General Description

Transparent clear to blue balloon float with a single, prominent long blue tentacle underneath. Float about 6 cm across, tentacles up to 1 m long.


These animals float on the surface with their tentacles hanging below in the water. The float can be orientated in one of two ways so that they are blown to the left (left-sailing) or to the right (right-sailing). This ensures that they do not all get blown in the same direction. Blue-bottles are not individual organisms; rather, they are colonies of multiple small zooids with different functions. The float is a single zooid. They catch small fish and planktonic crustaceans with their tentacle. Stings from the tentacle are very painful and require medical attention. Taxonomists are unsure how many species of Physalia exist; this species may be the same as the cosmopolitan Physalia physalis.


South Pacific. Australian waters.


Marine; open water, may drift near shore due to tides and winds.

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