Portuguese man of war

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Portuguese man-of-war Colonial coelenterate animal found in marine subtropical and tropical waters. It has a bright blue gas float and long, trailing tentacles with highly poisonous stinging cells. It is not a true jellyfish: the tentacles are actually a cluster of several kinds of modified medusae and polyps. Length: to 18m (60ft). Class Hydrozoa; genus Physalia.

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Por·tu·guese man-of-war • n. a floating colonial coelenterate (Physalia physalis, order Siphonophora, class Hydrozoa) with a number of polyps and a conspicuous float. It bears long tentacles that are able to inflict painful stings.

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Portuguese man-of-war (Physalia physalis) See NOMEIDAE; RHIZOPHYSALIINA.

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Portuguese man-of-war: see jellyfish; polyp and medusa.