Box jellyfish is not a true jellyfish. It is a cnidarian invertebrate with dome-like appearance and inverted tentacles. The jellyfish tentacles appear to be tiny threads but they are highly potent in some jellyfish species. Stings from these tentacles can lead to human death. Box jellyfish are also called sea wasp.
Box Jellyfish Habitat
Nearly all box jellyfish species prefer to live in shallow waters and they behave more like a typical fish. Box jellyfish love to swim in estuarine and coastal waters with their speed reaching at 1.6 kilometers per hour. In the coastal habitats jellies travel equally during day and night. However within the estuarine habitats, they will travel greater distances at night than during the day.
Australian Box Jellyfish, Chironex Fleckeri
While there is little is known about the box jellyfish habitat they are thought to make homes in the estuaries of the northern Australia. The Australian box jellyfish Chironex fleckeri is widely distributed in the coastal waters of northern Australia, New Guinea, Philippine to as far as Vietnam. The Australian jellyfish is notorious for its 3-meter-long venomous tentacles. The Chironex fleckeri is also known to make homes in freshwater habitats as well as in creek and mangrove outlets. The range of Australian box jellyfish is limited to the northern coasts of Agnes water and Exmouth and it is thought to be absent outside Australia.
The Chironex fleckeri’s movement in its natural habitat is likely to be influenced by the physical factors such as water currents, time of day, tidal state, and local weather conditions. The Australian box jellyfish gets irritated by the rapid wave movements (turbulence) which are caused by the wind speed. That is why C. fleckeri make homes in offshore waters, estuary systems, and sheltered bays.
South African Box Jellyfish, Carybdea branchi
The Carybdea branchi occurs in the coastal waters of Philippine. The South African box jellyfish is found in the African waters of Port Elizabeth. The jellyfish usually makes habitat at a depth of about 35 meters underwater.
Similarly Copula sivickisi is known to make habitats in shallow warm waters of the Pacific Ocean. It also occurs in the west coast of Sumatra (Indian Ocean). The jellyfish also exists in the northern Australia Vietnam, Hawaii, and Japan.
The Carybdea marsupialis prefers tropical and subtropical habitats in the Indo-Pacific waters. The range extends from Japan to Polynesia. Some of its species also makes homes in the northern Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean including California. The jellyfish is a pelagic species as it rarely dives deep into the sea.
Japanese Box Jellyfish, Chironex yamaguchii
The Chironex yamaguchii is a Japanese box jellyfish and is very closely related to the Australian box jellyfish. In Japan it is known as habu-kurage. Like Chironex fleckeri, the Chironex yamaguchii jellyfish make habitats in the coastal waters of Ryukyu Islands and Okinawa Islands.