, Volume 530-531, Issue 1-3, pp 529-535

Associations between gelatinous zooplankton and hyperiid amphipods (Crustacea: Peracarida) in the Gulf of California

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Abstract

Hyperiid amphipods are pelagic crustaceans that live associated with gelatinous zooplankton including medusae, ctenophores, siphonophores, and salps. Standard plankton sampling disrupts natural associations, so the most reliable way to determine an association is through direct observation of the organisms in their environment. The planktonic fauna of the Gulf of California dwelling between 10 and 3000 m was surveyed using SCUBA diving and a remotely operated submersible (ROV) during March 2003. Here we report our observations on a total of 14 symbiotic associations found between the hyperiid amphipods and various taxa of gelatinous zooplankton. We found parental care behavior in a group of amphipods (Oxycephalidae) in which this phenomenon has not been previously reported. For two hyperiid species, Euthamneus rostratus and Vibilia australis, we present the first information on their symbiotic relations. Additional hosts were discovered for other well-known and widely distributed hyperiid species (i.e. Brachyscelus crusculum, Hyperoche medusarum). Photographic evidence of some of these interactions is included in this contribution. This is the first survey of these relationships in the Gulf of California, and many aspects of the ecology and biology of these symbioses remain to be studied.