Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom

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Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom (2009), 89:63-66 Cambridge University Press
Copyright © Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 2008

Research Article

Documentation of potential courtship-behaviour in Periphylla periphylla (Cnidaria: Scyphozoa)

Henry Tiemanna1 c1, Ilka Sötjea1, Blair D. Johnstona2, Per R. Flooda3 and Ulf Båmstedta4

a1 University of Hamburg, Faculty of Mathematics, Informatics and Natural Science, Biocenter Grindel and Zoological Museum, Martin-Luther-King-Platz 3, D-20146 Hamburg, Germany
a2 School of Biosciences, University of Exeter, Exeter, EX4 4PS, UK
a3 Bathybiologica A/S, Gerhard Gransvei 58, N-5081 Landaas, Bergen, Norway
a4 University of Umeå, Umeå Marine Science Centre, Norrbyn, Se-91020 Hörnefors, Sweden
Article author query
tiemann h [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
sötje i [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
johnston bd [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
flood pr [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
båmstedt u [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]


The distribution pattern and nocturnal surface behaviour of the deep-sea medusa Periphylla periphylla in a Norwegian fjord was studied. Medusa abundance, size distribution and condition were determined, using surface collections, net tows and ROV-based video profiles. Only larger, mature medusae reached the surface and aggregated into small groups of both sexes, whereas juvenile medusae remained in deeper waters. Observations on the behaviour and cytology of aggregated medusae suggested a mating strategy. We hypothesize that this behaviour is the by-product of a holopelagic life history, developed in a more oceanic deep environment with low species abundance, as surface aggregation increases the chance of encounter and mating.

(Received September 11 2007)

(Accepted December 12 2007)

(Online publication July 22 2008)

KeywordsCoronatae; Periphylla; courtship-behaviour; surface aggregation; deep-sea


c1 Correspondence should be addressed to: Henry Tiemann, Biocenter Grindel and Zoological Museum, University of Hamburg, Martin-Luther-King-Platz 3, 20146 Hamburg, Germany email: