sea nettle, any one of several species of stinging jellyfish, common along coasts and much feared by swimmers. Most stings are painful but are not dangerous to man; however, certain jellyfish of the order Cubomedusae and especially an Australian species, Chironex fleckeri, have caused many deaths. The sting, produced by nematocysts located in the tentacles, is used to kill or stun prey. Sea nettles are classified in the phylum Cnidaria, class Scyphoza.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.