This is the most complete Portuguese man o’ war (Physalia physalis) I have yet encountered on the beaches of the Texas Gulf Coast. While the tentacles remaining on this specimen stretched about five feet across the sand, that is minuscule compared to their average 30-foot span. Since the damn things can still sting after death, I gave this one a wide berth. Aren’t the colors of the pneumatophore, the gas-filled bladder that helps it float, phenomenal?
Categories: Nature Notes