An online guide to the Stalked jellyfish (Stauromedusae) found
around the coastal waters of the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Includes notes on their identification, and where and how to find them.

Recording stauromedusae

It is very important to attach any relevant notes with any stauromedusae record, ideas for this would include -

1/ Number of specimens found of a particular species. e.g. single specimen, 20+, 200+ etc.
2/ The size or approximate size of stauromedusae found.
3/ The type of medium the specimen / specimens were found on. e.g. species of algae, Eelgrass, Zostera marina, or unusually on rock. If the species of algae is not immediately recognised it is good practice to take a photo with scale of the algae, or sample, for later identification.
4/ Weather conditions (Shore Searching) - either recent e.g. after storm, or present, such as cloudy, sunny, sunny periods.
5/ Area searched and or time taken e.g. 2 found in 100m in 30 minutes.
6/ Geographical data - e.g. middleshore pool or wading at low water.
7/ For Dive Records - Depth, sea state and visibility would be good to include.

Where possible, a number of images should be taken of each specimen for identification or later verification, as it is possible to find a number of species together, either on the same algae or Zostera, or at the same site. Rarely, large congregations, or smacks, may be found, care must be taken to record what species are involved. e.g. similar species, Haliclystus octoradiatus and Haliclystus auricula, may be found together.

It is a case of the more records and data than can be provided, the more we will be able to learnt about UK species, and potentially by statistical analysis. However it might take years of gathering data for such data to be meaningful, so there's a long way to go, but every record counts.

Example of a good shore record -

Haliclystus octoradiatus. Spotted kaleidoscope jellyfish. Long Rock, Cornwall. SW43V. SW498303092. 30.03.2013. Day cloudy. One specimen, on Eelgrass, in two hours searching. Recent strong SE winds had marked effect on eelgrass bed and habitat.

Recording bodies MUST make sure that notes attached to any record are added to their database. Notes are vital if we are to learn more about the species within the stauromedusae.

Guide to compare the four most common species of stauromedusae / Stalked jellyfish found around the coasts of Devon and Cornwall. Calvadosia campanulata, Calvadosia cruxmelitensis, Haliclystus octoradiatus and Craterolophus convolvulus. (jpg file, 200Kb)

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Recording records Stauromedusae species uk