A team from the University of Hong Kong said it has discovered a new species of box jellyfish in the city’s Mai Po Nature Reserve, the first discovery of a venomous species in China’s waters.
Baptist University (HKBU) in collaboration with WWF-Hong Kong, Ocean Park Hong Kong and the University of Manchester said on Tuesday that the team collected samples of jellyfish from a brackish shrimp pond in 2020-2022 and found that they contained a new species.
Named Tripedalia maipoensis in reflection of its locality, it has a cube-shaped, colorless body with 24 eyes. It has three tentacles up to 3.94 inches long that resemble boat paddles, which allow it to exert strong thrust, allowing the species to swim faster than other types of jellyfish, the study said.
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Qiu Jianwen, a professor in the Department of Biology at HKBU, said that although this species is currently known only in Mai Po, the team believes that the species is also distributed in the adjacent waters of the Pearl River Estuary.
Box jellyfish” are little known in Chinese seawater. Our discovery of Tripedalia maipoensis in Mai Po – a relatively well-studied area in Hong Kong – further emphasizes the rich diversity of marine life in Hong Kong and even throughout China. sheds light,” he said. ,
The study states that box jellyfish, scientifically known as the class Cubozoa, comprise some of the highly venomous marine animals known to be widespread in tropical waters.
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