Life cycle ofRhopilema nomadica: a new immigrant scyphomedusan in the Mediterranean
Rhopilema nomadica is an Indopacific scyphomedusan, which has migrated into the eastern Mediterranean in recent years. Large aggregations of the medusae were recorded in Haifa Bay, Israel, reaching 5.5×105 medusae per square nautical mile during summer 1989. The life cycle ofR. nomadica from planula to young medusa is described. Fertilization is external and planulae are formed within a few hours at 20°C. After settlement, polyps were fed withArtemia sp. nauplii and developed into polydisc strobilae within 45 d. The strobilation process was completed within 7 d, and the liberated ephyrae developed into young medusae within 2 mo. Asexual reproduction occurred mainly via podocyst formation. The population explosion ofR. nomadica could be attributed to its high reproductive potential.
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