Courtship and reproduction in Carybdea sivickisi (Cnidaria: Cubozoa)
Courtship and fertilization events in cubozoans have received little attention from biologists, and much of what we know about these processes is based on conjecture or scant anecdotal evidence. I set out to describe these processes in the cubozoan Carybdea sivickisi by observing mature medusae in vitro. Mature adults engage in courtship during which spermatophores are transferred from the male to the female, who then inserts the gametes into her manubrium. Females accepted multiple spermatophores from multiple males, and only produced one embryo strand. This study also provides evidence that the presence of conspicuous velar spots on the female’s bell margin is a signal of sexual maturity, and that sexual maturity was not reached in either sex until individuals had a bell diameter of at least 5 mm.