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Saturday, August 4, 2012

Peach-colored tentacles


Aglauropsis aeora, a hydromedusa that occasionally washes ashore in mid-late summer or fall.  These individuals are ~2 cm across.  The first three photographs are from 4 August 2012.

Look for a couple of important identification features in these images:

- The four bluish gonadal folds running from the top of the inner bell towards the margin.  

- The peach-colored tentacles (~200 of them) with a hint of purple at the base of the tentacles in good light (see last photo of this post).


These last two photos were taken in July 2009.  The colors are a little more representative of what you would see in the field.  Note that you can also see the "frilly lips" that surround the mouth (hanging down where the gonadal folds come together at the top of the inner bell).



Aglauropsis has only been observed in central California (e.g., Monterey, Tomales Bay, Bodega Bay).  Wrobel and Mills (1998) suggest that it "may be from slope water or oceanic."  This species was first described in 1976 by researchers at the Bodega Marine Laboratory, including Claudia Mills, John Rees, and Cadet Hand.

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