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Blue threat washes up on local beaches

February 10, 2017

The winter months bring man o’ war to Florida beaches. Now a species called the Glaucus Atlanticus, called blue dragons because of their color, feed upon these stingers. Man o’ war can severely sting a person and so can the blue dragons.”  

 

“They’re beautiful little nudibranchs (shell-less mollusks) that are quite delicate; and they don’t survive well in aquariums, in part because their primary food, animals like the Portuguese man-o’-war are absent,” said Dr. Waldner, professor at Palm Beach Atlantic University. “They’re supposed to be able to transfer the stinging cells from their prey to their own bodies.”

 

They are mainly found in Australia, but when the man o’ war make their way to Florida, blue dragons do too.  

 

An article by Aidan Kelly and Eric R. Olson called “Featured Creature: Blue Dragon” explains why these sea creatures are so dangerous.

 

According to the article, when the blue dragons eat the man o’ war they gain more venom.  The more they eat, the more poisonous they become.  

 

“Man o’ war are not to be taken lightly. When I was a lifeguard we had a few instances where a few children got wrapped by man o’ war and had to go to the hospital,” said Dominic Monda, a former Delray Beach lifeguard and former PBA student.

 

“After that moment we were advised to put red flags up when we found large amounts of man o’ war. The winter months seem to be when the man-of-war showed up and with a strong east wind,” Monda said.

 

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