Friday, 9 August 2013

Another Lion's Mane

We were out in the kayaks on Wednesday evening and noticed that there were no jellyfish in the water, not even one of the small, harmless moon jellyfish.  There was good reason.  This chap must have eaten them all, as moon jellyfish are one of his prey species.

This lion's mane was slightly smaller than the one we saw on the 28th July - see post here.  His bell was about a foot across, but the still conditions enabled some much better pictures of him.  He was close in to the shore, only a few metres from the beach where we launch the kayaks and where a small group of campers from Trevor Potts' Ardnamurchan campsite were splashing around in the shallows.  Apparently, lion's mane jellyfish spend most of their one-year life out at sea, then come inshore and choose a nice, calm bay in which tospend their last days.  It'll be interesting to see whether we see him in the same bay again.

Getting up close required some delicate manoeuvres to avoid catching any of his long tentacles in the paddle.  The splashing should have disturbed him enough for him to dive, but he didn't.  He obviously fancied himself, and enjoyed being photographed, turning this way and that to show off his best profiles - and the fearsome lengths of his stinging tentacles.

Our sightings of lion's mane jellyfish seem to go in cycles.  We hardly saw any last year, perhaps explained by the fact that there were very few moon jellyfish either.  This year we saw some small ones early in the summer, and bigger ones more recently.

Since the family enjoys swimming off Ormsaigbeg, we tend to take a kayak with us and spend a few minutes circling round checking for jellyfish before anyone takes the - usually rather cold - plunge.  We also have an emergency pack which contains a small bottle of household vinegar, some shaving cream and a safety razor, and some antihistamine pills.

Many thanks to Rachael Haylett for the beach picture.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful animal, but I never realised they only lived for a year :(