30-07-06 Watch Out Watch Out Theres a Scouder About
Firmly into the holiday season now, Carradale Beach is a popular spot for visitors and residents alike to while-away a few hours, either soaking up the sunshine or splashing about in the waves, but I've been noticing that stranded jellyfish are starting to make their appearance on the sand after the tide has gone out.

Typically we find two types of jellyfish on Carradale beach: the Moon jellyfish and the Lion's Mane jellyfish.

[Moon Jellyfish, Aurelia Aurita]
Moon Jellyfish, Aurelia Aurita.
The Moon jellyfish is harmless to humans, its stingers being unable to penetrate flesh.

The distinctive violet crescent or moon-shaped patterning makes it easy to identify and it is by far the commonest jellyfish to be found on Carradale Beach.

They're usually up to 12" across but just occasionally we get larger specimens.
The Lion's Mane jellyfish is distinctive by its bright or deep red colouration. This type can cause injury to people if they touch the stinging tentacles, causing blisters, skin irritation, cramps, and has been known to be fatal if a person has an allergic reaction to the venom.

They can grow to as much as 6ft across but it is fairly uncommon to find one on the beach, and even then only much smaller specimens.

Locally this variety of jellyfish is known as a 'Scouder'. It is particularly unpopular with fishermen as if bits of the tentacles become stuck to nets or ropes they can continue to sting if touched.
[Lions Mane Jellyfish, Cyanea Capillata]
Lion's Mane Jellyfish, Cyanea Capillata.
[Compass Jellyfish, Chrysaora Hysoscella]
Compass Jellyfish, Chrysaora Hysoscella.
A third, less common variety of jellyfish can also sometimes be found on Carradale Beach: the Compass jellyfish.

Smaller than either of the other two varieties mentioned, the Compass jellyfish grows to about 8" across, it has a distinctive pattern of 'spokes' radiating from a central point.

The tentacles can sting but this is usually described as being less painful than a wasp sting.

What to do if you get stung?

Best immediate treatment seems to be to apply cold packs or ice to the area of the sting. This should reduce the pain or irritation within a few minutes.

If the discomfort continues, or you have any concerns or fear of an allergic reaction, contact a doctor or NHS24.

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