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I have recorded the first Cassiopeia andromeda in Maltese waters (Central Mediterranean) and when researching data for writing the paper I found out that the upside-down jelly is dangerous and stings! This was strange to find out since I had touched the jelly (even on delicate skin areas such as wrist and shoulder) and no irritation at all was observed. Can anyone relate his experience with the Cassiopeia andromeda and its stinging properties...
I know that many people develop a sensitivity to jelly stings over time. People that keep jellies for public aquariums often develop sting rashes from otherwise harmless species. I'd be interested to know the source of the stinging Cassiopeia claim.
Two similar species, Cassiopea frondosa and C. xamachana are mentioned in the Paul Humann / Ned DeLoach book Reef Creature Identification Florida-Caribbean-Bahamas. They are described in somewhat ambivalent terms:
Mildly toxic; contact with bare skin can produce sting. May cause redness and welt.