Cnidarian "Parasites" on Solmissus incisa, a Narcomedusa
Dawn Alexandra Osborn

A narcomedusa, Solmissus incisa, was collected off central California in the Monterey Submarine Canyon at 230 m in October 1996. The medusa was viewed and collected from the RV Point Lobos using the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Ventana. Advantages of such in situ observation include the ability to recognize parasites (which appear as small, opaque circles) on the bell of the specimen. In the laboratory, the circular objects were found to be "parasitic," cnidarian-like juveniles developing within the epidermis, stages that moved freely, extending and retracting their tentacles. It is not known whether these juveniles are true parasites - i.e. juveniles of another species drawing nutrition from the host medusa, or whether they are offspring being brooded. Solmissus is one of the most numerous genera of medusae in Monterey Bay, and this is the first report of parasites on members of that genus in the California Current system.

Contents of this volume Sci. Mar. 64(Suppl.1) : 157-163 Back PDF
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