Introduction of the euryhaline epibenthic hydromedusa Vallentinia gabriellae Vannucci Mendes, 1948 (Hydrozoa: Limnomedusae) to Indian waters

P. Hari Praved*, K. V. Neethu, Annette F. Govindarajan, S. Bijoy Nandan, B. P. Aneesh, P. R. Jayachandran

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The epibenthic euryhaline hydromedusa Vallentinia gabriellae Vannucci Mendes, 1948 is an olindiid species native to tropical Atlantic waters. Here, we describe the cryptic introduction of this species in an estuary along the coast of Kerala, in southwestern India. This study records the existence of V. gabriellae outside of Atlantic waters for the first time and documents its geographical range expansion. Our identification was based on a combined morphological and DNA barcoding assessment using the COI and 28S markers. Although we noted some morphological differences between our specimens and those from their native range, our findings were conclusive. We suggest that phenotypic plasticity may result from differences such as prey availability between the native and introduced habitats. V. gabriellae medusae are epibenthic and cling to a variety of hard and soft substrates, including bivalves. Our specimens were associated with the invasive fouling mussel Mytella strigata, and we suggest that V. gabriellae could have been transported along with these mussels to the Kerala coast.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere61
JournalJournal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom
Volume103
DOIs
StatePublished - 15 Aug 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © The Author(s), 2023. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom.

Keywords

  • Cochin Estuary
  • Indian Ocean
  • Vallentinia gabriellae
  • hydrozoa
  • medusa
  • non-indigenous

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science

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