Mastigias ocellatus, (Modeer 1791)

Systematic position:
Classis Scyphozoa
Subclassis Discomedusae
Ordo Rhizostomeae
Subordo Kolpophorae
Familia Mastigiidae (Stiasny, 1921)
Genus Mastigias (Agassiz, 1862)
Mastigias ocellatus (Haeckel, 1880)

Synonims: Medusa ocellata (Madeer, 1791)
Vernacular name: Golden Medusa

Morpho-anatomical characteristics
    Genus Mastigias (Agassiz, 1862):
  • Mouth arms 3-winged, terminating in a naked, club-shaped extremity. With small club-shaped appendages and filaments between the mouths. Mouths located not only along the 3 edges of the mouth arms but also on their flat, expanded sides;
  • 8 rhopalia;
  • A central stomach gives rise to 8 rhopalar canals and numerous interrhopalar canals, all of which anastomose and connect with the ring canal;
  • Exumbrellar sensory pits without furrows;
  • With unitary subgenital cavity.
    Mastigias ocellatus (Haeckel, 1880):
  • Bell 100mm wide, can reach 190mm;
  • Exumbrella with nematocyst warts in polygonal patterns;
  • 96 marginal lappets;
  • Arm disc with few filaments. 8 Mouth arms shorter than bell radius, broad with firm laterla branches. With club-shaped appendages and filaments;
  • 120-160 radial canals. Rhopalar canals bottle shaped, without anastomoses;
  • Colour of live specimens: reddish. Exumbrella with numerous white spots with brown centre and rim, resembling “eye spots”, plus other simple brown spots. Tips of terminal club blue.
Life cycle: reproductive strategies unknown.
Geographical and seasonal distribution: South Pacific Ocean, in October. Pelagic species.
Toxicity: harmless sting.