galba on a Compass
Jellyfish from Yerseke Marina in the Netherlands
Photographs © by Richard Lord (Guernsey)
A number of these contained the symbiotic amphipod crustacean Hyperia galba alive inside them. These are remarkable little creatures with large green eyes, and as adults they are only found in jellyfish.
28 August 2002
Helen Selvey of Polzeath Voluntary Marine Wildlife Area, has found those small 'green-eyed monsters' for which Paul Gainey has been seeking as he would like to photograph them. When she placed a large freshly-dead Root-mouth Jellyfish, Rhizostoma octopus in a vessel of seawater, from under it swam a few dozen specimens of a small 12 mm amphipod crustacean called Hyperia galba. They are always associated with one or other of the species of jellyfish, living under the shelter of the umbrella (often within the gonad cavities) where they are sought by some species of fish. There are only three records on the species database for Cornwall, the latest being 1928 with a 'Plymouth area' record for 1953. Of course not many people would look for them, but the influx of jellyfish represents a good opportunity - so please 'phone me on 01209 712069 if you find any and can keep them alive in a container in a cool place.
a hyperiid amphipod with Cyanea lamarckii,
which was captured off L'Ancresse beach on the north coast of Guernsey
on 28 July, 2002.
Through the microscope I got a few seconds of good quality video footage of this live animal. The whole frontal region of the animal is devoted to the eyes. Also, I photographed this animal with 35-mm film. This produced less good results because the animal is deep bodied. Using a microscope with a wide aperture I couldn't achieve the necessary depth-of-field to have the whole animal in focus.
The animal has since died and I preserved it in ethanol and will send it to the Natural History Museum at Oxford University.
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