Marine and Freshwater Research Marine and Freshwater Research Society
Advances in the aquatic sciences
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Temporal patterns of association between the jellyfish Catostylus mosaicus and a sphaeromatid isopod and parasitic anemone

Joanna G. Browne A B C , Kylie A. Pitt A and Mark D. Norman B

A Australian Rivers Institute-Coasts and Estuaries and Griffith School of Environment, Griffith University, Gold Coast Campus, Qld 4222, Australia.

B Museum Victoria, GPO Box 666, Melbourne, Vic. 3001, Australia.

C Corresponding author. Email: jbrowne@museum.vic.gov.au

Marine and Freshwater Research - http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/MF16076
Submitted: 31 March 2016  Accepted: 23 November 2016   Published online: 13 February 2017

Abstract

Jellyfish form associations with a diverse fauna including parasites and commensals, yet, ecological data on these associations, particularly time series, are rare. The present study examined temporal variation in the intensities and prevalences of two symbionts, namely, a sphaeromatid isopod (Cymodoce gaimardii) and a parasitic anemone (Anemonactis clavus) of the scyphozoan jellyfish Catostylus mosaicus over a 2-year period. Jellyfish were captured from Port Phillip Bay, Victoria, Australia, approximately every 6 weeks and inspected for symbionts. The isopod occurred on C. mosaicus on 16 of the 19 sampling occasions; prevalences ranged from 5 to 85%, and were highest in summer and autumn. Intensity ranged from one to five isopods per jellyfish. Juvenile, immature and mature isopods were present. The parasitic anemone A. clavus occurred only between May and September. Prevalences were lower than for the isopod (on 5–20% of jellyfish when present) as was maximum intensity (two anemones per jellyfish). Catostylus mosaicus appears to play an important role in the life history of a suite of symbionts, and the present study is the first to examine temporal changes in the association of the jellyfish with two of these symbionts.

Additional keywords: ectosymbiont, Havoclavidae, scyphomedusae, Sphaeromatidae.


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