© Johan Boshoff


Bluebottles (Physaliidae)


The float of the bluebottle can be up to 30 cm and the tentacles up to 50 m.

Bluebottles Identification

The floating part of the bluebottle – the bladder – is blue and has dangling tentacles below. Some are flat without the distinctive bladder.

Bluebottles General Info

Bluebottles belong to the Physaliidae family which is a part of the Siphonophora order. It comprises of four distinct individuals – the float, tentacles, organs and sexual organs. They catch their prey with their stinging cells which have nematocyst. They reproduce sexually by releasing their eggs and sperm into the water.

Bluebottles Feeding

Bluebottles feed on fish, fish larvae and cephalopods.


They can be found in tropical and temperate oceans across the world.

Common Species

Blue button - Porpita porpita
Bluebottle - Physalia physalis
By the wind sailor - Velella sp.

© Johan Boshoff