Skip to main content
Log in

Associations between gelatinous zooplankton and hyperiid amphipods (Crustacea: Peracarida) in the Gulf of California

  • Published:
Hydrobiologia Aims and scope Submit manuscript


Hyperiid amphipods are pelagic crustaceans that live associated with gelatinous zooplankton including medusae, ctenophores, siphonophores, and salps. Standard plankton sampling disrupts natural associations, so the most reliable way to determine an association is through direct observation of the organisms in their environment. The planktonic fauna of the Gulf of California dwelling between 10 and 3000 m was surveyed using SCUBA diving and a remotely operated submersible (ROV) during March 2003. Here we report our observations on a total of 14 symbiotic associations found between the hyperiid amphipods and various taxa of gelatinous zooplankton. We found parental care behavior in a group of amphipods (Oxycephalidae) in which this phenomenon has not been previously reported. For two hyperiid species, Euthamneus rostratus and Vibilia australis, we present the first information on their symbiotic relations. Additional hosts were discovered for other well-known and widely distributed hyperiid species (i.e. Brachyscelus crusculum, Hyperoche medusarum). Photographic evidence of some of these interactions is included in this contribution. This is the first survey of these relationships in the Gulf of California, and many aspects of the ecology and biology of these symbioses remain to be studied.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others


  • T. E. Bowman H.-E. Gruner (1973) ArticleTitleThe families and genera of Hyperiidea (Crustacea: Amphipoda) Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology 146 1–64

    Google Scholar 

  • E. Brinton A. Fleminger D. Siegel-Causey (1986) ArticleTitleThe temperate and tropical planktonic biotas of the Gulf of California CalCOFI Reports 27 228–266

    Google Scholar 

  • B. Dittrich (1987) ArticleTitlePostembryonic development of the parasitic amphipod Hyperia galba Helgoländer Wissenschaftliche Meeresuntersuchungen 41 217–232

    Google Scholar 

  • B. Dittrich (1988) ArticleTitleStudies on the life cycle and reproduction of the parasitic amphipod Hyperia galba in the North Sea Helgoländer Wissenschaftliche Meeresuntersuchungen 42 79–98

    Google Scholar 

  • B. Dittrich (1992) ArticleTitleFunctional morphology of the mouthparts and feeding strategies of the parasitic amphipod Hyperia galba (Montagu, 1813) Sarsia 77 11–18

    Google Scholar 

  • F. Evans M. Sheader (1972) ArticleTitleHost species of the hyperiid amphipod Hyperoche medusarum (Kroyer) in the North Sea Crustaceana 3 (Suppl.) 275–276

    Google Scholar 

  • G. R. Harbison L. P. Madin N. R. Swanberg (1978) ArticleTitleOn the natural history and distribution of oceanic ctenophores Deep-Sea Research 25 233–256

    Google Scholar 

  • P. Laval (1980) ArticleTitleHyperiid amphipods as crustacean parasitoids associated with gelatinous zooplankton Oceanography and Marine Biology Annual Review 18 11–56

    Google Scholar 

  • L. P. Madin G. R. Harbison (1977) ArticleTitleThe associations of Amphipoda Hyperiidea with gelatinous zooplankton I. Associations with Salpidae. Deep-Sea Research 24 449–463

    Google Scholar 

  • C.-t. Shih Q.-C. Chen (1995) Zooplankton of China Seas (2) The Hyperiidea (Crustacea: Amphipoda). China Ocean Press Beijing

    Google Scholar 

  • D. Siegel-Causey (1982) Factors Determining the Distribution of Hyperiid Amphipoda in the Gulf of California Ph.D. Dissertation University of Arizona, Tucson

    Google Scholar 

  • J. J. Stretch J. M. King (1980) ArticleTitleDirect fission: an undescribed reproductive method in Hydromedusae Bulletin of Marine Science 30 522–526

    Google Scholar 

  • M. Thiel (1976) ArticleTitleWirbellose Meerestiere als Parasiten, Kommensalen oder Symbionten in oder an Scyphomedusen Helgoländer Wissenschaftliche Meeresuntersuchungen 28 417–446

    Google Scholar 

  • M. Thiel (1997) ArticleTitleAnother caprellid amphipod with extended parental care: Aeginina longicornis Journal of Crustacean Biology 17 275–278

    Google Scholar 

  • M. Thiel (2000) Extended parental care behavior in crustaceans–A comparative overview In vonVaupel Klein J. C. & F. Schram (eds), The Biodiversity Crisis and Crustacea. Proceedings of the Fourth International Crustacean Congress. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: 211–225

    Google Scholar 

  • M. Thiel S. Sampson L. Watling (1997) ArticleTitleExtended parental care in two endobenthic amphipods Journal of Natural History 31 713–725

    Google Scholar 

  • M. H. Thurston (1977) Depth distribution of Hyperia spinigera Bovallius, 1889 (Crustacea: Amphipoda) and medusae in the North Atlantic Ocean, with notes on the association between Hyperia and coelenterates In Angel M. (ed.), A Voyage of Discovery. Pergamon Press Limited, Oxford: 499–536

    Google Scholar 

  • W. Vader (1983) ArticleTitleAssociations between amphipods (Crustacea: Amphipoda) and sea anemones (Anthozoa: Actinaria) Memoirs of the Australian Museum 18 141–153

    Google Scholar 

  • M. E. Vinogradov A. F. Volkov T. N. Semenova (1996) Hyperiid Amphipods (Amphipoda, Hyperiidea) of the World Oceans Science Publications Incorporated Lebanon, USA

    Google Scholar 

  • H. Westernhagen Particlevon (1976) ArticleTitleSome aspects of the biology of the hyperiid amphipod Hyperoche medusarum Helgoländer Wissenschaftliche Meeresuntersuchungen 28 43–50

    Google Scholar 

  • Youngbluth, M. J., 1984. Manned submersibles and sophisticated instrumentation: tools for oceanographic research. SUBTECH’83 Proceedings: Society for Underwater Technology. London: 335–344.

  • W. Zeidler (1992) ArticleTitleHyperiid amphipods (Crustacea: Amphipoda, Hyperiidea) collected recently from eastern Australian waters Records of the Australian Museum 44 85–133 Occurrence Handle10.3853/j.0067-1975.44.1992.29

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • W. Zeidler (1998) ArticleTitlePelagic Amphipods (Crustacea: Amphipoda: Hyperiidea) collected from eastern and south-eastern Australian waters by the CSIRO research vessel ‘Warreen’ during the years 1938–1941 Records of the South Australian Museum. Monograph Series 4 1–143

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Steven H. D. Haddock.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Gasca, R., Haddock, S.H.D. Associations between gelatinous zooplankton and hyperiid amphipods (Crustacea: Peracarida) in the Gulf of California. Hydrobiologia 530, 529–535 (2004).

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: