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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 510:265-273 (2014)  -  DOI:

Culture and growth of the jellyfish Pelagia noctiluca in the laboratory

Martin K. S. Lilley1,2,3, Martina Ferraris3,4, Amanda Elineau3,4, Léo Berline3,4,5, Perrine Cuvilliers3,4, Laurent Gilletta6, Alain Thiéry1, Gabriel Gorsky3,4, Fabien Lombard3,4,*

1IMBE UMR CNRS 7263, Institut Méditerranéen de Biodiversité et d’Ecologie marine et continentale (IMBE), Aix-Marseille Université, Avenue Louis Philibert, BP 67, 13545 Aix en Provence Cedex 04, France
2Institut Méditerranéen d’Océanologie (MIO), Aix-Marseille Université, UMR 7294, Campus de Luminy,
13288 Marseille Cedex 9, France
3Sorbonne Universités, UPMC Univ Paris 06, UMR 7093, LOV, Observatoire océanologique, 06230 Villefranche sur mer, France
4CNRS, UMR 7093, LOV, Observatoire océanologique, 06230 Villefranche sur mer, France
5Université du Sud Toulon-Var, Aix-Marseille Université, CNRS/INSU, IRD, Institut Mediterraneen d’Oceanologie (MIO), UM 110, 83957 La Garde Cedex, France
6CNRS, Sorbonne Universités, UPMC Univ Paris 06, Laboratoire de Biologie du Développement de Villefranche sur mer, Observatoire Océanographique, 06230 Villefranche sur mer, France
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Four cohorts of the scyphozoan jellyfish Pelagia noctiluca were grown in the laboratory. For the first time, P. noctiluca was grown from eggs through to reproductive adults. The maximum life span in the laboratory was 17 mo. Pelagia noctiluca were first observed to release gametes at an umbrella diameter of 2.4 cm. Laboratory growth under steady feeding conditions showed initial growth followed by stagnation until dietary conditions were altered. A mismatch between the availability of optimal food and the presence of developmental stages may significantly increase the mortality rates of the young stages. Non-motile prey improved survival of ephyrae stages compared with zooplankton, but good survival and ephyrae growth were only obtained with a high-energy sea urchin egg diet. Maximal growth rates were up to 30% d-1 for young ephyrae and 1.5-4% d-1 for adults. Maximal growth rates were comparable between laboratory and in situ growth observations in the Ligurian Sea during 1969 and 2013. Combining observations would suggest that 230 d of continuous growth are required to reach the largest mean size observed in the wild (June 2013, mean ± SD = 15.6 ± 2.8 cm, range = 12-21 cm). We suggest that 90-120 d of continuous growth from planula larvae would yield reproductive individuals under ideal growing conditions. We discuss the daily prey abundances required by each individual to sustain basal metabolism and the observed growth rates.

KEY WORDS: Mauve stinger · Ligurian Sea · Mediterranean · Bloom · Life cycle · Mortality · Ephyra · Predation

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Cite this article as: Lilley MKS, Ferraris M, Elineau A, Berline L and others (2014) Culture and growth of the jellyfish Pelagia noctiluca in the laboratory. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 510:265-273.

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