and 1956, it coincided with drought conditions and an associated high salinity level in the area. The jellyfish were seldom seen near the surface but small specimens were frequently taken in shrimp trawls. After gales large quantities were washed up on the beach, and after heavy rains, many dead jellyfish were found floating on the surface. When conditions returned to normal, the jellyfish disappeared.[4]

Toxicity[edit]

The long tentacles of Chiropsalmus quadrumanus are armed with nematocysts, the purpose of which is to capture prey such as small fish and to deter predators. They can inflict an extremely painful sting on people that encounter them. There is a documented case of a four-year-old boy in the Gulf of Mexico dying within forty minutes of being stung.[5][6] Of forty nine people stung by jellyfish off the coast of Brazil over a five year period, twenty were by identifiable species. Sixteen of these were identified as being caused by Chiropsalmus quadrumanus and four by the Portuguese man o' war (Physalia physalis). All these stings were linear in nature, causing both intense pain and systemic symptoms.[7] Apart from pain, the symptoms include cardiac dysfunction and respiratory depression. The rash lasts for several months. Antivenom administered within a few hours relieves the pain somewhat, reduces the severity of the rash, and improves other symptoms. In extreme cases, cardiopulmonary resuscitation can be effective if started promptly.[8]

Taxonomy[edit]

Little and/or poor taxonomic research has been conducted on Chiropsalmus quadrumanus. Gershwin (2006) noted that the South American neotype's cnidome was differing from the United States species. Several studies on the species are and have been conducted since then. One in 1975 gives statistics and charts that clearly shows the differing cnidomes of U.S. species compared to that of the neotype of Gershwin's. No new taxons have been erected to accommodate the research.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Collins, Allen G. (2010). "Chiropsalmus quadrumanus (F. Muller, 1859)". World Register of Marine Species. Retrieved 2012-06-20. 
  2. ^ Chiropsalmus quadrumanus Marine Species Identification Portal. Retrieved 2012-06-20.
  3. ^ Perry and Larsen (2004). "Chiropsalmus quadrumanus (F. Muller, 1859)". Guide to Shelf Invertebrates, Gulf of Mexico. Retrieved 2012-06-05. 
  4. ^ Guest, William C (1959). "The Occurrence of the Jellyfish Chiropsalmus Quadrumanus in Matagorda Bay, Texas". Bulletin of Marine Science, 9 (1): 79–83. 
  5. ^ Bengston, K.; Nichols, M. M.; Schnadig, V.; Ellis, M. D. (1991). "Sudden Death in a Child Following Jellyfish Envenomation by Chiropsalmus quadrumanus: Case Report and Autopsy Findings". JAMA: the Journal of the American Medical Association 266 (10): 1404. doi:10.1001/jama.1991.03470100096040.  edit
  6. ^ Fenner, P.J. "Venomous jellyfish of the world". South Pacific Underwater Medicine Society Journal 35 (3): 133. Retrieved 27 June 2012. 
  7. ^ Vidal Haddad Jr.; Fábio Lang da Silveira; João Luiz Costa Cardoso; André Carrara Morandini (2002). "A report of 49 cases of cnidarian envenoming from southeastern Brazilian coastal waters". Toxicon 40 (10): 1445–1450. doi:10.1016/S0041-0101(02)00162-9. 
  8. ^ "Venomous and Poisonous Animals Biology & Clinical Management". VAPAGuide. Retrieved 2012-06-22. 
  9. ^ http://www.academia.edu/511541/Calder_D.R._2009._Cubozoan_and_scyphozoan_jellyfishes_of_the_Carolinian_biogeographic_province_southeastern_USA._Royal_Ontario_Museum_Contributions_in_Science_3_1-58
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