Beware bluebottles at local beaches

30/11/2022 11:33am

​We’ve been receiving some reports of sightings of bluebottles at Tāhunanui beach. Keep your distance and take care to avoid the venomous tentacles that can reach up to 10 metres in length and can sting even after the bluebottle has died.

What to do if you get stung! 

Stings are painful but unlikely to cause real harm. If stung, wash the sting area with seawater and remove any attached tentacles with a towel, being careful not to touch them with your hands.  

The sting area should then be immersed under hot (>45C) tap water for 15-20 mins – do NOT apply vinegar or methylated spirits.   

Dog owners should head to the vet immediately if their dog eats one, as there’s a risk of swelling in the throat.  

Did you know?  

The Portuguese man o’ war, or bluebottle (Physalia physalis) is a cnidarian, not a true jellyfish. Unlike jellyfish, they travel using a gas-filled “sail” that floats at the surface. They are more likely to wash up in the summer months, but depending on oceanographic conditions and rough weather, they can be seen at other times of year.