Cubomedusae

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== Class CUBOZOA Werner 1975

Order CUBOMEDUSAE Haeckel 1877 ==


Characteristics of the Order (from Kramp 1961)

Scyphomedusae with umbrella margin not cleft into lappets; with four interradial tentacles or groups of tentacles situated on gelatinous, wing-shaped or spatula-shaped structures (pedalia); with four perradial sense organs situated within niches on the sides of the bell; with four wide perradial sacs extending outwards from the central stomach into the subumbrellar cavity, incompletely separated by interradial septa; with four pairs of leaf-shaped gonads attached along the interradial septa and extending into the gastrovascular space; the opening of the bell cavity partly closed by an annular diaphragm (velarium).


The taxonomic rank and phylogenetic position of the box jellyfishes has been much debated. They were originally considered to be an order (Cubomedusae Haeckel 1877) in the Class Scyphozoa (e.g. Mayer 1910; Kramp 1961). In the mid-1970's, however, they were given the status of a class (Cubozoa Werner 1975; see also Mianzan & Cornelius 1999) on the basis of morphological differences. Recent molecular data, however, raised a paradox in that Class Cubozoa was more closely related than Order Stauromedusae to the other scyphozoan orders Coronatae, Semaeostomeae, and Rhizostomeae, i.e. "Scyphozoa" was paraphyletic (e.g. Collins 2002). This issue has now been resolved with elevation of stauromedusae to Class Staurozoa (e.g. Marques & Collins 2004; Dawson in press). The list of families, genera, and species below is based largely on Kramp (1961), Southcott (1967), Pagès et al. (1992), Mianzan & Cornelius (1999), ZooBank, and the various recent publications of Gershwin. The group continues to be the subject of several morphological and molecular investigations which should help to clarify species relationships and boundaries.

Collections: M = morphology, D = DNA. Type = *

Family (5) Genus (13) Species (32) Image Collections
Carybdeidae Gegenbaur 1856 Carybdea Peron & Lesueur marsupialis (Linne 1758*)
rastoni Haacke 1886 Sydney (D, M)
sivickisi Stiasny 1926
xaymacana Conant 1897
Tripedalia Conant 1897 binata Moore 1988
cystophora Conant 1897* Kakaban (D, M); Florida (D, M)
Alatinidae Gershwin 2005 Alatina Gershwin 2005 alata (Reynaud 1830)* New Guinea (D, M)