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Gershwin, L.-A.; Ekins, M. (2015). A new pygmy species of box jellyfish (Cubozoa: Chirodropida) from sub-tropical Australia. Marine Biodiversity Records. 8.
10.1017/s175526721500086x [view]
Gershwin, L.-A.; Ekins, M.
A new pygmy species of box jellyfish (Cubozoa: Chirodropida) from sub-tropical Australia
Marine Biodiversity Records
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Tropical box jellyfish include some of the world’s most venomous animals, leading researchers and the media to wonder whether changes in climate may drive these species into sub-tropical waters. The discovery, therefore, of small box jellyfish in the waterways of the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast of south-east Queensland raised concern. This pygmy species proved to be new to science, separated from other species in the genus Chiropsella by its very small size; its semi-circular phacellae; very shallow, coalesced gastric saccules; its peculiar, long pedalia where the ‘palm’ is greatly reduced and the nonopposing ‘fingers’ branch off together at the same level; and a knee-like bend of the pedalial canal. The residential canal/ river habitat of this species of chirodropid raises the question of whether this area is also suitable for habitation by the larger, more virulent chirodropids such as the so-called ‘deadly box jellyfish’, Chironex fleckeri. This new species, Chiropsella saxoni sp. nov., brings the total number of chirodropid species described from Australian waters to five.
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2015-07-20 11:31:32Z