Blubber (Catostylus mosaicus)

Common Name



Catostylus mosaicus

Size and Appearance

Mushroom-shaped bell 5-30cm in diameter. They are a creamy white brown colour (blue if found further north). No tentacles but eight ‘fronds’ or ‘frills’ hang underneath. The sting causes minor skin irritation.


Size relative to human


The Australian species is found in Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales and into South East Asia.


Distribution in Australian waters

First Aid
  1. Remove casualty from water if safe to do so
  3. Wash area with sea water (not freshwater)
  4. Keep casualty at rest and reassure
  5. Do not allow rubbing of the sting area
  6. Place casualty’s stung area in hot water (as hot as the victim can stand) for 20 minutes
  7. If local pain is unrelieved by heat or if hot water is not available, apply a cold pack or ice in a bag
  8. Send for medical aid if symptoms persist or covers a sensitive area (e.g the eyes) and seek assistance from lifeguards


Catostylus sting

Did You Know?
  • Blubbers are in the scyphozoan jellyfish Order called Rhizostomae; other rhizostomes have been demonstrated to use a sun compass to navigation migration pathways
  • Australia is home to many different species of blubbers — most are larger, colourful and give only minor stings
  • Blubbers are often home to a lot of strange marine life including crabs, brittle stars, barnacles and fish and crustaceans