Sea Nettles Probability of Encounters (Experimental)

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The jellyfish often encountered in the Chesapeake Bay in the summer is the sea nettle Chrysaora quinquecirrha. Knowing where and when to expect this biotic nuisance may help to alleviate an unpleasant encounter. These maps are experimental and depict the probability of encountering sea nettles (not their abundance or density) in the Chesapeake Bay area.

The density of sea nettles that you may encounter is not reflected here because it can vary greatly from year to year at a given location and would be a much less reliable prediction. Chrysaora quinquecirrha is white and occurs most abundantly in the tributaries of the middle Bay, where salinities range from 10 to 20 parts per thousand (ppt). In the southern Bay, it often has red/maroon markings on the long central tentacles and on the swimming bell. C. quinquecirrha occurs from Cape Cod south along the U.S. East Coast, Caribbean, and Gulf of Mexico; it abounds in the Chesapeake Bay in numbers unequaled elsewhere.

Additional sea nettle information is available from the NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office.

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