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Portuguese Man o' War

Physalia physalis


found washed ashore at Jetty Park Cape Canaveral, Florida, while there to watch the Space Shuttle Atlantis STS-132 mission launch.

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Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 6 years ago

...moved to 'Other' category

LauraMaria 9 years ago

Ah excellent, I couldn't tell how inflated that was in the picture! I'm glad you went ahead and did a bit of extra digging :) Either way, they're an intriguing group of animals! Such a cool spotting!

cmcdivit 9 years ago

After I've researched more, I actually think it resembles more a PMOW than the BTW sailor. Here is one reference I found on a blog that seems to fit:

"They [by-the-wind sailors] are tiny blue-coloured relatives of the Portuguese man-of-war (Physalia physalia), but instead of the float having a bladder, it has a flat disc with a diagonal sail."

I seem to recall the MOW bladder very plainly on mine, and I don't think it had the flat sail or the distinctive ring-pattern in it.

cmcdivit 9 years ago

Oh you may be right. Thanks for the link! :^) The deeper blue color does seem to be closer to the by-the-wind sailor. I'll try to do some more research, and check on the size. This one was roughly 1 1/2 times larger than a tennis ball, if I remember correctly. (it was over a year ago)

LauraMaria 9 years ago I meant to tack this on the end of my comment!

LauraMaria 9 years ago

I actually think this might be what's called a "by-the-wind sailor", it's kind of similar to a Portuguese Man o' War. It's the blue fringe around the float that makes me think it's that, and pictures I've seen of other by-the-wind sailors stranded on beaches look similar! Awesome find :D

Spotted by

Melbourne, Florida, USA

Spotted on May 14, 2010
Submitted on Jul 11, 2011

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