Beware bluebottles at beaches

A READER is warning beach-goers to be on the lookout for bluebottle jellyfish now that the weather is warming up.

Bluebottles move around on currents and can be swept onto beaches through the action of winds and tides.

Bluebottles are not a single animal, but a colony of four kinds of highly modified individuals dependent on one another for survival.

The stinging tentacles can be difficult to see in the water, but are more easily identified on the sand because they look like a little blue blob.

Bluebottles are active fishers, dragging their tentacles through the water in search of prey.

The tentacles have powerful stinging cells which can immobilise and kill small fish.

Surf Life Saving Australia says anyone who does get stung should not rub the sting area, but remove the stinging cells from the skin by washing off tentacles with seawater or picking them off, and immerse the affected area in hot water (no hotter than can be easily tolerated) or apply ice to help with the pain.