Jellyfish Guide

JellyfishMany consider the beaches along the Emerald Coast the most beautiful they’ve ever seen and the number of visitors to the area seem to confirm this.  However, one not-so-good by-product of beaches is the presence of our gelatinous friends…the JELLYFISH. Most people assume that all jellyfish are dangerous but that is not always the case.  In fact, not all jellyfish sting and many that do sting cause little more than a slight discomfort.

I created this guide to help determine if it’s safe to enter the water if jellyfish are present. The most common jellyfish found on our beaches are displayed below and grouped in 4 Sting Severity categories.


Purple flag

Beach Flags

Both Okaloosa and Walton County fly purple beach flags to warn swimmers when jellyfish have been spotted in the water.

Sting Severity


NO STING

MILD

MODERATE

SEVERE



Sea Walnut (Comb Jelly)
Sea Walnut

NO STING

Details

Brown Comb Jelly
Brown Comb Jelly

NO STING

Details

By-the-Wind-Sailor
By-the-Wind-Sailor

NO STING

Details


Blue Button
Blue Button

NO STING

Details

Mesoglea
Mesoglea

NO STING

Details

Moon Jelly
Moon Jelly

NO STING

Details


Cannonball Jellyfish
Cannonball Jellyfish

MILD

Details

Australian Spotted Jelly
White-Spotted Jellyfish

MILD

Details

Mushroom Jellyfish
Mushroom Jellyfish

MILD

Details


Pink Meanie
Pink Meanie

MODERATE

Details

Sea Nettle
Sea Nettle

MODERATE

Details

Lion's Mane Jellyfish
Lion’s Mane Jellyfish

MODERATE

Details


Purple-Striped Jellyfish
Purple Jellyfish

SEVERE

Details

Portuguese Man o' War
Portuguese Man o’ War

SEVERE

Details

Box Jellyfish
Box Jellyfish

SEVERE

Details