|Zoogeography and life cycle patterns of Mediterranean Hydromedusae (Cnidaria)|
Boero, F.; Bouillon, J. (1993). Zoogeography and life cycle patterns of Mediterranean Hydromedusae (Cnidaria). Biol. J. Linn. Soc. 48: 239-266, 5 figures
In: Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. Academic Press: London; New York. ISSN 0024-4066, more
Biogeography; Life cycle; Cnidaria [WoRMS]; Hydrozoa [WoRMS]; Medusae; Marine
The distribution of the 346 hydromedusan species hitherto recorded from the Mediterranean is considered, dividing the species into zoogeographical groups. The consequences for dispersal due to possession or lack of a medusa stage in the life cycle are discussed, and related to actual known distributions. There is contradictory evidence for an influence of life cycle patterns on species distribution. The Mediterranean hydromedusan fauna is composed of 19.5% endemic species. Their origin is debatable. The majority of the remaining Mediterranean species is present in the Atlantic, with various world distributions, and could have entered the Mediterranean from Gibraltar after the Messinian crisis. Only 8.0% of the fauna is classified as Indo-Pacific, the species being mainly restricted to the eastern basin, some of which have presumably migrated from the Red Sea via the Suez Canal, being then classifiable as Lessepsian migrants. The importance of historical and climatic factors in determining the composition of the Mediterranean fauna of hydromedusae is discussed.