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28 April 2020 The Nature of the Symbiosis between Cannonball Jellyfish and Spider Crabs in Georgia's Coastal Waters
David J. Stasek, Jeffrey E. Tailer, James Page, Patrick J. Geer, Bryan A. Fluech
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Abstract

Stomolophus meleagris (Cannonball Jellyfish) is a common Cnidarian species in the coastal waters of Georgia. Libinia spp. (spider crab) juveniles commonly inhabit the bell of the Cannonball Jellyfish, but there is uncertainty as to whether the crabs are parasitic on the Cannonball Jellyfish or are commensals. To assess the nature of this symbiosis, Cannonball Jellyfish were randomly sampled at multiple sites along the Georgia coast. For each Cannonball Jellyfish, the number of juvenile spider crabs inhabiting the bell was recorded along with multiple measurements of Cannonball Jellyfish and spider crabs. Our results suggest that the symbiosis between the Cannonball Jellyfish and juvenile spider crabs is an example of commensalism and not parasitism.

David J. Stasek, Jeffrey E. Tailer, James Page, Patrick J. Geer, and Bryan A. Fluech "The Nature of the Symbiosis between Cannonball Jellyfish and Spider Crabs in Georgia's Coastal Waters," Southeastern Naturalist 19(2), 233-240, (28 April 2020). https://doi.org/10.1656/058.019.0204
Published: 28 April 2020
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