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Portuguese Man-of-War

The Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust had an interesting gift on Friday 31st July 2009 when they were handed a small Portuguese Man-of-War in a bucket.

Portuguese Man-of-War, photograph by Angie GallThe distinctive Portuguese Man-of-War is a floating colony of closely-related hydrozoans that normally live at the surface of the open ocean. The colony floats from the bottom of an air-filled float, and has many long thin tentacles hanging below that it uses to catch fish. The creatures can inflict a painful sting, even when they are dead.Anyone who receives a sting from a Portuguese Man-of-War, and is worried, should immediately consult a doctor.

The Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust has received a few reports of sightings, so be aware of what they look like and if you are lucky enough to see one of these amazing, weird and rather beautiful creatures enjoy the encounter - but not too close..