Orientation Behavior and Feeding Ecology of the Scyphomedusa Chrysaora fuscescens
MetadataShow full item record
Chrysaora fuscescens is a cnidarian scyphomedusa that occurs in the northern California Current. In this upwelling system, medusae are seasonally abundant, and individuals can ingest 10-60% of the standing stock of vulnerable zooplankton taxa per day. Yet little is known about this medusa's feeding ecology. Using laboratory pseudokreisels, C. fuscescens feeding rates and behavior were quantified in the presence of a controlled flow field. C. fuscescens collected aboard research cruises were dissected, and prey items were counted in order to calculate feeding rates and prey selectivity. In the lab, C. fuscescens feeding rates were not affected by shear flow, and medusa maintained position by swimming counter-current. Field work demonstrates high feeding rates and positive prey selection for nonmotile taxa. For the first time, high clearance rates of ichthyoplankton have been documented. An understanding of jellyfish behavior can help explain jellyfish distributions and trophic impacts in a productive upwelling system.