Lions District 201Q2

Lions District 201Q2

North Queensland - Australia and Papua New Guinea

Lions Stinger Research Foundation

Scientific and Medical Research on Maraine Species Dangerous to Humans


"C. Fleckeri is the most lethal animal in the world in terms of venom potency, with Retwo metres of tentacles capable of inducing heart failure in humans in less than two minutes.

C. Fleckeri is especially a threat to indigenous communities in Far North Queensland, where these jellyfish appear in high abundance and access to emergency service is limited. Although the number of death annually is low, the large number of minor envenomations by this species represents a major cost to north Australian communities in resppect of public health, leisure and tourism. 

The most significant problem in finding an effective treatment for C. Fleckeri envenomation is the lack of understanding of the mechanism of action of the Menom"

- A. Andreosso MSc, JCU Cairns, 2015.


Recent studies funded by the JCU-Lions Foundation Include: 

Venom ecology of two North Queensland Species of Cubozoans

Project funded by the Australian Lions Foundation, 2005.

The chirodropid (multi-tentcaled Cubozoan) box jellyfish in North Queensland is dominated by two species, Chironex fleckeri  and the smaller Chiropsalmus sp. The former has been responsible for at least 70 deaths in northern Australia, while the latter has caused no serious stings to humans to date. The two are similar in life cycle, body morphology, inshore habitat, and small shrimp prey; however as C.fleckeri individuals grow to adulthood, the animals add fish to their diet.

The current study has found that C.fleckeri venom is, on the basis of dose, 27 times more lethal to fish than Chiropsalmus sp. venom. C.fleckeri is able to deliver 15 times the quantity of venom delivered by Chiropsalmus sp. in a single sting. In total, this translates to C.fleckeribeing 405 times more venomous to fish than Chiropsalmus sp.


Cloning and characterization of the components of Irukandji jellyfish stings

Griselda Avila-Soria PhD, JCU, 2005/2006

The main goal of this project was to collect at least 200 Carukia barnesi specimens for later work with RNA, DNA and proteins. The biological resources obtained have greatly assisted in the determination of Irukandji proteins and is directly relevant to the characterization of Irukandji venom proteins by cloning.

Resolving the human cardiotoxic components of the venom of the box jellyfish Chironex fleckeri.

Stephanie Chaousis Bachelor of Science (Zoology) with Honours, 2012.

To isolate the cardiotoxic component/s of Chiroex fleckeri (box jellyfish) venom and to elucidate the different effects the components have on human heart and skeletal muscle. These results will then aid in shaping new, novel and more effective first aid treatments for envenomation by this animal.


Statoliths of Cubozoans jellyfishes

Christopher Mooney, Doctor of Philosophy (Science), 2012.

Identification of Cuzoans (stingers) and an understanding of their movements is critical to reduce the risk of stings. The Statoliths of stingers are hard, crystal-like, calcified structures with concentric growth increments. This study used the shape and chemistry of statoliths of distinguish stingers and understand their ecology in order to assist in minimising any risk of envenomation to swimmers.


Population dynamics of box jellyfish considered a risk to public health in tropical North Queensland

Avril Underwood PhD, 2013.

The project used genetic information to further our knowledge of the ecology of Cubozoans by determining movement patterns and relationships between box jellyfish populations along the North Queensland coast. The results will help refine existing management plans for these dangerous marine stingers.

Medical research on marine species dangerous to humans

R. Courtney BSc (Hons), PhD AITHM, CJU Cairns, 2014.

This project aims to determine the thermal physiology of C. barnesi, to determine the temperatures this species can survive and to use these data to determine:

(i) How long could the stinger season last for under predicted sea temperature rise scenario, and

(ii) What the theoretical southern distribution of this species is and how this many changes projected sea temperature rise.


How To Donate 

Step 1: Payment

All Payments are to be paid to the Cabinet Secretary 

Description: Donation to Lions Stinger Fund


Step 2:  Email Us For Your Receipt

To advise us of your payment and to ensure that you are correctly receipted, please include the date, amount and a description of your deposit in an email to our District Treasurer.

If you wish the receipt to be posted, please include a postal address in the email. 

A message from District Governor Brian Hewett

The Lions club of North Queensland and James Cook University have been in partnership since the very early 1990s when the Lions Foundation for Scientific and Medical Research on Marine Species Dangerous to Humans was founded. The majority of this research of the last 30 years has been focussed on marine stingers and while now much is understood about the lifecycle, habitat, venom and how we interact with dangerous stingers there is still much more to discover and uncover.

We are looking for funding in order to continue and develop the overall research to enable a better understanding about jellyfish, where they come from, and how they behave, so that there can be better management of keeping humans and stingers apart, and also what preventative or curative measures can be taken so that no sting is lethal. 

I look forward to working with you to help you raise funds for this important research to continue, and to find soloutions to the problem that affects hundreds of people and communities throughout the tropics every year. 

Brian Hewett

2016-17 Q2 District Governor

Lions Club Australia

Board of Directors

Chairperson: Vice Chancellor James Cook University of North Queensland

Trustees: Peter Phillips, PDG Warren Milevskiy, John Menico, PDG Carlo Cavallo, Ron Gurnett, Paul Clay, DG of the Day & Director Australian Institute of Marine Science

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