Menu

Killer Jelly Found in Australian Waters

The newly discovered species of Irukandji jellyfish can cause stroke and heart failure in humans it stings.

Aug 11, 2014
Bob Grant

Keesingia gigasIMAGE: JOHN TOTTERDELL/MIRG AUSTRALIAScientists have discovered a new species of venomous—and potentially lethal—jellyfish off the coast of Western Australia.

Lisa-ann Gershwin at Australia’s Marine Stinger Advisory Services discovered the new species, Keesingia gigas, after studying a specimen caught in 2013 and photographs from the 1980s. She told the Australian Associated Press (AAP) that the strangest thing about the new species is that is appears to lack tentacles. “Jellyfish always have tentacles . . . that’s how they catch their food,” she said. But the jelly featured in 30-year-old photographs of K. gigas and the specimen caught in Shark Bay by marine scientist John Keesing didn’t have them. This could be because those specimens shed their tentacles as a defense mechanism, Gershwin said. “I think more probably it does have tentacles but by random chance the specimens that we photographed and obtained don’t have them anymore,” she told the AAP. “I think it’s probably a fairly tame explanation—I just don’t know what it is.”

Gershwin discovered K. gigas and another new species that both belong to a group called Irukandji jellyfish, which can inflict painful and sometimes fatal stings. At about a meter wide, K. gigas is the largest Irukandji described to date. Irukandji jellyfish tend to be much smaller—typically about the size of a fingernail.

July/August 2019

On Target

Researchers strive to make individualized medicine a reality

Marketplace

Sponsored Product Updates

DNASTAR® announced the release of Lasergene 16 Software
DNASTAR® announced the release of Lasergene 16 Software
DNASTAR® announced the release of Lasergene 16 today, which includes a broad range of improvements in for analysis of DNA, RNA and protein sequence data, as well as new advancements for predicting and analyzing protein structures. 
Arbor Biosciences Partners with Curio Genomics for Analysis of IWGSC Wheat Exome
Arbor Biosciences Partners with Curio Genomics for Analysis of IWGSC Wheat Exome
Arbor Biosciences, a division of Chiral Technologies, Inc and worldwide leader in next generation sequencing (NGS) target enrichment, announces a partnership with Curio Genomics for bioinformatics analysis of the wheat genome.
IDT and Washington University join forces to increase access to the latest NGS technologies
IDT and Washington University join forces to increase access to the latest NGS technologies
As part of its commitment to advocate for the genomics age, Integrated DNA Technologies (IDT) aims to lower the barriers to access the latest NGS technologies.
Bio-Rad Launches Bio-Plex Pro Human Immunotherapy Panel 20-plex Multiplex Assay, a targeted tool for researching signaling networks in Immunotherapy Research
Bio-Rad Launches Bio-Plex Pro Human Immunotherapy Panel 20-plex Multiplex Assay, a targeted tool for researching signaling networks in Immunotherapy Research
Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE: BIO and BIOb) July 15, 2019 announced the launch of its Bio-Plex Pro Human Immunotherapy Panel 20-plex, a multiplex immunoassay that offers a targeted approach for Immunotherapy Research.