P. punctata is a coastal and estuarine jellyfish whose wide native distribution includes Australia and much of the Indo-Pacific including the Philippine archipelago (Heeger et al. 1992).Regionally, populations of P. punctata have persisted within a few isolated Caribbean lagoon systems (e.g., Puerto Rico) for at least four decades. More recently, established populations have been reported in Brazil (Haddad and Nogueira 2006). For the last several years, an established population has existed in the Gulf of Mexico which may become extraordinarily dense under favorable environmental conditions (Graham et al. 2003). Spotted jellyfish were first collected from the India River Lagoon and identified in June, 2001. St. Johns River Water Management District scientists encountered two specimens in the India River Lagoon proper near the Melbourne causeway in Brevard County. One of these was collected and transported to Harbor Branch Oceanographic, Fort Pierce, where it was positively identified as P. punctata. In light of the explosive population of this species in the Gulf of Mexico the previous year, the occurence of P. punctata prompted boat and/or aerial surveys of the central India River Lagoon between Vero Beach and State Road 520 in Cocoa to estimate the size of the population. Approximately 10-12 individuals were spotted by the aerial survey. Survey leader W.M. Graham of Dauphin Island Sea Lab, Alabama, estimated the actual population at that time to be approximately ten times that number, based on extensive survey experience gained while following the Gulf of Mexico population explosion (W.M. Graham, personal communication).
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- Graham W.M., Perry H.M., and D.L. Felder. 2001. Ecological and Economic implications of the tropical jellyfish, Phylloriza punctata, in the Northern Gulf of Mexico during the summer of 2000. In International Conference on Marine Bioinvasions, New Orleans, Louisiana. Louisiana Sea Grant. 59.
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- Graham W.M. and T.F. Bolton. 2004. Molecular and morphological comparisons of native and non-native populations of a jellyfish invader. American Society of Limnology and Oceanography, Summer Meeting, Abstract.
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- Johnson D.R., Perry H.M., and W.M. Graham. 2004. Using nowcast model currents to explore transport of non-indigenous jellyfish into the Gulf of Mexico. Marine Ecology Progress Series 305:139-146.
- Larson R.J. and A.C. Arneson. 1990. Two medusae new to the coast of California: Carybdea marsupialis (Linnaeus, 1758), a cubomedusa and Phyllorhiza punctata von Ledenfeld, 1884, a rhizostome scyphomedusa. Bulletin of the Southern California Academy of Sciences 89:130-136.
- Moreira M.G.B.S. 1961. Sobre Mastigias scintillae sp. nov. (Scyphomedusae, Rhizostomeae) das costas do Brasil. Boletim do Instituto Oceanografico da Universidade de Sao Paulo 11:5-30.
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- Perry H. and K. Larsen. 2004. Picture Guide to Shelf Invertebrates of the Northern Gulf of Mexico. NOAA/NMFS online publication.Ray G.L. 2005. Invasive Marine and Estuarine Animals of the Gulf of Mexico. Aquatic Nuisance Species research Program. Document ERDC/TN ANSRP-05-4.
- Rippingale R.J. and S.J. Kelly. 1995. Reproduction and survival of Phyllorhiza punctata (Cnidaria: Rhizostomeae) in a seasonally fluctuating salinity regime in western Australia. Marine and Freshwater Research 46:1145-1151.
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