, Volume 16, Issue 3, pp 171–177 | Cite as

First record of the freshwater jellyfish Craspedacusta sowerbii Lankester, 1880 in Greece suggests distinct European invasion events

  • Ioannis KaraouzasEmail author
  • Stamatis Zogaris
  • Manuel Lopes-Lima
  • Elsa Froufe
  • Simone Varandas
  • Amílcar Teixeira
  • Ronaldo Sousa
Research paper


This contribution presents the first record of the freshwater jellyfish Craspedacusta sowerbii Lankester, 1880 in Greece. The species was found in a water transfer canal adjacent to Lake Marathon, 45 km northeast of Athens; this is the southernmost record of this invasive alien medusa in the Balkan Peninsula and Europe. A review of recently published records shows that this species has expanded its range in Europe and the Mediterranean countries. Genetic analysis of the Greek specimen suggests that the phylogeny of C. sowerbii needs further evaluation since we are probably dealing with a distinct species within the genus Craspedacusta, and that the Greek population represents a distinct invasion event from that previously recorded in central Europe. However, due to a lack of molecular information on the native and invasive ranges, further phylogenetic studies are necessary to clarify this issue.


Medusa Invasive Alien species DNA Phylogeny 



The authors wish to express their appreciation to the two anonymous reviewers and the handling editor of this work for their valuable comments which helped to improve this manuscript.


  1. Aysel B, Memet V, Bulent G (2011) A new record of the freshwater jellyfish Craspeducusta sowerbii Lankester, 1880 (Hydrozoa) in Southeastern Anatolia (Turkey). Chin J Oceanol Limn 29:366–368CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Beckett DC, Turanchik EJ (1980) Occurrence of the freshwater jellyfish Craspedacusta sowerbyi Lankester in the Ohio River. Ohio J Sci 80:95–96Google Scholar
  3. Boothroyd IKG, Etheredge MK, Green JD (2002) Spatial distribution, size structure, and prey of Craspedacusta sowerbii in a shallow New Zealand lake. Hydrobiologia 468:23–32CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bouillon J, Boero F (2000) The hydrozoa: a new classification in the light of old knowledge. Thalassia Salentina 24:3–45Google Scholar
  5. Bushnell JH, Porter WT (1967) The occurrence, habitat, and prey of Craspedacusta sowerbyi (particularly polyp stage) in Michigan. T Am Microsc Soc 86:22–27Google Scholar
  6. Darriba D, Taboada GL, Doallo R, Posada D (2012) jModelTest 2: more models, new heuristics and parallel computing. Nat Methods 9:772PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. De Vries DR (1992) The freshwater jellyfish Craspedacusta sowerbyi: a summary of its life history, ecology, and distribution. J Fresh Ecol 7:7–16CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Dhora DH (2011) Register of species of the fauna of Albania 2010. Botimet Camaj-Pipa, ShkodërGoogle Scholar
  9. Dodson SI, Cooper SD (1983) Trophic relationships of the freshwater jellyfish Craspedacusta sowerbyi Lankester 1880. Limnol Oceanogr 28:345–351CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Duggan IC, Eastwood KR (2012) Detection and distribution of Craspedacusta sowerbii: observations of medusae are not enough. Aquat Invasions 7:271–275CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Dumont HJ (1994) The distribution and ecology of the fresh and brackish-water medusae of the world. Hydrobiologia 272:1–12CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. EYDAP (2015) Water supply resources: fact sheet on the Marathon Reservoir., last accessed 5 Jan 2015
  13. Ferreira MT (1985) Occurrence of the freshwater medusa Craspedacusta sowerbyi Lank, 1880 (Hydrozoa: Olindiidae) in Portuguese reservoirs. Bol Soc Port Ciênc Nat 22:41–46Google Scholar
  14. Fritz GB, Pfannkuchen M, Reuner A, Schill RO, Bruemmer F (2009) Craspedacusta sowerbii, Lankester 1880—population dispersal analysis using COI and ITS sequences. J Limnol 68:46–52Google Scholar
  15. Galarce LC, Riquelme KV, Osman DY, Fuentes RA (2013) A new record of the non indigenous freshwater jellyfish Craspedacusta sowerbii Lankester, 1880 (Cnidaria) in Northern Patagonia (40°S, Chile). Bioinvasions Rec 2:263–270Google Scholar
  16. Gasith A, Gafny S, Hershkovitz Y, Goldstein H, Galil BS (2011) The invasive freshwater medusa Craspedacusta sowerbii Lankester, 1880 (Hydrozoa: Olindiidae) in Israel. Aquat Invasions 6(1):S147–S152CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Gomes-Pereira JN, Dionísio G (2013) Craspedacusta sowerbii Lankester, 1880 in southern Portugal. Bioinvasions Rec 2:133–136Google Scholar
  18. Hall TA (1999) Bioedit: a user friendly biological sequence alignment editor and analysis program for Windows 95/98/NT. Nucleic Acids Symp Ser 41:95–98Google Scholar
  19. Jakovčev-Todorović D, Đikanović V, Skorić S, Cakić P (2010) Freshwater jellyfish Craspedacusta sowerbyi Lankester, 1880 (Hydrozoa, Olindiidae): 50 years’ observations in Serbia. Arch Biol Sci 62:23–127CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Jankowski T (2001) The freshwater medusae of the world—a taxonomic and systematic literature study with some remarks on other inland water jellyfish. Hydrobiologia 462:91–113CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Jankowski T, Collins AG, Campbell RD (2008) Global diversity of inland water cnidarians. Hydrobiologia 595:35–40CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Jaslovska M, Stloukal E (2004) Invasion of freshwater medusa, Craspedacusta sowerbyi into Carpathian and Pannonian area. In: Stloukal E, Kaluz S (eds) Book of abstracts—Fauna Carpathica Meeting. Faunima, Bratislava, p 20Google Scholar
  23. Kramp PL (1961) Synopsis of the medusae of the world. Order Limnomedusae. J Mar Biol Assoc UK 40:213–236Google Scholar
  24. Kubota S, Tanase H (2006) Biological notes on mature freshwater medusae, Craspedacusta sowerbyi (Hydrozoa, Limnomedusae, Olindiidae), from south-central Wakayama Prefecture, Japan. Bull Biogeogr Soc Japan 61:75–79 (in Japanese with English abstract)Google Scholar
  25. Lankester ER (1880) On a new jellyfish of the order Trachomedusae, living in freshwater. Science 1:34Google Scholar
  26. Lewis C, Migita M, Hashimoto H, Collins AG (2012) On the occurrence of freshwater jellyfish in Japan 1928–2011: eighty-three years of records of mamizu kurage (Limnomedusae, Olindiidae). P Biol Soc Wash 125:165–179CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Meyer CP, Geller JB, Paulay G (2005) Fine scale endemism on coral reefs: archipelagic differentiation in turbinid gastropods. Evolution 59:113–125PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Milovanović D, Živković A (1965) Plankton Skadarskog jezera (1957–1958). Zbornik Radova Biol Inst Beograd 8:1–36Google Scholar
  29. Moreno-Leon MA, Ortega-Rubio A (2009) First record of Craspedacusta sowerbyi Lankester, 1880 (Cnidaria: Limnomedusae: Olindiidae) in Mexico (Adolfo Lopez Mateos reservoir), with notes on their feeding habits and limnological dates. Biol Invasions 11:1827–1834CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Oscoz J, Tomás P, Durán C (2010) Review and new records of non-indigenous freshwater invertebrates in the Ebro River basin (Northeast Spain). Aquat Invasions 5:263–284CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Payne F (1924) A study of the freshwater medusae, Craspedacusta ryderi. J Morphol 38:387–430CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Pérez-Bote J, Muñoz A, Morán R, Roso R, Romero AJ (2006) First record of Craspedacusta sowerbyi Lankester, 1880 (Cnidaria: Limnomedusae: Olindiidae) in the Proserpina Reservoir (Extremadura, SW Spain) with notes on their feeding habits. Bel J Zool 136:163–166Google Scholar
  33. Rambaut A, Suchard MA, Xie D, Drummond AJ (2014) Tracer v1.6., last accessed 30 Nov 2014
  34. Reisinger E (1957) Zur Entwicklungsgeschichte und Entwicklungsmechanik von Craspedacusta (Hydrozoa, Limnotrachylina) (in German). Z Morph Ökol Tiere 45:656–698CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Ronquist F, Teslenko M, van der Mark P, Ayres DL, Darling A, Höhna S, Larget B, Liu L, Suchard MA, Huelsenbeck JP (2012) MrBayes 3.2: efficient Bayesian phylogenetic inference and model choice across a large model space. Syst Biol 61:539–542Google Scholar
  36. Simberloff D, Martin J-L, Genovesi P, Maris V, Wardle D, Aronson J, Courchamp F, Galil B, Garcia-Berthou E, Pascal M, Pyšek P, Sousa R, Tabacchi E, Vilà M (2013) Impacts of biological invasions: what’s what and the way forward. Trends Ecol Evol 28:58–66PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Stefani F, Leoni B, Marieni A, Garibaldi L (2010) A new record of Craspedacusta sowerbii, Lankester 1880 (Cnidaria, Limnomedusae) in Northern Italy. J Limnol 69:189–192CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Tamura K, Stecher G, Peterson D, Filipski A, Kumar S (2013) MEGA6: molecular evolutionary genetics analysis version 6.0. Mol Biol Evol 30:2725–2729PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Zenetos A, Pancucci-Papadopoulou MA, Zogaris S, Papastergiadou E, Vardakas AL, Aligizaki K, Economou AN (2009) Aquatic alien species in Greece (2009): tracking sources, patterns and effects on the ecosystem. J Biol Res Thessalon 12:135–172Google Scholar
  40. Zou H, Zhang J, Li W, Wu S, Wang G (2012) Mitochondrial genome of the freshwater jellyfish Craspedacusta sowerbyi and phylogenetics of Medusozoa. PLoS One 7:e51465PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Japanese Society of Limnology 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ioannis Karaouzas
    • 1
    Email author
  • Stamatis Zogaris
    • 1
  • Manuel Lopes-Lima
    • 2
  • Elsa Froufe
    • 2
  • Simone Varandas
    • 3
  • Amílcar Teixeira
    • 4
  • Ronaldo Sousa
    • 2
    • 5
  1. 1.Institute of Marine Biological Resources and Inland WatersHellenic Centre for Marine ResearchAnavissosGreece
  2. 2.CIIMAR/CIMAR: Interdisciplinary Centre of Marine and Environmental ResearchUniversity of PortoPortoPortugal
  3. 3.CITAB-UTAD: Centre for Research and Technology of Agro-Environment and Biological SciencesUniversity of Trasos-Montes and Alto DouroVila RealPortugal
  4. 4.CIMO-ESA-IPB: Mountain Research Centre, School of AgriculturePolytechnic Institute of BragançaBragançaPortugal
  5. 5.CBMA: Centre of Molecular and Environmental BiologyUniversity of MinhoBragaPortugal

Personalised recommendations