RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN NEMATOCYST DISTRIBUTION AND PREY CAPTURE IN HYDROMEDUSAE
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We analyzed the relationship between prey capture and nematocyst distribution in the tentacles of the ambush predators, Aglantha digitale and Proboscidactyla flavicirrata, and the filter feeders, Clytia gregaria and Mitrocoma cellularia. we used video observations to compare capture locations of Artemia salina nauplii relative to the bell margin of each species. Tentacle pictures were analyzed to determine if nematocyst abundance changes along their length. By analyzing behavior and morphology simultaneously, we found that the ambush predators A. digitale and P. flavicirrata plus Sarsia tubulosa have higher nematocyst density at the tentacle tips and tend to capture more prey toward the tips. In contrast, the filter-feeders Aequorea victoria, C. gregaria and M. cellularia capture most of the prey close to the body, where they also show a slight increase in nematocyst densities.