When one thinks of jellyfish, they most likely think of saltwater jellyfish found in the ocean. One does not usually think of finding a jellyfish in the lake.
A Lake of the Ozarks woman recently found a freshwater jellyfish on the Gravois Arm of the lake near Indian Creek.
"It's the size of a dime," Barbara Mangels said of her find.
Mangels knew that jellyfish have been known to be found in the lake and remembers finding them with her children when they were young.
Missouri Department of Conservation officials confirmed that freshwater jellyfish do exist and that they normally are in the lake this time of year. Residents and visitors can rest assured knowing that these jellyfish do not sting like saltwater jellyfish.
According to the Missouri Department of Conservation's website, freshwater jellyfish do have "stinging cells" on their tentacles but probably cannot penetrate human skin. Itching and redness have been reported from their stings.
When fully grown, this type of jellyfish has a diameter of about .5 to 1 inch. These creatures are described as gentle swimmers and do not tolerate much of a current. They swim by pulsating contractions of the bell-like shaped body.
Greg Stoner with Missouri Department of Conservation said that freshwater jellyfish do not come out every year. Conditions must be right for them to appear. He has only received two reports of them so far this season.