The hydroid of the medusa Lizzia blondina Forbes, 1848

  • Peter SchuchertEmail author
Original Paper


A tiny, filiferan hydroid living within the sponge Haliclona simulans (Johnston, 1842) could be identified as the so far unknown polyp stage of the hydromedusa Lizzia blondina Forbes, 1848. This finding is based on two lines of evidence: (i) the direct observation that sponge pieces with the hydroid release young Lizzia blondina medusae, and (ii) 16S rRNA gene sequences obtained from DNA samples extracted from mixed sponge–hydroid samples were identifiable as either Lizzia blondina or sponge-related. Histological examination of the hydroid showed that it is colonial, and the individual polyps are connected through stolons which penetrate deeply into the sponge tissue. The polyps only protrude temporarily and partially for the purpose of feeding. The hydroid can retract its tentacles and the hypostome in an introvert-like pouch, becoming thus almost invisible on the sponge surface. The association of the Lizzia blondina hydroid with the sponges of the genus Haliclona Grant, 1841 is likely a rather specific relationship.


Cnidaria Hydrozoa Life cycle Sponges 16S rRNA gene barcodes 



I owe thanks to Janik Pralong (Muséum de Genève) for the histological preparations of the sponge samples as well as some of the sequences. I also wish to thank the ‘Service Marine’ and the ‘Service d’accueil’ of the Roscoff Marine Station for all their help and hospitality provided during the nine pleasant stays I had there over the last 20 years.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All applicable international, national and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed by the author.


All the sampling for this study was done by the Marine station of Roscoff and is covered by the necessary permits granted to the station.


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Copyright information

© Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Muséum d’histoire naturelleGenevaSwitzerland

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