Vagelli A.A. 2008. New observations on the asexual reproduction of Aurelia aurita (Cnidaria: Scyphozoa) with comments on its life cycle and adaptive significance // Invertebrate Zoology. Vol.4 (for 2007). No.2: 111–127 [in English].

New Jersey Academy for Aquatic Sciences, 1 Riverside Drive, Camden, N.J. 08103 USA. E-mail: avagelli@njaas.org

KEY WORDS: planuloids, dispersal, metagenesis, gemmation.

ABSTRACT: Two previously unreported asexual reproductive mechanisms have been observed in Aurelia aurita (Linnaeus, 1758). In one, scyphistomae produce internally several planula-like propagules that are released through the oral cavity and pass through a planktonic stage before settlement and metamorphosis. The second consists in the generation of free-swimming planuloids which are extruded through the external body wall of the scyphistomae. In contrast to the various budding process described in scyphozoans, both new mechanisms produce ramets that do not develop adult scyphistoma morphology prior to their release, and they only do so after passing through a free-swimming period that lasts up to several weeks.

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