Beachcombing Guide

Beachcombing Guide

Coastal treasures commonly found on the beach strand at Holden Beach

Angel Wings
Auger
Babys Ear
Banded Tulip
Bay Scallop
Calico Clam
Calico Scallop
Cockle
Coquina Clams
Coral
Cross-barred Venus
Cross-hatched Lucine
Disk Dosinia
Eastern Oyster
Elegant Dosinia
Florida Horse Conch
Imperial Venus Clam
Jackknife
Jingles
Keyhold Limpet
Kitten’s Paw
Lion’s Paw
Moon Snail / Sand Collar
Murex
Northern Quahog
Olive
Oyster Drillers
Pen Shell
Periwinkles
Ponderous Ark
Sand Dollars / Sea Biscuit
Scotch Bonnet
Sea Urchin
Shark Tooth
Slipper Snail
Soft Shelled Clam
Southern Quahog
Spiny Jewel Box Clam
Starfish
Sunray Venus
Surf Clam
Turkey Wing Ark Clam
Whelks
Whelks Egg Case Strings
Wing Oyster


Angel Wings
Pholadidae, commonly referred to as angel wings or piddocks, are a family of bivalve mollusks similar to a clam. Angel wings are chalky white in color and measure four to eight inches in length. The muscles fusing the shell’s valves together are weak, making it rare to find angel wings with both halves still intact.


Auger
The Terebridae, commonly referred to as Auger shells or Auger snails, is a group or family of small to large predatory marine gastropods in the superfamily Conoidea. Augers have extremely high spired shells with numerous whorls, and the common name refers to the resemblance of their shells to rock drill-type drill bits.


Babys Ear
Sinum perspectivum, commonly referred to as baby ear, is a species of predatory sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Naticidae, the moon snails. It has a shallowly coiled shell with a wide opening and graceful curved outline.


Banded Tulip
Cinctura lilium, commonly referred to as the banded tulip, is a species of sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Fasciolariidae. This smooth, gracefully shaped beauty has a moderately thin shell. Colors range from pearly gray with splotches of olive green or tan. It may also have dark brown bands in parallel lines around the shell and can be from 2 to 4 inches.


Bay Scallop
Argopecten irradians, commonly referred to as the bay scallop, is a marine bivalve mollusk in the family Pectinidae, a species of scallop. The shell of a bay scallop is broadly fan shaped with more than 14 radial ribs. They usually have a molted pattern and come in all sizes and colors. 


Calico Clam
Macrocallista maculata, commonly referred to as the calico clam, is a species of bivalve mollusk in the family Veneridae.


Calico Scallop
Argopecten gibbus, commonly referred to as the Atlantic calico scallop, is a species of medium-sized edible marine bivalve mollusk in the family Pectinidae, the scallops. The shell near the hinge is extended into “ears”, as is the case in all scallops. The fan-shaped shell of the calico scallop has about 20 radial ribs, which are sometimes roughened by growth lines. It is similar in shape and sculpturing to the bay scallop. Though similar the stripes are often more pronounced on the Calico Scallop and is more coveted of the two, as it’s flecked with pretty patches of rose, pink, and red.


Cockle
A cockle is an edible, marine bivalve mollusk. Although many small edible bivalves are loosely called cockles, true cockles are species in the family Cardiidae. The distinctive rounded shells are bilaterally symmetrical and are heart-shaped when viewed from the end.


Coquina Clams
Donax is a genus of small, edible saltwater clams, marine bivalve mollusks. The genus is sometimes known as bean clams or wedge shells; however, Donax species have numerous different common names in different parts of the world. These shells are small – about the size of a fingernail and is characterized by its smooth surface and its dual shell and come in a rainbow of pastel but brilliant colors.


Coral
Marine invertebrates in the class Anthozoa of phylum Cnidaria, come from the shelf edge, approximately 75 miles offshore, known as “Outer Shelf Reefs.”. Coral are reef builders that inhabit oceans and secrete calcium carbonate to form a hard skeleton.


Cross-barred Venus
Chione cancellata, is a species of medium-sized saltwater clam, a marine bivalve mollusk in the family Veneridae, the venus clams. The cloudy white to yellow-white shells are highly distinctive, with raised, bladelike concentric ridges superimposed on strong radial ribs and giving the shells their characteristic cancellate (crisscrossed) appearance.


Cross-hatched Lucine
Divaricella quadrisulcata, commonly referred to as the
cross-hatched lucine, is a species of bivalve mollusk in the family Lucinidae. They are generally white in color and have a little tip at one end of their circular shell.


Disk Dosinia
Dosinia discus, commonly referred to as the disk dosinia, is a species of bivalve mollusk in the family Veneridae. They are white, flattened, and nearly circular. There are numerous fine concentric ridges with a varnish like layer that covers the shell.


Eastern Oyster
Crassostrea virginica, commonly referred to as the eastern oyster may also be called the east coast oyster.
Like all oysters, it is a bivalve mollusk with a hard shell, which protects it from predation. This particular type of oyster has an important environmental value because it is a filter feeder, cleaning the water around them.


Elegant Dosinia
Dosinia elegans, commonly referred to as the elegant dosinia, is a species of bivalve mollusk in the family Veneridae.


Florida Horse Conch
Triplofusus papillosus, commonly referred to as the Florida horse conch, is a species of extremely large predatory sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Fasciolariidae. Although known as a horse conch, this is not a true conch, this species is the largest gastropod in the American waters.


Imperial Venus Clam
Lirophora latilirata, commonly referred to as the imperial venus clam, is a bivalve mollusk in the family Veneridae. The shell is rounded, triangular and well-inflated, with large, heavy concentric ridges which are often sharply shelved at the top.


Jackknife
Ensis leei, commonly referred to as the jackknife clam is a large edible marine bivalve mollusk. This shell is most noted for its length. It is primarily a silver, gray color and is shaped like a straight razor. It is primarily a silver, gray color and is shaped like a straight razor. Also known as a razor clam, it gets its name from the rim of the shell being extremely sharp.


Jingles
Anomia is a genus of saltwater clams, marine bivalve mollusks in the family Anomiidae. They have translucent shells and are commonly known as Jingle Shells because when a handful of them are shaken they make a jingling sound.


Keyhold Limpet
Fissurellidae, are limpet-like sea snails, marine gastropod mollusks in the clade Vetigastropoda. The name comes from the small hole in the apex of their cone-like shells. It looks like a volcano with a single hole at the peak.


Kitten’s Paw
Plicatula gibbosa, commonly referred to as the  kitten’s paw, is a species of bivalve mollusk in the family Plicatulidae. The shell resembles the foot of a kitten, it is fan shaped with distinct wavy ribs on the outside.


Lion’s Paw
Nodipecten nodosus, commonly referred to as the lion’s paw scallop, is a species of bivalve mollusk in the family Pectinidae. The shell’s common name is derived from its appearance, the color, and the knobs giving it some visual similarities to the paw of a lion.


Moon Snail
Naticidae, are predatory sea snails, marine gastropod mollusks in the clade Littorinimorpha. They will attack almost any other shelled mollusk they encounter in the sand, including other moon snails. They are broad, circular shells that feature a central spiral that gets larger until it reaches an equally circular opening. Also called a shark eye, it has four to five whorls that spiral inward to form the “eye”.


Moon Snail – Sand Collar
Sand collars are the characteristic egg masses of one family of sea snails, the moon snails. These egg masses are often found washed up either whole, or sometimes in fragments, on sandy beaches where moon snails are living.


Murex
Murex is a genus of medium to large sized predatory tropical sea snails. These are carnivorous marine gastropod mollusks in the family Muricidae, commonly referred to as murexes or rock snails. This genus includes many showy members, their elongate shells highly sculptured with spines or fronds.


Northern Quahog
Mercenaria mercenaria, commonly referred to as a quahog, round clam, or hard-shell clam, is an edible marine bivalve mollusk that is native to the eastern shores of North America. The shell is thick with fine concentric rings. It is one of many unrelated edible bivalves that in the United States are frequently referred to simply as clams.


Olive
Olividae, commonly referred to as olives, are marine gastropod mollusks in the family Olividae. They are carnivorous sand-burrowers in the taxonomic family of medium to large predatory sea snails. With smooth, shiny, cylindrical shaped shells these shells are distinctive for their tight spiral top, their long and skinny opening, and their modest size. They are also the official state shell of South Carolina.


Oyster Drillers
Urosalpinx cinerea, commonly referred to as the oyster drill or eastern oyster drill, is a species of small predatory sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Muricidae, the murexes or rock snails. The oyster driller is a small, predatory snail with a pointed, ribbed shell. The oyster driller grows to about one inch in length. Its oval-shaped shell varies in color from gray or purplish to tan or yellowish-white and has a pointed spire or tip. The shell has five to six raised whorls; brown, spiraling vertical ribs; and a thin, flared lip with small teeth.


Pen Shell
Pinna nobilis, commonly referred to as the noble pen shell or fan mussel, is a large species of Mediterranean clam, a marine bivalve mollusk in the family Pinnidae. Its shape differs depending on the region it inhabits. Delicate and beautiful they are distinctive for its iridescent exterior which can exude a rainbow of colors in the light.

Atrina serrata, or saw-toothed pen shell; thin and fragile, it has a that’s ridged and colored a deep, smoky brown.

Atrina rigida, commonly called the rigid pen shell; they have a long, triangular, or wedge-shaped shell. They are a brown or purplish-brown color and have 15 or more radiating ribs that fan out across the shell.


Periwinkles
Littorina littorea, commonly referred to as the common periwinkle is a species of small edible whelk or sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusk that has gills and an operculum, and is classified within the family Littorinidae, the periwinkles. These shells are distinctive for their conical shapes and intricate forms.


Ponderous Ark
Noetia ponderosa, commonly referred to as the ponderous ark clam, is a clam in the family Noetiidae.


Sand Dollars
Sand dollars are species of flat, burrowing sea urchins belonging to the order Clypeasteroida. Some species within the order, not quite as flat, are known as sea biscuits. This round sea urchin is tan to light brown, have a fivefold radial pattern, and its five slots resemble keyholes. The sand dollar you find on the beach is actually the skeleton of a variety of sea urchin. Dead Sand Dollars are commonly found with their empty test devoid of all surface material and bleached white by sunlight. Living Sand Dollars, those that are brown or green and sport fuzz, should be gently returned to the sea.

Sea Biscuit
Fossilized Sand Dollars


Scotch Bonnet
Semicassis granulate, commonly referred to as the Scotch bonnet, is a medium-sized to large species of sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusk in the subfamily Cassinae. The common name “Scotch bonnet” alludes to the general outline and color pattern of the shell, it is named for its resemblance to the caps and plaid worn by the Scottish. This gorgeous shell features a conical shape, with a ridged body often covered with brown speckles. Scotch bonnets, especially intact ones, are an incredibly rare find. They are also the official state shell of North Carolina.


Sea Urchin
Arbacia punctulate, has a flattened, globular, calcareous shell made up of skeletal plates.


Shark Tooth
Sharks continually shed their teeth. Coastal North Carolina is a hot spot for shark teeth because sharks live along the coast and the region is situated above fossil deposits. 


Slipper Snail
Crepidula fornicata, commonly referred to as the slipper snail, boat shell, quarterdeck shell, fornicating slipper snail and slipper limpet. This is a species of medium-sized sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Calyptraeidae. The sea snail has an arched, rounded shell.  On the inside of the shell there is a white “deck”, which causes the shell to resemble a boat or a slipper.


Soft Shelled Clam
Mya arenaria, commonly referred to as soft-shell clams, popularly called steamers, softshells, piss clams, Ipswich clams, or Essex clams are a species of edible saltwater clam, a marine bivalve mollusk in the family Myidae. These shells are very thin and easily broken, hence the name “soft-shells.” They can be white, cream, brown, gold, or gray.


Southern Quahog
Mercenaria campechiensis, commonly referred to as a southern quahog, is a genus of edible saltwater clams, marine bivalve mollusks. It is a large member of the Venus Clam family Veneridae that may grow to be 6 inches in size. The species is very similar to the northern quahog.


Spiny Jewel Box Clam
Arcinella cornuta, commonly referred to as the spiny jewel box clam, is a species of bivalve mollusk in the family Chamidae. The shell itself is thick and heavy for its size. Fresh shell specimens will have more distinct erect tubular spines on the 7-9 rows (ribs) across the shell, radiating from the beak. The shells are commonly found on southern beaches, but most of the spines have been broken off by the surf.


Starfish
Asterias rubens, commonly referred to as the common starfish, which is not a fish but are star-shaped echinoderms. Belonging to the family Asteriidae, the common starfish normally has five arms, broad at their base and gradually tapering to a point at their tips, which are often turned up slightly.


Sunray Venus
Macrocallista nimbosa, commonly referred to as
the sunray venus clam, is a species of bivalve mollusk in the family Veneridae.


Surf Clam
Spisula solidissima, commonly referred to as the surf clam, bar clam, hen clam or skimmer. It is a very large, edible, saltwater clam, or marine bivalve mollusk in the family Mactridae.


Turkey Wing
Arca zebra, commonly referred to as the turkey wing ark clam, is a bivalve mollusk in the family Arcidae, the ark clams.


Whelks
Whelks are a species of large predatory sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusk, a busycon whelk, belonging to the family Busyconidae. Often mistaken for conch shells, whelks are noted for being striking in appearance. They have conical shapes with spiral tops, and often have wide openings. Depending on the species, some shells have spikes or ridges towards the top. The three most common varieties of whelks include Lightning Whelks, Knobbed Whelks and Channel Whelks. To identify the Lightening Whelk from the Channel Whelk, remember this: Lightening’s open on the left, and Channeled Whelks open on the right.

Lightning Whelks are similar appearance to the Knobbed Whelk but with a left-side opening. This means the snail is left-handed and the body is on the left as it travels forward with the spire in the rear.

Knobbed Whelks have several triangular knobbed spirals that taper to a long siphon canal.

Channeled Whelks are easy to classify with its deep channeled spirals and weak knobbs, if any.


Whelks Egg Case Strings
Whelks lay their eggs in a long, spiral-shaped casing that can reach up to 33 inches in length. The strand contains up to 200 small pouches, and each pouch contains up to 99 eggs. The female protects the string of eggs by anchoring one end at the bottom of the ocean
.


Wing Oyster
Pteria colymbus, commonly referred to as the winged oyster is a species of bivalve mollusk in the family Pteriidae. The wing oyster has a distinctive, asymmetric shape. It has a long straight hinge with one wing drawn out a long way and the other one much smaller. On the beach, they look like a broken cockle shell, if you don’t notice the wings.

Guest Information

Guest Information

Town of Holden Beach Website / https://hbtownhall.com/
.     a) Visitors / https://hbtownhall.com/visitors
.     b) Renters Information / https://hbtownhall.com/renters-information

Holden Beach Information Network Website / https://lousviews.com/
    a) Holden Beach Locator
.     b) Tide Tables
    c) Beachcombing Guide
.     d) Concert Schedule
.     e) Dining Guide
.     f) Restaurant Reviews

Quiet Enjoyment:
All parties are expected to act with respect and regard toward all members of the community

Garbage and Trash Removal / https://hbtownhall.com/solid-waste%2Frecycling
Garbage and trash must be placed at the end of the residential driveway no sooner than the night before the day of collection and returned the day after collection
.       a)
Garbage pails – every Tuesday and Saturday (June through September)
.       b)
Curbside Recycling – every Tuesday (June through September)
         * If blue trash can is at property

Day Trip –

Southport / Fort Fisher Ferry Schedule
910.457.6942
https://www.ncdot.gov/travel-maps/ferry-tickets-services/routes/Pages/default.aspx

Aquarium at Fort Fisher
910.772.0500
https://www.ncaquariums.com/fort-fisher

Calendar of Events – Island

Parks & Recreation / https://hbtownhall.com/parks-%26-recreation

Concerts by the Sea –
Free concerts every Sunday at 6:30 p.m. during the summer at the Pavilion
.     a) 
Bring your lawn chair with you
.     b)
Beginning May 29th through September 4th

Tide Dye –
Join us every Tuesday between 1:00 to at 2:00 p.m. at the Pavilion to tie dye your own shirts.
.     a) The cost is $7 per shirt.
.     b) Beginning June 14th through August 9th 

Turtle Talk –
Educational program every Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. at the Chapel
.     a)
Beginning June 29th through August 17th

 Children’s Turtle Time held every Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. at the Chapel
.     a) Crafts, stories and activities for children ages 3 – 6
.     b) All children must be accompanied by an adult
.     c)
Beginning June 29th through August 3rd

A Second Helping –
Program to collect  food Saturday mornings during the summer
at the Beach Mart         .     a) Food is distributed to the needy in Brunswick County


Island Wide – Rules & Regulations

.     1) Note posted speed limit signs
§ Chapter 71 –Traffic Schedules / Schedule I – Speed Limits

.     2) Observe signs for exact parking prohibitions
.     For more information » https://hbtownhall.com/paid-parking
.       a) No parking on the streets or rights-of-way
         * except in designated parking spaces identified by signs
.       b) Do not leave any portion of vehicle in designated travel lane of any street
      c)
Do not block crosswalks, sidewalks, access ways, driveways, or mailboxes
.       d) No parking within 15 feet of any fire hydrant or emergency vehicle access
§ Chapter 72 –Parking Schedules / Schedule I – Parking Prohibited At All Times

.     3) Fireworks are not allowed on the island
.       a)
Possession of fireworks is a Class 2 misdemeanor
. 
§ 130.15 / Sale or use of fireworks are prohibited


 Beach Strand – Rules & Regulations

1) There are no lifeguards on the beach strand. Rip tides are dangerous. When swimming, if     you get caught in a rip tide pulling you away from shore, swim parallel to the shoreline until you get out of the current — do not try to swim against the current back to shore.

2)  Keep off the dunes

3)
All beach equipment must be removed from the beach by its owner or permitted user on a daily basis between the hours of 6pm and 7am.
§ 94.06 / Placing obstructions on the beach strand

4) Pets are not allowed on the beach strand from May 20th to September 10th
.    • During the hours of 9:00am through 5:00pm daily
§ 90.20 / Responsibilities of owners
a)
Pets must be on a leash at all times on the island.
b)
Owner’s need to clean up after their animals (It’s their doody!)

5) It is unlawful to dig into the sand on any part of the beach strand greater than 12 inches deep, without having a responsible person attending the area. Prior to leaving the area, any hole greater than 12 inches deep shall be filled to be level with the surrounding area, leaving the area in the same general condition in which it was found.
§ 94.05 / Digging of holes on beach strand

6) Alcoholic beverages are not allowed anywhere on the beach strand.
§ 130.03 / Sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages prohibited

7) Trash receptacles are placed along the beach for your convenience
  a) P
lease do not litter.
§ 130.30 / Littering prohibited

8) Only emergency and official Town Staff vehicles are allowed to drive on the beach.
§ 94.01 / Official vehicles allowed on beach strand
§ 94.02 / Privately owned vehicles prohibited on beach strand

9) If you want to fish a North Carolina Coastal Recreational Fishing License is required, please be courteous to those swimming and relaxing nearby.

Beach – Rules & Regulations

 

Public Beach Access
Welcome to Holden Beach
  
Beach Strand – Rules & Regulations

     1) No lifeguards on duty
         a) Rip tides are dangerous
.           • Swim parallel to shoreline to get out of current

     2) Keep off the dunes

     3) Responsibilities of pet owners
          a) Pets must be on a leash at all times
         b) Pets are not allowed on the beach strand
              • during the hours of 9:00am through 5:00pm

              • from May 20th through September 10th
         c) Clean up after your pets

     4) All beach equipment must be removed daily
             • between 6pm and 7am

     5) No alcoholic beverages allowed

      6) No glass containers allowed

      7) No Fireworks

      8) Please do not litter

      9) Digging holes – fill back in before leaving
.       a) Do not leave holes unattended

     10)  Fishing License is required

     11)  Observe signs for exact parking prohibitions
             • No Parking Anytime on Ocean Boulevard

Enjoy Your Stay
www.hbtownhall.com / 910.842.6488

 

 

Jellyfish Guide

 Jellyfish Guide

Jellies commonly seen at Holden Beach

There are two types of jellyfish, or gelatinous zooplankton in North Carolina — true jellyfish and comb jellies, or ctenophores. True jellyfish pump water for propulsion by using the bell on top of their bodies to first contract and then relax their bodies to move water, hence pushing themselves forward in the water column. Comb jellies do not pump water to get around. Instead, they have eight rows of hair-like structures called cilia all around the outside of their bodies. By moving the cilia in a wavelike pattern, they slowly move through the water column.


Jellyfish are not really fish, of course, because a fish’s anatomy is centered around its backbone, whereas the jellyfish is a dome-shaped invertebrate. Therefore, it’s more accurate to refer to them simply as “jellies.” Believe it or not, these roving creatures, with their umbrella shape and hanging tentacles, are most closely related to corals , sea anemones, sea whips, and hydrozoans. Why? They share a distinctive body part – a harpoon-like stinging cell used to capture prey. Generally, these cells are called cnidocytes (hint: don’t pronounce the “c”), which comes from the ancient Greek word for nettle. Therefore, animals in this phylum are called cnidarians. The cnidocytes on jellies’ tentacles discharge venom from a sac called a nematocyst. These help them to capture floating prey in the water column. Jellies have limited control over their movement, using a muscle to propel themselves short distances by expanding and contracting their bell. Therefore, they drift in currents and often appear in large masses called a “bloom,” a “swarm,” or a “smack.”  Purists consider the only “true jellies” to be members of one specific class of cnidarians, but many similar looking animals with dangling tentacles are referred to as jellyfish. For example, the Portuguese man o’ war is often mistaken for a type of jellyfish but is in fact a different type of cnidarian that inflicts a nasty sting. Comb jellies, despite the word “jelly” in their name, are not related to cnidarians. This is because they lack stinging cells, which makes them harmless to humans.


Often times beachgoers will spot jellyfish washed up on shore and other times they can be spotted in the water, but it is best to avoid them when you can. “While all jellyfish sting, not all contain poison that hurts humans. Be careful of jellies that wash up on shore, as some can still sting if tentacles are wet. NOAA recommends that if you are stung by a jellyfish to first seek a lifeguard to give first aid. If no lifeguards are present, wash the wound with vinegar or rubbing alcohol,” NOAA suggests. And what about that … other method of treating stings? Turns out, it’s a myth. In fact, urine can actually aggravate the stinging cells of jellyfish, making things worse. These cells, which detach and stick into the skin of prey, can continue to inject venom. Urine, as well as fresh water, can cause an imbalance to the salt solution surrounding the stinging cells, causing them to continue to fire. According to Scientific American, if you don’t have vinegar or rubbing alcohol, rinsing with salt water may be your best bet.


Cannonballs
The cannonball jellyfish (Stomolophus meleagris), also known as the cabbagehead jellyfish, is a species of jellyfish in the family Stomolophidae. Its common name derives from its similarity to a cannonball in shape and size. It is the most common jellyfish found in North Carolina. During summer and fall, large gatherings of this jelly take place near coastal areas and in the mouths of North Carolina estuaries. While this species is the most abundant jelly, it is also the least harmful to humans. It has the weakest sting of all jellies found in local waters. Easy to identify by their white bell with chocolate-brown bands, they have no tentacles, just fingerlike appendages hanging down from the bell.


Lion’s Mane
The lion’s mane jellyfish (Cyanea capillata) is one the largest species in North Carolina waters. This species is easy to identify, as it is the only jellyfish that is orange in color. The bell, measuring 6-8 inches, is saucer-shaped with reddish-brown oral arms and eight clusters of tentacles hanging underneath. It usually appears during the colder months, this species is also known as the winter jelly, because it prefers the colder waters along the North Carolina coast after the Gulf Stream has moved farther offshore during winter months. Lion’s manes are usually considered moderate stingers, and symptoms of a sting are similar to that of a moon jelly, but with a little more discomfort. It is the largest known jellyfish species in the world. Its name was inspired by its showy, trailing tentacles that resemble an African lion’s mane. The lion’s mane uses its stinging tentacles to capture, pull in and eat with a diet of fish and smaller jellyfish that get too close to the tentacles. Its nematocysts, or stinging cells, are not known to be fatal to humans, pain from stings is relatively mild and often described as burning rather than stinging.


Moon jellies
The Moon jellies (Aurelia aurita) is one of the more otherworldly jellyfish is the moon jellyfish. These look like underwater flying saucers. Moon jellyfish are most common during the summer months from early June to September. This translucent species averages about 6 to 8 inches in diameter at the saucer-shaped bell. They have 4 horseshoe-shaped gonads in the center of the bell and short tentacles. It feeds by collecting medusae, plankton and mollusks with their tentacles and bring the food back into their body for digestion. They are only able to move slightly by themselves and rely more on ocean currents even when swimming by pulsing and relaxing their bell. Moon jellies breathe oxygen from surrounding waters by way of a thin membrane that covers the tops of their bodies.


Mushroom Cap
The Mushroom Cap jellies (Rhopilema verrilli) are cnidarian invertebrates distinguished by their mushroom-shaped medusae. The species does not have any tentacles; however, they still have stinging cells, called nematocysts, within their bells, which can produce mild stings to humans. Mushroom jellies are commonly mistaken for cannonballs, but they lack the brown bands of the cannonball. According to the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, the mushroom jelly has a firm and dense swimming bell, however its bell is usually flatter than that of the cannonball. The bell does have finger-shaped arms that grow down from the center.


Portuguese man o’ war
The man-of-War are not usually in the area unless pushed to the coast by wind and ocean currents. It is a purple-blue color and can be up to 10 inches long. The Portuguese man o’ war (Physalia physalis), is not a jellyfish but related to the species and is highly venomous. It has numerous venomous microscopic nematocysts which deliver a painful sting powerful enough to kill fish. Stings can result in intense joint and muscle pain, headaches, shock, collapse, faintness, hysteria, chills, fever, nausea, and vomiting. Severe stings can occur even when the animal is beached or dead. Although it superficially resembles a jellyfish, the Portuguese man o’ war is in fact a siphonophore. Like all siphonophores, it is a colonial organism, made up of many smaller units called zooids. All zooids in a colony are genetically identical, but fulfill specialized functions such as feeding and reproduction, and together allow the colony to operate as a single individual.


Sea Nettle
The Atlantic sea nettle (Chrysaora quinquecirrha) is a species of jellyfish that inhabits the Atlantic coast of the United States. Sea nettles are quite common and is the second-largest jellyfish. This species is semitransparent, saucer-shaped, and 6-8 inches in diameter with small white dots and reddish-brown stripes. They often appear in summer months and their stings can be moderate to severe. Sea Nettle’s cause most of the jellyfish stings in the state.


Sea Wasps
Sea Wasps (Chironex fleckeri) is a species of extremely venomous box jellyfish found in coastal waters. The jelly is also called the box jelly because of its cube-shaped bell. They are 5-6 inches in diameter and 4-6 inches in height. Notorious for its sting, C. fleckeri has tentacles up to 3 m (10 ft) long covered with millions of cnidocytes which, on contact, release microscopic darts delivering an extremely powerful venom. The sea wasp jelly is the most dangerous to humans, and the most venomous of all true jellies found in North Carolina waters. Being stung commonly results in excruciating pain followed by a severe skin rash. A sting may lead to a trip to the hospital, depending on the reaction severity. If stung in the face or neck area, it’s best to seek medical help as soon as is possible.