Rare man-of-war-eating species washing up on the Texas coast


Blue Dragons, a man-of-war-eating species, are washing up on the Texas coast.

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Beachgoers have seen some painful stings, known as the species that eats the Portuguese man-of-war, along the coasts of Texas. Rare and unusual blue dragons are beautiful blue creatures, but they are painful, Mark Fisher, science director for the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife, told MySA.

Texas Parks and Wildlife released how staff found the blue dragons stranded at Mustang Island State Park on Wednesday, April 6. To Bob Hall Pier in Corpus Christithe nonprofit Mission-Aransas Reserve also posted how its staff saw the dazzling electric blue dragons on the shores on Wednesday.

According to Fisher, Blue Glacus creatures are also known as blue dragons and are a form of sea slug known as Glaucus atlanticus that swims upside down to show its colors. He said blue dragons aren’t usually seen very often because they’re not known to wash up on shore.

“It’s rare and unusual for them to be thrown ashore or near shore because they live in the open ocean,” Fisher said.

The 3 cm long creatures feed almost exclusively on The Portuguese Man-of-War, a jellyfish-like organism with painful stings. The blue dragon essentially kills men of war and steals their pungent toxins, then repurposes those toxins into a defensive weapon, Fisher said.

Fisher said he believed strong winds must have moved the blue dragons to run aground as they lingered in the southeast. He said the winds changed at times, prompting the usual sighting on the beach.

If you find them on the beach, don’t pick them up, Fisher warned. He said, “It can be painful.” If you get a bite, Fisher said to treat it like a man-of-war bite where you use a combination of plain old vinegar and meat tenderizer. Mix into a paste and apply on the affected area. You are trying to neutralize the acid compound of the poison in the sting.


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