Scientia Marina, Vol 64, No S1 (2000)

Life in tidepools: distribution and abundance of two crawling hydromedusae, Staurocladia oahuensis and S. bilateralis, on a rocky intertidal shore in Kominato, central Japan

Yayoi M. Hirano
Kominato Marine Laboratory, Marine Biosystems Research Center, Chiba University, Japan

Yoshuiaki J. Hirano
Kominato Marine Laboratory, Marine Biosystems Research Center, Chiba University, Japan

Mayumi Yamada , Japan


Two crawling medusae, Staurocladia oahuensis (Edmondson, 1930) and S. bilateralis (Edmondson, 1930) were found to be abundant in intertidal rock pools in Kominato from late summer until early winter. The two species were found to rarely share the same individual alga, and sometimes showed exclusive occupancy of pools at higher intertidal levels. The abundance of the two species of medusae fluctuated widely over time with both species showing similar population structures during their period of occurrence. The asexual reproduction of the medusae was considered to be a cause of the distributional pattern and the fluctuation in abundance. An experiment was conducted to evaluate the rate of asexual reproduction under different conditions. At 12°C neither species performed asexual reproduction, while at 17°C and higher temperatures both species reproduced asexually at a high rate. The number of each population was found to nearly double in about a week. The coexistence of the two species of medusae in tidepools is discussed in relation to the habitat characteristics. S. oahuensis and S. bilateralis were not known previously from Japan; this constitutes a new record of both species from Japanese waters. We also found both species in several other warm water locations in Japan.


crawling medusae; new record; asexual reproduction; tidepools; distribution and abundance; coexistence

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