11 Facts On Box Jellyfish: Types, Characteristics

Box jellyfish is known as a pseudo jellyfish belonging to the cnidaria invertebrate with inverted tentacles connected to the body. Let us see the types of box jellyfish in detail.

  • Chironex
  • Carybdeidai
  • Copula sivickisi
  • Chiropsalmus quadrigatus
  • Alatina Alata
  • Chirodropida
  • Tripedaliidae
  • Tamoya ohboya
  • Irukandji


Chironex is also known as the Australian box jellyfish or the sea wasps which is one of the toxic box jellyfish species that can be seen in the shallow waters of the northern part of Australia or in the southeastern part of the world. The range mass of this type of box jellyfish can be of 2 kg (max) and the length 3 metre (highest)


Carybdeidai is a species of the box jellyfish that comes along with 7 other species. They feed on other small fish and sea turtles. This one of the most commonly found type of Box jellyfish among all.

Copula sivickisi:

Copula sivickisi is one of the smallest box jellyfish species that grows only up to 0.4 inches or 10 millimeters. The gonads of this species can be seen in the bell shaped structure.

Chiropsalmus quadrigatus:

Chiropsalmus quadrigatus also known as the fire medusa or Indringa is a transparent type of box jellyfish with 8 tentacles that are flat in shape.

Alatina Alata:

Alatina Alata belongs to the class cubozoa and it is one of the largest box jellyfishes. These are the transparent box fish which can be seen in the Atlantic ocean and also in pacific and Indian ocean too.


Chirodropida is an order in the taxonomic classification which has many species in it. Chirodropida is known for its muscular base which is branched at the corner of the cubic umbrella.


Tripedaliidae is one of the tiniest type or species of box jellyfish which belongs to the class Cubozoa. Examples of Tripedaliidae are Tripedalia binata, Tripedalia cystophora.

Tamoya ohboya:

Tamoya ohboya is also known as Bonaire banded box jellyfish for their appearance as a band of colour can be seen in their tentacles. Tamoya ohboya was first explored in the dutch Caribbean island waters.


Irukandji is one of the rare and very toxic box jellyfish explored till date. Irukandji is small and can still be toxic any organism. Irukandji causes ailments that can be devastating. The box jellyfish belong to the phylum Cnidaria and order Cubomedusae. They resemble jelly fishes.

Box jellyfish life cycle:

The life cycle of box jellyfish involves gametes and without gametes also and is a bit complex. Let us see in detail.

  • The life cycle initiates with the non pigmented larvae or the transparent larvae and then the pigment forms making it pigmented larvae.
  • The formation of vegetative polyp takes place which is in the bentonic stage. They grow upto 1-2 mm in length.
  • There will be three stages of the transformation or commonly called as metamorphosis from which the jellyfish are formed from the polyps.
  • Then finally the juvenile jellyfishes form into the adult female and adult male.
  • The combination of the male gamete and female gamete makes the cubozoans (ciliated larvae). So the larvae form into the polyp and then the juveniles are formed.

Box jellyfish characteristics:

From the characteristics that are mentioned below, we will get a clear look on how the species are known as box jellyfish, Let us look in detail now.

  • Box jellyfish have a bell-like structure on the top where the tentacles are adhered.
  • The bell in the box jellyfish is called the square bell.
  • The tentacles are adhered or attached to the corner of the bell.
  • Few species of the box jellyfish have 4 tentacles and few others have many tentacles.
Image Credits: Box Jellyfish by Rickard Zerpe (CC BY 2.0).
  • Few members of the box fish species have eyes and few do not have eyes.
  • Box jellyfish are great swimmers.
  • Box jellyfish are extremely toxic. The nematocysts, also known as stinging cells is the most toxic part of the box jellyfish.

Box jellyfish habitat:

Habitats are the place or the region in which an organism dwells in. Let us see in detail where the box jellyfish dwell in.

The box jellyfish lives majorly in the marine or coastal shallow regions of the indo pacific and also seen in the northern side of Australia. They enjoy being in warm subtropical and tropical areas of the Atlantic ocean, eastern side of the Pacific ocean, Mediterranean sea etc.

Box jellyfish sting:

When an animal tries to hide from a predator, it acts in reflux. Some use stingers as a defensive mechanism. Let us see about box jellyfish.

Box jellyfish stings can be very toxic and the person or the animal which is stung are under serious risk. It is said that the fluid inside the box jellyfish is enough to end the life of about 60 humans.

The fluid stimulates the release of stress hormones and signals the cell to produce more inflammatory proteins which produces many ailments.

Box jellyfish eyes:

Box jellyfish are known for their keen eyes. Let us understand the specialities of the eyes of box jellyfish.

Box jellyfish have 24 eyes in them which are surrounded by 4 morphologic elements called the rhopalia which is placed at the terminal of the bell shaped head structure. The different part of a box jellyfish eyes are the stalk, pit eye, upper lens eye, slit eye, lower lens eye, lens, pigment layer and the statolith.

Where are box jellyfish found:

Box jellyfish are found in the aquatic region. Let us see their location in detail now.

Box jellyfish are found in the northern part of Australia and in the indo pacific region. They are majorly found here, but also seen in the Philippines, South Africa, Japan, Florida, Hawaii and other southern parts of the world.

Box jellyfish facts:

Here are a few facts about box jellyfish, which can be seen in detail below.

Characteristic Description
Type Highly toxic species of the jellyfish
Active season Wet season (november to april)
Appearance light blue and transparent
Tentacles 15 tentacles each upto 10 ft in length
Stingers They are excellent stingers with around 5000 stinging cells.
Eyes 24 primitive eyes
Central nervous system No
Diet tiny fishes and other invertebrates.
Total number of species 51 (atleast)
Domestication No
Naming Due to the umbrella or bell shaped structure , they are called the box jellyfish
Box Jelly fish Facts


The article explains in detail about box jellyfish and their species. Their habitats, diet, life cycle, characteristics are discussed in this article explicitly. Read the article completely to know their features.

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