AFTER a relatively jellyfish-free start to the summer, the Ministry for Environment's jellyfish spotters yesterday reported that banks of Pelagia noctiluca, mauve stinger jellyfish have been becoming more abundant in Majorcan waters over the past week.
In Greek Pelagia means of the sea, nocti stands for night and luca means light thus Pelagia noctiluca can be described as a marine organism with the ability to glow in the dark.
This species of jellyfish commonly known as the mauve stinger in Europe, amongst many other common names, is widely distributed in all warm and temperate waters of the world's oceans, including the Mediterranean Sea, Red Sea and Atlantic Ocean. It is also found in the Pacific Ocean, with sightings in warm waters off Hawaii, southern California and Mexico, as well as other Pacific locations. This is typically an offshore species, although sometimes it is washed near the coastlines and may be stranded in great numbers on beaches.
The colour varies worldwide, and in addition to pink or mauve, it is sometimes shades of golden yellow to tan.
The Ministry for Environment described the jellyfish as very dangerous yesterday and their tentacles can reach lengths of up to two metres.
For the moment, the jellyfish only seem, to be in Majorcan waters and bathers are advised not to go into the water if they spot a jellyfish of the this kind and to immediately alert the beach guards or the police.