StingerCam: a tool for ecologists and stakeholders to detect the presence of venomous tropical jellyfish

Llewellyn, L.E., Bainbridge, S., Page, G., O'Callaghan, M.D., and Kingsford, M.J. (2016) StingerCam: a tool for ecologists and stakeholders to detect the presence of venomous tropical jellyfish. Limnology and Oceanography: Methods, 14 (10). pp. 649-657.

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A “StingerCam” camera system provided high temporal resolution image data on the presence of large cubozoan jellyfish over nearly five years on the tropical coast of northeastern Australia. There was strong seasonality in the occurrence of Chironex fleckeri and an unnamed species of the family Carybdeidae (Morbakka spp.). Jellyfish of both species were only found between December and May of each year; primarily in the wet season. It was estimated that jellyfish were released from polyps from September. From a sample of >1000 C. fleckeri and 493 Morbakka we determined the temperature and salinity range in which these taxa were detected being between 21.7°C–31.6°C and 25.2–34.9 PSU for C. fleckeri, and 20.2–30.2°C and 25.4–35.4 PSU for Morbakka sp. Daily wind speed influenced detection rates with less jellyfish observed in winds that exceeded 28 km h−1. Data reduction software greatly improved processing time by identifying images without jellyfish with an accuracy of 93–98% in the two case studies used here, an image series from a night when jellyfish were highly active and in winter when jellyfish were absent. The StingerCam not only provided strong ecological data and information of high utility to reduce the risk of envenomation to the public, but also detected boney fishes, sharks and marine reptiles. We conclude that StingerCams are an effective way of collecting data to determine the range of physical conditions that jellyfish can tolerate and this information can be used in predictive models; especially given a global focus on climate change.

Item ID: 48580
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1541-5856
Keywords: stingercam; cubozoan; stakeholders; tropics;
Funders: Australian Lions Foundation for Scientific and Medical Research on Marine Species Dangerous to Humans
Date Deposited: 20 Apr 2017 04:55
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410402 Environmental assessment and monitoring @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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