Alternate Title

Seasonal Occurrence of Reef-Related Medusae (Cnidaria) in the Western Caribbean Sea

Document Type



Seasonal fluctuations in composition and abundance of medusae collected in a reef lagoon of the Mexican Caribbean were analyzed. Plankton samples and hydrological data were taken monthly from January to September 1994 at 2 stations: coastal and near-reef. The highest densities of medusae were recorded in March (17,687 ind/100 m3) and August (2,433 ind/100 m3) at the coastal station. Medusae were less abundant at the nearreef station, but diversity indices were higher in comparison to the coastal station. Twenty-five species (24 hydroidomedusae and 1 scyphomedusa) were identified, with Linuche unguiculata (Swartz, 1788) and Eirene lactea (Mayer, 1900) being the most abundant. Linuche unguiculata was the dominant species, accounting for more than 84% of the total numbers of medusae in the coastal station and over 97% in the near-reef station. The co-occurrence of neritic and oceanic species in the reef-associated community of medusae is probably related to circulation patterns and wind regimes. Dipurena ophiogaster (Haeckel, 1879) and Sarsia eximia (Allman, 1859) were recorded for the first time in the Mexican Caribbean Sea.

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