Overview

Comprehensive Description

Phyllorhiza punctata is a large jellyfish with a rounded and somewhat flattened gelatinous bell that is clear or possibly tinted brown with many small white crystalline refractive spots close to the surface (Graham et al. 2003, Perry and Larsen 2004). As is characteristic of members of Order Rhizostomae, the bell margin lacks tentacles and the central mouth area is ringed by eight highly dichotomous (branching) oral arms that each bear 14 lappets (flaps of tissue) and become fused near their bases (Graham et al. 2003, Omori and Kitamura 2004). Within it's native range and in certain introduced localities, symbiotic zooxanthellae reside in the tissue of the animal, giving these jellyfish a brownish tint.
  • Bolton T.F. and W.M. Graham. 2004. Morphological variation among populations of an invasive jellyfish. Marine Ecology Progress Series 278:125-139.
  • Carlton J.T. and J.B. Geller. 1993. Ecological roulette: the global transport of nonindigenous marine organisms. Science 261:78-82.
  • Cutress C.E. 1973. Phyllorhiza punctata in the Tropical Atlantic. Associations of Island Marine Laboratories of the Caribbean, Cumana 9:14.
  • Fuller P. 2005. Phyllorhiza punctata. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL. Available online.Garcia J.R. and B. Durbin. 1993. Zooplanktivorous predation by large scyphomedusae Phyllorhiza punctata (Cnidaria: Scyphozoa) in Laguna Joyuda. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 173:71-93.
  • Graham W.M. 1998. First report of Carybdea alata var. grandis (Reynaud 1830) (Cnidaria: Cubozoa) from the Gulf of Mexico. Gulf of Mexico Science 1998:28-30.
  • 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.
  • Graham W.M., Martin D.L., Felder D.L., Asper V.L., and H.M. Perry. 2003. Ecological and economic implications of a tropical jellyfish invader in the Gulf of Mexico. Biological Invasions 5:53-69.
  • 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.
  • Haddad M.A. and M. Nogueira, Jr. 2006. Reappearance and seasonality of Phyllorhiza punctata von Lendenfeld (Cnidaria, Scyphozoa, Rhizostomeae) medusae in southern Brazil. Rev. Bras. Zool. 23.
  • Heeger T., Piatkowski U., and H. Moeller. 1992. Predation on jellyfish by the cephalopod Argonauta argo. Marine Ecology Progress Series 88:293-296.
  • 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.
  • Omori M. and M. Kitamura. 2004. Taxonomic review of three Japanese species of edible jellyfish (Scyphozoa: Rhizostomeae), Plankton Biol. Ecol. 51:36-51.
  • 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.
  • Rupert E.E., Fox R.S., and R.D. Barnes. 2004. Invertebrate Zoology. Seventh Edition.Silveira F.L. and P.F.S. Cornelius. 2000. New observations on medusae (Cnidaria, Scyphozoa, Rhizostomae) from the northeast and south Brazil, Acta Biologica Leopoldensia 22:9-18.
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Source: Indian River Lagoon Species Inventory

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Distribution

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).
  • Bolton T.F. and W.M. Graham. 2004. Morphological variation among populations of an invasive jellyfish. Marine Ecology Progress Series 278:125-139.
  • Carlton J.T. and J.B. Geller. 1993. Ecological roulette: the global transport of nonindigenous marine organisms. Science 261:78-82.
  • Cutress C.E. 1973. Phyllorhiza punctata in the Tropical Atlantic. Associations of Island Marine Laboratories of the Caribbean, Cumana 9:14.
  • Fuller P. 2005. Phyllorhiza punctata. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL. Available online.Garcia J.R. and B. Durbin. 1993. Zooplanktivorous predation by large scyphomedusae Phyllorhiza punctata (Cnidaria: Scyphozoa) in Laguna Joyuda. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 173:71-93.
  • Graham W.M. 1998. First report of Carybdea alata var. grandis (Reynaud 1830) (Cnidaria: Cubozoa) from the Gulf of Mexico. Gulf of Mexico Science 1998:28-30.
  • 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.
  • Graham W.M., Martin D.L., Felder D.L., Asper V.L., and H.M. Perry. 2003. Ecological and economic implications of a tropical jellyfish invader in the Gulf of Mexico. Biological Invasions 5:53-69.
  • 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.
  • Haddad M.A. and M. Nogueira, Jr. 2006. Reappearance and seasonality of Phyllorhiza punctata von Lendenfeld (Cnidaria, Scyphozoa, Rhizostomeae) medusae in southern Brazil. Rev. Bras. Zool. 23.
  • Heeger T., Piatkowski U., and H. Moeller. 1992. Predation on jellyfish by the cephalopod Argonauta argo. Marine Ecology Progress Series 88:293-296.
  • 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.
  • Omori M. and M. Kitamura. 2004. Taxonomic review of three Japanese species of edible jellyfish (Scyphozoa: Rhizostomeae), Plankton Biol. Ecol. 51:36-51.
  • 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.
  • Rupert E.E., Fox R.S., and R.D. Barnes. 2004. Invertebrate Zoology. Seventh Edition.Silveira F.L. and P.F.S. Cornelius. 2000. New observations on medusae (Cnidaria, Scyphozoa, Rhizostomae) from the northeast and south Brazil, Acta Biologica Leopoldensia 22:9-18.
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© Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce

Source: Indian River Lagoon Species Inventory

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Physical Description

Size

Phyllorhiza punctata is a large jellyfish whose average adult bell width is approximately 35 cm (Perry and Larsen 2004). Very large individuals nearly twice that diameter have also been reported from Gulf of Mexico specimens (Graham et al. 2003).
  • Bolton T.F. and W.M. Graham. 2004. Morphological variation among populations of an invasive jellyfish. Marine Ecology Progress Series 278:125-139.
  • Carlton J.T. and J.B. Geller. 1993. Ecological roulette: the global transport of nonindigenous marine organisms. Science 261:78-82.
  • Cutress C.E. 1973. Phyllorhiza punctata in the Tropical Atlantic. Associations of Island Marine Laboratories of the Caribbean, Cumana 9:14.
  • Fuller P. 2005. Phyllorhiza punctata. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL. Available online.Garcia J.R. and B. Durbin. 1993. Zooplanktivorous predation by large scyphomedusae Phyllorhiza punctata (Cnidaria: Scyphozoa) in Laguna Joyuda. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 173:71-93.
  • Graham W.M. 1998. First report of Carybdea alata var. grandis (Reynaud 1830) (Cnidaria: Cubozoa) from the Gulf of Mexico. Gulf of Mexico Science 1998:28-30.
  • 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.
  • Graham W.M., Martin D.L., Felder D.L., Asper V.L., and H.M. Perry. 2003. Ecological and economic implications of a tropical jellyfish invader in the Gulf of Mexico. Biological Invasions 5:53-69.
  • 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.
  • Haddad M.A. and M. Nogueira, Jr. 2006. Reappearance and seasonality of Phyllorhiza punctata von Lendenfeld (Cnidaria, Scyphozoa, Rhizostomeae) medusae in southern Brazil. Rev. Bras. Zool. 23.
  • Heeger T., Piatkowski U., and H. Moeller. 1992. Predation on jellyfish by the cephalopod Argonauta argo. Marine Ecology Progress Series 88:293-296.
  • 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.
  • Omori M. and M. Kitamura. 2004. Taxonomic review of three Japanese species of edible jellyfish (Scyphozoa: Rhizostomeae), Plankton Biol. Ecol. 51:36-51.
  • 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.
  • Rupert E.E., Fox R.S., and R.D. Barnes. 2004. Invertebrate Zoology. Seventh Edition.Silveira F.L. and P.F.S. Cornelius. 2000. New observations on medusae (Cnidaria, Scyphozoa, Rhizostomae) from the northeast and south Brazil, Acta Biologica Leopoldensia 22:9-18.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce

Source: Indian River Lagoon Species Inventory

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Look Alikes

In the IRL region, potential exists for confusion with the moon jelly Aurelia aurita based on size similarity, but the two species are markedly different in appearance otherwise. In other parts of the world, Phyllorhiza co-occurs with other mastigiid jellyfish which are similar in appearance, including several species belonging to the genus Mastigias.
  • Bolton T.F. and W.M. Graham. 2004. Morphological variation among populations of an invasive jellyfish. Marine Ecology Progress Series 278:125-139.
  • Carlton J.T. and J.B. Geller. 1993. Ecological roulette: the global transport of nonindigenous marine organisms. Science 261:78-82.
  • Cutress C.E. 1973. Phyllorhiza punctata in the Tropical Atlantic. Associations of Island Marine Laboratories of the Caribbean, Cumana 9:14.
  • Fuller P. 2005. Phyllorhiza punctata. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL. Available online.Garcia J.R. and B. Durbin. 1993. Zooplanktivorous predation by large scyphomedusae Phyllorhiza punctata (Cnidaria: Scyphozoa) in Laguna Joyuda. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 173:71-93.
  • Graham W.M. 1998. First report of Carybdea alata var. grandis (Reynaud 1830) (Cnidaria: Cubozoa) from the Gulf of Mexico. Gulf of Mexico Science 1998:28-30.
  • 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.
  • Graham W.M., Martin D.L., Felder D.L., Asper V.L., and H.M. Perry. 2003. Ecological and economic implications of a tropical jellyfish invader in the Gulf of Mexico. Biological Invasions 5:53-69.
  • 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.
  • Haddad M.A. and M. Nogueira, Jr. 2006. Reappearance and seasonality of Phyllorhiza punctata von Lendenfeld (Cnidaria, Scyphozoa, Rhizostomeae) medusae in southern Brazil. Rev. Bras. Zool. 23.
  • Heeger T., Piatkowski U., and H. Moeller. 1992. Predation on jellyfish by the cephalopod Argonauta argo. Marine Ecology Progress Series 88:293-296.
  • 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.
  • Omori M. and M. Kitamura. 2004. Taxonomic review of three Japanese species of edible jellyfish (Scyphozoa: Rhizostomeae), Plankton Biol. Ecol. 51:36-51.
  • 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.
  • Rupert E.E., Fox R.S., and R.D. Barnes. 2004. Invertebrate Zoology. Seventh Edition.Silveira F.L. and P.F.S. Cornelius. 2000. New observations on medusae (Cnidaria, Scyphozoa, Rhizostomae) from the northeast and south Brazil, Acta Biologica Leopoldensia 22:9-18.
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© Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce

Source: Indian River Lagoon Species Inventory

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Ecology

Trophic Strategy

Like most members of Phylum Cnidaria, the tentacles of Phillorhiza are equipped with stinging cells called cnidocytes. Within these cells are stinging organelles called nematocysts. When discharged, nematocysts can immobilize small prey items that are subsequently ingested. Nematocysts are also used as a defense mechanism. The planktonic egg and larval stages of several fish species (including commercially important species such as red snapper in the gulf of Mexico) are probably important as prey items.Additionally, throughout its native range and much of its introduced range, P. punctata also harbor endosymbiotic zooxanthellae within their bell. In a relationship analogous to that of reef-building tropical corals and their resident zooxanthellae, primary production of the photosynthetic zooxanthellae likely fulfills a large proportion of the nutritional needs of the host jellyfish (Garcia and Durbin 2003).The invasive Gulf of Mexico P. punctata populations were/are unusual in that they lacked endosymbiotic zooxanthellae (Graham et al. 2003). Zooplanktivory was/is the sole trophic mode of these populations which, nonetheless, attained high population numbers.
  • Bolton T.F. and W.M. Graham. 2004. Morphological variation among populations of an invasive jellyfish. Marine Ecology Progress Series 278:125-139.
  • Carlton J.T. and J.B. Geller. 1993. Ecological roulette: the global transport of nonindigenous marine organisms. Science 261:78-82.
  • Cutress C.E. 1973. Phyllorhiza punctata in the Tropical Atlantic. Associations of Island Marine Laboratories of the Caribbean, Cumana 9:14.
  • Fuller P. 2005. Phyllorhiza punctata. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL. Available online.Garcia J.R. and B. Durbin. 1993. Zooplanktivorous predation by large scyphomedusae Phyllorhiza punctata (Cnidaria: Scyphozoa) in Laguna Joyuda. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 173:71-93.
  • Graham W.M. 1998. First report of Carybdea alata var. grandis (Reynaud 1830) (Cnidaria: Cubozoa) from the Gulf of Mexico. Gulf of Mexico Science 1998:28-30.
  • 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.
  • Graham W.M., Martin D.L., Felder D.L., Asper V.L., and H.M. Perry. 2003. Ecological and economic implications of a tropical jellyfish invader in the Gulf of Mexico. Biological Invasions 5:53-69.
  • 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.
  • Haddad M.A. and M. Nogueira, Jr. 2006. Reappearance and seasonality of Phyllorhiza punctata von Lendenfeld (Cnidaria, Scyphozoa, Rhizostomeae) medusae in southern Brazil. Rev. Bras. Zool. 23.
  • Heeger T., Piatkowski U., and H. Moeller. 1992. Predation on jellyfish by the cephalopod Argonauta argo. Marine Ecology Progress Series 88:293-296.
  • 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.
  • Omori M. and M. Kitamura. 2004. Taxonomic review of three Japanese species of edible jellyfish (Scyphozoa: Rhizostomeae), Plankton Biol. Ecol. 51:36-51.
  • 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.
  • Rupert E.E., Fox R.S., and R.D. Barnes. 2004. Invertebrate Zoology. Seventh Edition.Silveira F.L. and P.F.S. Cornelius. 2000. New observations on medusae (Cnidaria, Scyphozoa, Rhizostomae) from the northeast and south Brazil, Acta Biologica Leopoldensia 22:9-18.
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Source: Indian River Lagoon Species Inventory

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Associations

None described.Invasion History: P. punctata was recorded only from Indo-Pacific waters prior to the 1950s. In 1955, an Atlantic basin population was discovered in Brazil (Haddad and Nogueira 2006). A large population there persisted briefly in coastal waters off the southern half of the country but disappeared within a few years. At the time, the organism was identified as Mastigias scintillae, another mastigiid jellyfish similar in appearance to Phyllorhiza (Moreira 1961, in Haddad and Nogueira 2006). Three decades later, around 1991, a second established population of P. punctata was reported from Brazil, this time off of the northeastern coastline (Silveira and Cornelius 2000). Ten years later (2001), evidence pointed to a new southern population of this non-indigenous jellyfish (Fuller 2005, Haddad and Nogueira 2006). This population may be the result of a natural range extension of the established northern population, or alternatively, accidental transport by the shipping industry, or perhaps an irruptive event within an extant cryptic population. Regardless of the mechanism, Haddad and Nogueira (2006) believe that P. punctata is now widespread in Brazil, occurring in both northern and southern waters. Since 2001, the established P. punctata population in Brazil undergoes a large summer bloom, and then declines and disappears the subsequent winter and spring (Haddad and Nogueira 2006).An established population of spotted jellyfish in a mangrove lagoon in Bonqueron Bay, Puerto Rico was reported by Cutress (1973). The first report of the animal in U.S. waters dates to California in 1981 (Carlton and Geller 1993). These Phillorhiza invasions pale in magnitude to one recorded in the northern Gulf of Mexico off Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi in the summer of 2000. At that time, an estimated 10 million P. punctata medusae invaded the region and persisted at very high numbers between June and September before rapidly declining (graham et al. 2003). Interestingly, despite the magnitude of the population explosion, northern Gulf of Mexico P. punctata entirely lacked symbiotic zooxanthellae.In 2001, P. punctata was identified from collected specimens occurring in Florida in the central Indian River Lagoon near the city of Melbourne. Aerial and boat-based surveys undertaken at that time revealed only a handful of individuals. Even fewer individuals were detected the following year, and no irruptive events have been detected subsequent to this.Natural ocean circulation patterns may have been sufficient to transport P. punctata up into the northern Gulf of Mexico from established Caribbean Sea populations, as has occurred in other species (Graham 1998). Circulation set up by the Loop Current (part of teh Gulf Stream; a warm ocean current in the Gulf of Mexico that flows northward between Cuba and the Yucatan peninsula) and eddies spun off from it may have effected such transport (Johnson et al. 2004).The precise mechanisms of invasion in each of the above cases remain a matter of speculation. Invasions into new locales may occur via attachment of the sessile polyp stages to ship hulls or other submerged and towed structures. Larson and Arneson (1990) have proposed hull-fouling as the likely dispersal method transporting spotted jellyfish between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Atlantic. Transport of free-swimming stages in ballast water has probably also led to some of the invasions (Carlton and Geller 1993). Passage of vessels through the Panama Canal probably facilitated introduction from the Pacific into the Atlantic basin (e.g., Graham et al. 2003, Bolton and Graham 2004).The fact that the first documented occurrence of the species in Brazil dates back to 1955 suggests that P. punctata was first transported between ocean basins at least 50 years ago (Silveira and Cornelius 2000)Putative transport routes and vectors may be critically examined through comparative molecular or morphological analyses among various populations. In fact, a recent comparative molecular study by Bolton and Graham (2004) concluded that the Brazillian population examined was not Phyllorhiza, but rather a member of genus Mastigias. Potential to Compete With Natives: Non-native jellyfish species like P. punctata have the capacity to compete with native species for food resources. To what extent such competition occurs is unknown, as are its ecological ramifications. P. punctata may also compete with other taxa for food resources (see below). Possible Economic Consequences of Invasion: Direct negative economic impact of the 2000 Gulf of Mexico P. punctata population explosion included several million dollars of fishery losses, primarily due to net damage. Some evidence also points to a greater than 25% reduction in the northern Gulf of Mexico white shrimp (Penaeus setiferus) harvest at that time, attributable to competition between the shrimp and jellyfish for food resources. (Graham et al. 2003). Predation on pelagic fish eggs and bivalve larvae was also pronounced (Graham et al. 2003).
  • Bolton T.F. and W.M. Graham. 2004. Morphological variation among populations of an invasive jellyfish. Marine Ecology Progress Series 278:125-139.
  • Carlton J.T. and J.B. Geller. 1993. Ecological roulette: the global transport of nonindigenous marine organisms. Science 261:78-82.
  • Cutress C.E. 1973. Phyllorhiza punctata in the Tropical Atlantic. Associations of Island Marine Laboratories of the Caribbean, Cumana 9:14.
  • Fuller P. 2005. Phyllorhiza punctata. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL. Available online.Garcia J.R. and B. Durbin. 1993. Zooplanktivorous predation by large scyphomedusae Phyllorhiza punctata (Cnidaria: Scyphozoa) in Laguna Joyuda. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 173:71-93.
  • Graham W.M. 1998. First report of Carybdea alata var. grandis (Reynaud 1830) (Cnidaria: Cubozoa) from the Gulf of Mexico. Gulf of Mexico Science 1998:28-30.
  • 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.
  • Graham W.M., Martin D.L., Felder D.L., Asper V.L., and H.M. Perry. 2003. Ecological and economic implications of a tropical jellyfish invader in the Gulf of Mexico. Biological Invasions 5:53-69.
  • 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.
  • Haddad M.A. and M. Nogueira, Jr. 2006. Reappearance and seasonality of Phyllorhiza punctata von Lendenfeld (Cnidaria, Scyphozoa, Rhizostomeae) medusae in southern Brazil. Rev. Bras. Zool. 23.
  • Heeger T., Piatkowski U., and H. Moeller. 1992. Predation on jellyfish by the cephalopod Argonauta argo. Marine Ecology Progress Series 88:293-296.
  • 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.
  • Omori M. and M. Kitamura. 2004. Taxonomic review of three Japanese species of edible jellyfish (Scyphozoa: Rhizostomeae), Plankton Biol. Ecol. 51:36-51.
  • 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.
  • Rupert E.E., Fox R.S., and R.D. Barnes. 2004. Invertebrate Zoology. Seventh Edition.Silveira F.L. and P.F.S. Cornelius. 2000. New observations on medusae (Cnidaria, Scyphozoa, Rhizostomae) from the northeast and south Brazil, Acta Biologica Leopoldensia 22:9-18.
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Source: Indian River Lagoon Species Inventory

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Population Biology

An explosive summer P. punctata bloom, followed by a winter/spring decline or disappearance has occurred in Brazil every year since a population became established around 2001. The reasons for these fluctuations are unknown (Haddad and Nogueira 2006). A similar exponential population explosion occurred in 2000 in the Gulf of Mexico, although subsequent seasonal blooms have not been as large.
  • Bolton T.F. and W.M. Graham. 2004. Morphological variation among populations of an invasive jellyfish. Marine Ecology Progress Series 278:125-139.
  • Carlton J.T. and J.B. Geller. 1993. Ecological roulette: the global transport of nonindigenous marine organisms. Science 261:78-82.
  • Cutress C.E. 1973. Phyllorhiza punctata in the Tropical Atlantic. Associations of Island Marine Laboratories of the Caribbean, Cumana 9:14.
  • Fuller P. 2005. Phyllorhiza punctata. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL. Available online.Garcia J.R. and B. Durbin. 1993. Zooplanktivorous predation by large scyphomedusae Phyllorhiza punctata (Cnidaria: Scyphozoa) in Laguna Joyuda. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 173:71-93.
  • Graham W.M. 1998. First report of Carybdea alata var. grandis (Reynaud 1830) (Cnidaria: Cubozoa) from the Gulf of Mexico. Gulf of Mexico Science 1998:28-30.
  • 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.
  • Graham W.M., Martin D.L., Felder D.L., Asper V.L., and H.M. Perry. 2003. Ecological and economic implications of a tropical jellyfish invader in the Gulf of Mexico. Biological Invasions 5:53-69.
  • 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.
  • Haddad M.A. and M. Nogueira, Jr. 2006. Reappearance and seasonality of Phyllorhiza punctata von Lendenfeld (Cnidaria, Scyphozoa, Rhizostomeae) medusae in southern Brazil. Rev. Bras. Zool. 23.
  • Heeger T., Piatkowski U., and H. Moeller. 1992. Predation on jellyfish by the cephalopod Argonauta argo. Marine Ecology Progress Series 88:293-296.
  • 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.
  • Omori M. and M. Kitamura. 2004. Taxonomic review of three Japanese species of edible jellyfish (Scyphozoa: Rhizostomeae), Plankton Biol. Ecol. 51:36-51.
  • 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.
  • Rupert E.E., Fox R.S., and R.D. Barnes. 2004. Invertebrate Zoology. Seventh Edition.Silveira F.L. and P.F.S. Cornelius. 2000. New observations on medusae (Cnidaria, Scyphozoa, Rhizostomae) from the northeast and south Brazil, Acta Biologica Leopoldensia 22:9-18.
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Source: Indian River Lagoon Species Inventory

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Life History and Behavior

Reproduction

Scyphozoans have a life cycle that can be broadly divided into two parts: a free-living medusa (the "jellyfish stage") and an attached, sessile polyp stage. Sexes are separate in the medusae and these produce haploid gametes that combine through external fertilization to form free-swimming planula larvae. Planulae search out suitable settlement sites and leave the water column to assume a sessile benthic existence. Thse scyphistomae then give rise to new offspring in the form of free-swimming medusae. Immature medusae, called ephyrae, detach from the ends of the sessile scyphistomae in a process termed strobilation. Ephyrae develop into mature medusae over a period of usually several weeks (Rupert et al. 2004).
  • Bolton T.F. and W.M. Graham. 2004. Morphological variation among populations of an invasive jellyfish. Marine Ecology Progress Series 278:125-139.
  • Carlton J.T. and J.B. Geller. 1993. Ecological roulette: the global transport of nonindigenous marine organisms. Science 261:78-82.
  • Cutress C.E. 1973. Phyllorhiza punctata in the Tropical Atlantic. Associations of Island Marine Laboratories of the Caribbean, Cumana 9:14.
  • Fuller P. 2005. Phyllorhiza punctata. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL. Available online.Garcia J.R. and B. Durbin. 1993. Zooplanktivorous predation by large scyphomedusae Phyllorhiza punctata (Cnidaria: Scyphozoa) in Laguna Joyuda. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 173:71-93.
  • Graham W.M. 1998. First report of Carybdea alata var. grandis (Reynaud 1830) (Cnidaria: Cubozoa) from the Gulf of Mexico. Gulf of Mexico Science 1998:28-30.
  • 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.
  • Graham W.M., Martin D.L., Felder D.L., Asper V.L., and H.M. Perry. 2003. Ecological and economic implications of a tropical jellyfish invader in the Gulf of Mexico. Biological Invasions 5:53-69.
  • 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.
  • Haddad M.A. and M. Nogueira, Jr. 2006. Reappearance and seasonality of Phyllorhiza punctata von Lendenfeld (Cnidaria, Scyphozoa, Rhizostomeae) medusae in southern Brazil. Rev. Bras. Zool. 23.
  • Heeger T., Piatkowski U., and H. Moeller. 1992. Predation on jellyfish by the cephalopod Argonauta argo. Marine Ecology Progress Series 88:293-296.
  • 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.
  • Omori M. and M. Kitamura. 2004. Taxonomic review of three Japanese species of edible jellyfish (Scyphozoa: Rhizostomeae), Plankton Biol. Ecol. 51:36-51.
  • 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.
  • Rupert E.E., Fox R.S., and R.D. Barnes. 2004. Invertebrate Zoology. Seventh Edition.Silveira F.L. and P.F.S. Cornelius. 2000. New observations on medusae (Cnidaria, Scyphozoa, Rhizostomae) from the northeast and south Brazil, Acta Biologica Leopoldensia 22:9-18.
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Source: Indian River Lagoon Species Inventory

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Growth

In a Western Australia P. punctata population study, Rippingale and Kelly (1995) noted the presence of small (< 2 cm diameter) medusae and ephyrae in early summer. In Brazil, the presence of all size classes of P. punctata in late winter and spring suggested a prior period of continuous ephyrae release synchronized to seasonal high water temperatures and extended photoperiod (Haddad and Nogueira 2006).
  • Bolton T.F. and W.M. Graham. 2004. Morphological variation among populations of an invasive jellyfish. Marine Ecology Progress Series 278:125-139.
  • Carlton J.T. and J.B. Geller. 1993. Ecological roulette: the global transport of nonindigenous marine organisms. Science 261:78-82.
  • Cutress C.E. 1973. Phyllorhiza punctata in the Tropical Atlantic. Associations of Island Marine Laboratories of the Caribbean, Cumana 9:14.
  • Fuller P. 2005. Phyllorhiza punctata. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL. Available online.Garcia J.R. and B. Durbin. 1993. Zooplanktivorous predation by large scyphomedusae Phyllorhiza punctata (Cnidaria: Scyphozoa) in Laguna Joyuda. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 173:71-93.
  • Graham W.M. 1998. First report of Carybdea alata var. grandis (Reynaud 1830) (Cnidaria: Cubozoa) from the Gulf of Mexico. Gulf of Mexico Science 1998:28-30.
  • 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.
  • Graham W.M., Martin D.L., Felder D.L., Asper V.L., and H.M. Perry. 2003. Ecological and economic implications of a tropical jellyfish invader in the Gulf of Mexico. Biological Invasions 5:53-69.
  • 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.
  • Haddad M.A. and M. Nogueira, Jr. 2006. Reappearance and seasonality of Phyllorhiza punctata von Lendenfeld (Cnidaria, Scyphozoa, Rhizostomeae) medusae in southern Brazil. Rev. Bras. Zool. 23.
  • Heeger T., Piatkowski U., and H. Moeller. 1992. Predation on jellyfish by the cephalopod Argonauta argo. Marine Ecology Progress Series 88:293-296.
  • 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.
  • Omori M. and M. Kitamura. 2004. Taxonomic review of three Japanese species of edible jellyfish (Scyphozoa: Rhizostomeae), Plankton Biol. Ecol. 51:36-51.
  • 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.
  • Rupert E.E., Fox R.S., and R.D. Barnes. 2004. Invertebrate Zoology. Seventh Edition.Silveira F.L. and P.F.S. Cornelius. 2000. New observations on medusae (Cnidaria, Scyphozoa, Rhizostomae) from the northeast and south Brazil, Acta Biologica Leopoldensia 22:9-18.
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Source: Indian River Lagoon Species Inventory

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Phyllorhiza punctata

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


There are 2 barcode sequences available from BOLD and GenBank.

Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.

See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.

ACATTGTATTTATTATTTGGTATTTTCTCTGGTGTATTAGGTGCAGGATTT---AGTATGATTATAAGGTTAGAACTTTCTGGACCTGGATCCATGTTAGGAGAT---GATCAGTTGTATAATGTAGCTGTTACAGCTCATGGTCTAATAATGATATTTTTCTTCGTAATGCCTGTTTTATTAGGTGGCTTTGGTAATTGACTTGTTCCACTA---TATATAGGGGCTCCCGATATGGCCTTTCCAAGATTAAACAACATAAGCTTTTGATTATTACCTCCGGCTTTATTATTGCTTTTAGGTTCTTCTTTAGTAGAGCAAGGAGCAGAAACAGGTTGGACTGTTTACCCTCCCCTTAGCTCAATACAAGCTCATTCGGGAGGTTCAGTTGACATG---GCAATATTTAGTTTACATCTAGGAGGTGTTTCCTCTATATTAGCTTCCATCAATTTCATAACTACAATACTCAATATGAGAGCTCCCGGGATGACTATGGACAAAATGCCTTTATTCGTTTGATCGATATTAGTCACGGCTGTACTATTAGTTTTATCTCTTCCAGTATTTGCGGGA---GCAATAACTATGCTACTAACAGACAGGAACTTCAATACTTCATTTTTTGATCCTGCAGGAGGAGGAGACCCTATTTTATATCAACATTTG------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------TTT
-- end --

Download FASTA File

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Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Phyllorhiza punctata

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 2
Specimens with Barcodes: 2
Species With Barcodes: 1
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© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Wikipedia

Phyllorhiza punctata

Phyllorhiza punctata is a species of jellyfish, also known as the floating bell, Australian spotted jellyfish or the white-spotted jellyfish. It is native to the West Pacific from Australia to Japan, but has been introduced widely elsewhere. It feeds primarily on zooplankton. P. punctata average 45–50 centimetres (18–20 in) in bell diameter but in October 2007, one 72 cm (28 in) wide, perhaps the largest ever recorded, was found on Sunset Beach, North Carolina.

Description[edit]

At Tierpark Hagenbeck, Germany

True jellyfish go through a two-stage life cycle which consists of a medusa stage (adult) and a polyp stage (juvenile). In the medusa stage male jellyfish release sperm into the water column and the female jellyfish gathers the sperm into her mouth where she holds the eggs. Once fertilization occurs and larvae are formed they leave their mother and settle to the ocean floor. Once on the bottom a polyp form occurs and this form reproduces asexually by “cloning” or dividing itself into other polyps. Jellyfish can live for up to five years in the polyp stage and up to two years in the medusa stage.

When found in warm waters these jellyfish flourish. They are mostly euryhaline but low salinities may have a negative effect on the species. In times of low salinity these jellyfish exhibit loss of their zooxanthellae.[1]

They have only a mild venom and are not considered a threat to humans. They have a mild or non-noticeable sting which can be cured with vinegar. Salt water can be used as a last resort.

Invasive species[edit]

Video from Universeum, Sweden

The species has been found in the waters off the Hawaiian Islands since at least 1945,[2] in the Mediterranean Sea since at least 1965,[3] and in large numbers in the Gulf of Mexico since 2000.[4] While it is not known how it was introduced to these regions, it has been theorized that budding polyps may have attached themselves to ships,[5] or were carried in a ship's ballast tank which was subsequently dumped.[6] As an invasive species, it has become a threat to several species of shrimp. In Gulf waters, the medusae grow to unusually large size, upwards of 60 cm (24 in) across.

In July 2007 smallish individuals were seen in Bogue Sound much further north along the North Carolina coast. However, their ability to consume plankton and the eggs and larvae of important fish species is cause for concern. Each jellyfish can filter as much as 50,000 litres (13,000 US gal) of seawater per day. While doing that, it ingests the plankton that native species need.

It has also been spotted off the Southern California coast, but its presence there has not yet been confirmed.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Masterson, J. (2007-06-13). "Phyllorhiza punctata". Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce. Retrieved 2012-05-28. 
  2. ^ "Phyllorhiza punctata, Introduced Marine Species of Hawaii Guidebook". Bishop Museum. 2002. Retrieved 2012-05-28. 
  3. ^ Cevik, C., O. B. Derici1, F. Cevik and L. Cavas (2011). First record of Phyllorhiza punctata von Lendenfeld, 1884 (Scyphozoa: Rhizostomeae: Mastigiidae) from Turkey. Aquatic Invasions 6(1): S27–S28
  4. ^ "Phyllorhiza punctata (‘spotted jellyfish’)". Dauphin Island Sea Lab. Retrieved 2012-05-28. 
  5. ^ a b "Spotted Jellyfish (Phyllorhiza punctata)". Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve. Retrieved 2012-05-28. 
  6. ^ "White-spotted Jellyfish Fact File". Australian Museum. 2009. Archived from the original on 2009-07-13. 
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