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Morbakka jellyfish

Image of Morbakka Jellyfish showing bulbous transparent body and tentacles

The Morbakka jellyfish (Morbakka fenneri) is a type of Irukandji jellyfish that occurs naturally in Moreton bay. It can grow to around 15cm long and is usually found in isolation rather than swarms.

The sting of a Morbakka jellyfish can cause Irukandji syndrome - a collection of symptoms that include:

  • severe lower back pain
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • breathing difficulties
  • profuse sweating
  • severe cramps and spasms
  • a feeling of impending doom.

No fatalities from Morbakka have been recorded on Redlands Coast, however all incidents have required urgent medical assistance. One case in prior years has required life support.

Avoiding Morbakka stings

To avoid an Irukandji Morbakka sting:

  • swim between the red and yellow flags (if present)
  • ask lifeguards about recent stings and read warning signs
  • wear protective clothing such as a full body lycra suit, sun-suit, dive skin, rashie or pantyhose
  • carry a bottle of white or brown vinegar in your boat or car
  • if you see a Morbakka (or are stung), get out of the water and alert others immediately.

What to do if stung

If you, or someone you know is stung by a Morbakka jellyfish, follow these steps:

  1. Call for help on 000 and alert the lifeguard.
  2. Treat the patient - administer CPR if you need to.
  3. Treat the sting - flood the sting with vinegar.
  4. Seek further medical help.

Council's role in protecting the public

The Redland City marine environment is home to a number of marine stingers. During periods of risk to public safety, council may erect warning signs and take further steps to protect the public.

More information is available from on Beachsafe website .

This information has been compiled with help from Dr Lisa-ann Gershwin, a marine expert at the Queensland Museum and Sciencentre.