A comparison of the toxinological properties of nematocyst venoms from Old and New World Cassiopea and Aurelia species was undertaken. The cnidom of venomous Cassiopea andromeda (Ca) and Aurelia (Aa(RS)) from the Red Sea was identical to that of nonvenomous Bahamian Cassiopea xamancha (Cx) and Chesapeake Bay Aurelia aurita (Aa(CB)), respectively. A clean nematocyst preparation of Ca and both Aurelias could be obtained but algal particles could not be separated completely from the Cx nematocysts. Further purification of all four nematocyst preparations showed significant differences in the action of their protein. Only the Cassiopea had coexisting dermonecrotic and vasopermeability producing properties and Ca's hemolytic activity was associated with mouse lethality. The protein, hemolysin and phospholipase gel filtration eluant curves of Ca venom were similar. Venomous Aa(RS) actively stung lips and contained more potent mouse lethal, demonecrotic, vasopermeability plus hemolytic factors than Aa(CB). Cross reactivity of convalescent human serum obtained from patients stung by Ca and venomous Cx collected in Central America occurred. This was also observed between sera of bathers stung by Aa(RS) and stinging Aurelia which appeared in Florida during the recent El Niño year. IgG was stimulated by several nematocyst proteins since many venom subfractions tested positive at high titers against convalescent sera. T-cell proliferation of mice primed with either Aurelia venom was positive against the homologous preparation with cross reactivity to the heterologous venom. Crude venoms of both Red Sea jellyfish metabolically stimulated cultured human hepatocytes more than their New World counterparts. This data shows that considerable similarities and differences exist in the venoms of these Old and New World Cassiopea and Aurelia medusae with the Eastern species being more potent.