Welcome to Physalia of the World
We aim to describe, document, and classify morphological and molecular variation in the genus Physalia (Cnidaria: Siphonophora) on a global scale. Physalia is a genus of colonial marine animals, related to jellyfish, that includes the Portuguese Man O' War and the bluebottle. These creatures often wash up on beaches where they can sting people. The species-level taxonomy of this genus is poorly understood, despite a long and contentious history. This is in part due to a high degree of morphological variation and plasticity. It is our hope that an integrated taxonomic approach that includes both morphological characters and DNA sequences will shed new light on this enigmatic taxon.