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The morphogenesis of ephyra in Coronatae (Cnidaria, Scyphozoa)


The morphogenesis of ephyrae of Atorella vanhoeffeni Bigelow, 1909 (Werner, 1967) and of Nausithoe maculata Jarms, 1990 during strobilation is described. We found differences in the developmental pattern of marginal structures and structural changes of longitudinal muscle tubes in particular. During strobilation the polyp’s tetraradiate symmetry is passed to the ephyra of both taxa as a tetraradiate central symmetry that we consider a major plesiomorphic character. The present results also indicate divergent patterns of ephyra development during strobilation that lead to variable marginal symmetries of ephyrae and thus of medusae. Therefore, the marginal symmetry of medusae of N. maculata is octoradiate and of A. vanhoeffeni is hexaradiate. We conclude the latter is stated as derived pattern. These results lead us to maintain both families Nausithoidae and Atorellidae.

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The results are part of the diploma thesis “Entstehung von hexaradialen (Atorella) und octoradialen (Nausithoe) Medusen aus tetrradialen Stephanoscyphistomae (Coronatae, Scyphozoa)” of Norman Eggers, carried out at the Department of Zoology, University of Hamburg. We thank an unknown reviewer for correcting the English and constructive remarks.

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Correspondence to Gerhard Jarms.

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Communicated by O. Kinne.

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Eggers, N., Jarms, G. The morphogenesis of ephyra in Coronatae (Cnidaria, Scyphozoa). Mar Biol 152, 495–502 (2007).

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  • Longitudinal Muscle
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