Snottie (Cyanea sp.) - SLS Beachsafe

Snottie (Cyanea sp.)


Common Name

Hair jelly, Snottie, Lion’s mane


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Cyanea capillata

Size and Appearance

Large, flat bell up to half a metre in diameter with a large ‘mop’ of fine hairlike tentacles 5-100cm long. The bell top is often white or brown with yellow, brown or reddish colouring underneath.


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Size relative to human

Distribution

Worldwide


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Distribution in Australian waters

First Aid

Its sting causes immediate severe burning pain and whip-like marks, often with tentacles remaining on the stung area. Severe stings may cause the casualty to stop breathing and suffer cardiac arrest.

  1. Remove casualty from water if safe to do so
  2. DRSABCD
  3. Remove any adhering tentacles
  4. Wash area with seawater (not freshwater)
  5. Place casualty’s stung area in hot water (no hotter than the rescuer can comfortably tolerate) for 20 minutes
  6. If local pain is unrelieved by heat or if no hot water available, apply a cold pack or ice in a dry plastic bag
  7. If pain persists and sting area is large or involves sensitive areas (e.g. the eyes) dial triple zero (000) and seek assistance from the lifeguards if available
  8. Administer CPR if required

As the Cyanea is found in tropical areas, if they cannot be easily identified as such there is a risk that the sting is from a potentially lethal jellyfish and the priority is to preserve life by treating the casualty with vinegar.

Outside the tropics, where a large number of non-life threatening stings occur, the primary objective is pain relief with heat or cold.

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Cyanea sting

Did You Know?
  • Cyanea was used as the murder weapon in the Sherlock Holmes book ‘Adventures of the Lion’s Mane’
  • There are many different species, including at least six in Australian waters
  • Cyanea can occur on the beach in hundreds of numbers at a time
  • They are called ‘snottie’ as they leave a huge amount of slime on stinger nets