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AB 30:69-84 (2021)  -  DOI:

Freshwater jellyfish in northern temperate lakes: Craspedacusta sowerbii in British Columbia, Canada

Florian Lüskow1,2,*, Pablo J. López-González3, Evgeny A. Pakhomov1,2,4

1Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, University of British Columbia, 2039-2207 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada
2Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries, University of British Columbia, 2202 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada
3Biodiversidad y Ecología Acuática, Departamento de Zoología, Universidad de Sevilla, Avda. Reina Mercedes, 6, 41012 Sevilla, Spain
4Hakai Institute, PO Box 309, Heriot Bay, BC V0P 1H0, Canada
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Freshwater jellyfish species of the genus Craspedacusta purportedly originated from the Yangtze River catchment area, China, and have now been observed on all continents except Antarctica. Sightings of C. sowerbii in the Pacific regions of Canada were compiled to document some of the northernmost records of this species in the Americas. Species identification has been difficult in the past. Therefore, field collection of specimens was carried out on southern Vancouver Island. The morphology was described macro- and microscopically as well as molecularly using mitochondrial and nuclear markers. Collected hydromedusae from British Columbia (BC) did not deviate morphologically from C. sowerbii specimens from other continents, but molecular analyses support the idea of 2 main widely distributed lineages hidden under similar morphological features (i.e. a species complex). Through a community science approach, an understanding of the extent of C. sowerbii distribution in western and southern BC (present in 24 lakes from as early as 1990) has been established. Results showed that the number of sightings increased considerably in the period after 2010. Recent increases in sightings of C. sowerbii in BC and worldwide could be indicative of a climate warming-related range extension or growing public awareness and/or increased observational efforts. Even after more than 120 yr of Craspedacusta research, much about their biology and ecology remains unknown, which motivated us to compile a list of knowledge gaps based on an extensive literature survey.

KEY WORDS: Cnidaria · Non-indigenous · Invasive species · Medusa · Community science · Killarney Lake

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Cite this article as: Lüskow F, López-González PJ, Pakhomov EA (2021) Freshwater jellyfish in northern temperate lakes: Craspedacusta sowerbii in British Columbia, Canada. Aquat Biol 30:69-84.

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