Marine Biology

, Volume 151, Issue 5, pp 1695–1710 | Cite as

Life cycle of the rhizostome jellyfish Rhizostoma octopus (L.) (Scyphozoa, Rhizostomeae), with studies on cnidocysts and statoliths

  • Sabine HolstEmail author
  • Ilka Sötje
  • Henry Tiemann
  • Gerhard Jarms
Research Article


Stages in the life cycle of the rhizostome jellyfish Rhizostoma octopus (L.) were reared in the laboratory from planula to young medusa and are described here. Fertilization of eggs was external, and planulae, 110–150 μm in length, appeared after 2 days. These settled and developed into the scyphistoma stage. Scyphistomae reached a maximum size of 2.3 mm, bore up to 24 tentacles, and had a large manubrium. Polyps reproduced asexually mainly by podocysts. Strobilation was induced by temperature change. Each strobila released up to five ephyrae that measured 2.7–5.8 mm in diameter at liberation. During transformation from newly released ephyra to young medusa, velar lappets appeared and increased in number, the manubrium developed eight branched oral arms with epaulettes, and a marginal gastric network arose. Only one cnidocyst type, the “a”-atrichous haploneme, was present in the planula. In addition to these haplonemes, heterotrichous microbasic euryteles were observed in polyps, ephyrae, and medusae. Statoliths, located in the rhopalia, had a characteristic compact shape. These sensory structures increased in number and size with the growth of ephyrae and medusae.


Asexual Reproduction German Bight Bell Diameter Ring Canal Radial Canal 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We thank the Biologische Anstalt Helgoland for providing the research facilities. We thank Dale Calder for English-language editing of the manuscript. Parts of this study are results of a PhD thesis (Holst in prep.). This study was conducted under the project EUROGEL, supported by the European Commission through Contract No. EVK3-CT-2002-00074.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sabine Holst
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ilka Sötje
    • 1
  • Henry Tiemann
    • 1
  • Gerhard Jarms
    • 1
  1. 1.Universität Hamburg, Biozentrum Grindel und Zoologisches MuseumHamburgGermany

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