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Cyanea (jellyfish)

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Lion's mane jellyfish, Cyanea capillata
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Cnidaria
Class: Scyphozoa
Order: Semaeostomeae
Family: Cyaneidae
Genus: Cyanea
Péron and Lesueur, 1809

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Cyanea is a genus of jellyfish, primarily found in northern waters of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and southern Pacific waters of Australia[1] and New Zealand, there are also several boreal,[2] polar, tropical and sub-tropical species. Commonly found in and associated with rivers and fjords.[3] The same genus name has been given to a genus of plants of the Hawaiian lobelioids, an example of a parahomonym (same name, different kingdom).[4]



The taxonomy of Cyanea species has seen increased scrutiny in recent years.[1][5][2] Early zoologists suggested that all species within the genus should be treated as one.[6][7] Recent molecular and integrative taxonomic studies have refuted this assertion[1][8][9] as the scyphozoan community has restored many of the previous species.[10] For example, in the North Sea, the lion's mane jellyfish and the blue jellyfish appear as distinct species.[11] On the East Coast of the United States there are at least two co-occurring species, C. fulva and C. versicolor.[12] Cyanea may be a species complex of recently diverged species.


  1. ^ a b c Dawson MN. 2005. Cyanea capillata is not a cosmopolitan jellyfish: morphological and molecular evidence for C. annaskala and C. rosea (Scyphozoa : Semaeostomeae : Cyaneidae) in south-eastern Australia. Invertebrate systematics 19:361–370.
  2. ^ a b c Kolbasova GD, Zalevsky AO, Gafurov AR, Gusev PO, Ezhova MA, Zheludkevich AA, Konovalova OP, Kosobokova KN, Kotlov NU, Lanina NO, Lapashina AS, Medvedev DO, Nosikova KS, Nuzhdina EO, Bazykin GA, Neretina TV. 2015. A new species of Cyanea jellyfish sympatric to C. capillata in the White Sea. Polar biology 38:1439–1451.
  3. ^ Bastian et al. 2011; Brewer 1989; Colin & Kremer 2002; Condon & Steinberg 2008; Dong et al. 2008; Feng et al. 2015; Gröndahl 1988; Gröndahl & Hernroth 1987; Holst & Jarms 2010; Hosia & Titelman 2011; Lindahl & Hernroth 1988; Steinberg & Condon 2009; Suchman & Sullivan 2000; Titelman et al. 2007
  4. ^ "Cyanea". Integrated Taxonomic Information System.
  5. ^ Holst S, Laakmann S. 2014. Morphological and molecular discrimination of two closely related jellyfish species, Cyanea capillata and C. lamarckii (Cnidaria, Scyphozoa), from the northeast Atlantic. Journal of plankton research 36:48–63.
  6. ^ Kramp PL. 1961. Synopsis of the medusae of the world. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 40:7–382.
  7. ^ Mayer AG. 1910. Medusae of the World: The Scyphomedusae. Carnegie institution of Washington.
  8. ^ Sparmann, S. F. (2012). Contributions to the molecular phylogeny, phylogeography, and taxonomy of scyphozoan jellyfish (T). University of British Columbia. Retrieved from https://open.library.ubc.ca/collections/ubctheses/24/items/1.0073303
  9. ^ Hotke, Kathryn M. (2015). DNA Barcode Variability in Canadian Cnidaria (T). The University of Guelph. Retrieved from https://atrium.lib.uoguelph.ca/xmlui/handle/10214/9236
  10. ^ Jarms G, Morandini AC, Schmidt-Rhaesa A, Giere O, Straehler-Pohl I. 2019. World atlas of jellyfish: Scyphozoa except Stauromedusae. Abhandlungen und Verhandlungen des Naturwissenschaftlichen Vereins in Hamburg.
  11. ^ Howson, C.M. & Picton, B.E. (Ed.) (1997): The species directory of the marine fauna and flora of the British Isles and surrounding seas. Ulster Museum Publication, no 276. The Ulster Museum: Belfast, UK. ISBN 0-948150-06-8. vi, p 508
  12. ^ Brewer RH. 1991. Morphological differences between, and reproductive isolation of, two populations of the jellyfish Cyanea in Long Island Sound, USA. In: Coelenterate Biology: Recent Research on Cnidaria and Ctenophora. Springer Netherlands, 471–477.