Dr Gill Mapstone

Dr Gill Mapstone

Scientific Associate - Invertebrates

Department: Life Sciences
Division: LS Invertebrates
Contact: email

Specialisms

Cnidaria, Distributions, Hydrozoa, Siphonophora, Systematics, Taxonomy

Summary

Morphology and systematics of siphonophores Siphonophores are complex polymorphic pelagic gelatinous cnidarians, sometimes known as ‘string jellies’. At present the group comprises about 170 species. Habitat and life cycle Siphonophores are marine and typically live offshore below the surface layer. They are fragile and break up easily when disturbed, passing their entire life cycle in the water column, without a benthic stage. These important pelagic predators feed on zooplankton, particularly copepod crustaceans, and also sometimes on fish larvae and young food fishes. When conditions are suitable, they can reproduce rapidly and may occasionally become the dominant predator. Morphology Most siphonophore species have two or more swimming bells – the nectophores – for propulsion, often on a stem; this stem and its bells form the nectosome. Attached to the nectosome is the siphosome, or main stem, with numerous iterative units - the cormidia – along its length. A cormidium contains zooids for feeding (gastrozooids), others for buoyancy (bracts) and yet others for reproduction (gonophores). Gastrozooids are muscular tubes attached to the stem at one end and with a mouth opening at the other end; each gastrozooid bears a single tentacle for prey capture. Complex stinging batteries arise on side branches of each tentacle, and these contain a very large number of nematocysts which immobilize the prey. The gastrozooid mouth then engulfs the prey and enzymes are secreted onto it from the glandular walls of the gastrozooid. In one group of siphonophores, the physonects, digestion is completed inside reduced gastrozooids known as palpons. Species identification and variation Nectophores are important for species identification. Bracts can also be diagnostic, and the complex stinging batteries on the gastrozooid tentacles of physonects particularly so. Siphonophore species vary in size from small diphyid calycophorans, such as Muggiaea atlantica with a nectophore only 2-3 mm long, to large physonects with a number of nectophores and a long trailing siphosome up to 30 metres in length.

Highlighted publications

Mapstone GM (2014) Global Diversity and Review of Siphonophorae (Cnidaria: Hydrozoa). Plos One, 9 (2) : doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0087737

Mapstone GM, Ljubenkov JC (2013) New observations on Dromalia alexandri Bigelow, 1911, a rhodaliid physonect siphonophore from Southern Californian waters. Marine Ecology-an Evolutionary Perspective, 34 : 96 - 112. doi: 10.1111/maec.12029

Publications

Ronowicz M, Kukliński P, Mapstone GM (2015) Trends in the Diversity, Distribution and Life History Strategy of Arctic Hydrozoa (Cnidaria). PLOS ONE, 10 (3) : doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0120204

Mapstone GM (2014) Global Diversity and Review of Siphonophorae (Cnidaria: Hydrozoa). Plos One, 9 (2) : doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0087737

Mapstone GM, Ljubenkov JC (2013) New observations on Dromalia alexandri Bigelow, 1911, a rhodaliid physonect siphonophore from Southern Californian waters. Marine Ecology-an Evolutionary Perspective, 34 : 96 - 112. doi: 10.1111/maec.12029

Appeltans W, Ahyong ST, Anderson G, Angel MV, Artois T, Bailly N, Bamber R, Barber A, Bartsch I, Berta A, Blazewicz-paszkowycz M, Bock P, Boxshall G, Boyko CB, Brandao SN, Bray RA, Bruce NL, Cairns SD, Chan T, Cheng L, Collins AG, Cribb T, Curini-galletti M, Dandouh-guebas F, Davie PJF, Dawson MN, De ClerckO, Decock W, De GraveS, De VoogdNJ, Domning DP, Emig CC, Erseus C, Eschmeyer W, Fauchald K, Fautin DG, Feist SW, Fransen CHJM, Furuya H, Garcia-alvarez O, Gerken S, Gibson D, Gittenberger A, Gofas S, Gomez-daglio L, Gordon DP, Guiry MD, Hernandez F, Hoeksema BW, Hopcroft RR, Jaume D, Kirk P, Koedam N, Koenemann S, Kolb JB, Kristensen RM, Kroh A, Lambert G, Lazarus DB, Lemaitre R, Longshaw M, Lowry J, Macpherson E, Madin LP, Mah C, Mapstone G, Mclaughlin PA, Mees J, Meland K, Messing CG, Mills CE, Molodtsova TN, Mooi R, Neuhaus B, Ng PKL, Nielsen C, Norenburg J, Opresko DM, Osawa M, Paulay G, Perrin W, Pilger JF, Poore GCB, Pugh P, Read GB, Reimer JD, Rius M, Rocha RM, Saiz-salinas JI, Scarabino V, Schierwater B, Schmidt-rhaesa A, Schnabel KE, Schotte M, Schuchert P, Schwabe E, Segers H, Self-sullivan C, Shenkar N, Siegel V, Sterrer W, Stohr S, Swalla B, Tasker ML, Thuesen EV, Timm T, Todaro MA, Turon X, Tyler S, Uetz P, Van derLandJ, Vanhoorne B, Van OfwegenLP, Van SoestRWM, Vanaverbeke J, Walker-smith G, Walter TC, Warren A, Williams GC, Wilson SP, Costello MJ (2012) The Magnitude of Global Marine Species Diversity. Current Biology, 22 (23) : 2189 - 2202. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2012.09.036

Hiscock K, Mapstone GM, Conway DVP, Halliday N (2010) Occurrence of the physonect siphonophore Apolemia uvaria off Plymouth and in south-west England. Marine Biodiversity Records, 3 : doi: 10.1017/S1755267210000205

Mapstone G (2009) Siphonophora (Cnidaria; Hydrozoa) of Canadian Pacific Waters. National Research Council (Canada) Research Press : Ottawa.

Mapstone GM (2005) Re-description of Rosacea symbiformis, a prayine siphonophore (from the Mediterranean Sea), with comments on nectophore designation and bract orientation.. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 85 (3) : 709 - 721. doi: 10.1017/S0025315405011628

Mapstone GM (2004) First full description of the large physonect siphonophore Halistemma amphytridis (Leseur dan Petit, 1807). Hydrobiologia, 231 - 240. doi: 10.1007/s10750-004-2677-1

Mapstone GM (2004) Rosacea Quoy & Gaimard, 1827; proposed conservation usage (Cnidaria, Siphonophora): Desmophyes annectens Haeckel, 1888 and Rosacea plicata Bigelo, 1911: proposed conservation. Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature, 61 : 14 - 153.

Mapstone G (2003) Redescriptions of two physonect siphonophores, Apolemia uvaria (Leseur, 18152) and Tottonia contorta Margulis, 1976, with comments on a third species Ramosia vitiazi Stepanjants, 1967 (Cnidaria: Hydrozoa: Apolemiidae). Systematics and Biodiversity, 1 : 181 - 212.

Introduction

Summary

Morphology and systematics of siphonophores Siphonophores are complex polymorphic pelagic gelatinous cnidarians, sometimes known as ‘string jellies’. At present the group comprises about 170 species. Habitat and life cycle Siphonophores are marine and typically live offshore below the surface layer. They are fragile and break up easily when disturbed, passing their entire life cycle in the water column, without a benthic stage. These important pelagic predators feed on zooplankton, particularly copepod crustaceans, and also sometimes on fish larvae and young food fishes. When conditions are suitable, they can reproduce rapidly and may occasionally become the dominant predator. Morphology Most siphonophore species have two or more swimming bells – the nectophores – for propulsion, often on a stem; this stem and its bells form the nectosome. Attached to the nectosome is the siphosome, or main stem, with numerous iterative units - the cormidia – along its length. A cormidium contains zooids for feeding (gastrozooids), others for buoyancy (bracts) and yet others for reproduction (gonophores). Gastrozooids are muscular tubes attached to the stem at one end and with a mouth opening at the other end; each gastrozooid bears a single tentacle for prey capture. Complex stinging batteries arise on side branches of each tentacle, and these contain a very large number of nematocysts which immobilize the prey. The gastrozooid mouth then engulfs the prey and enzymes are secreted onto it from the glandular walls of the gastrozooid. In one group of siphonophores, the physonects, digestion is completed inside reduced gastrozooids known as palpons. Species identification and variation Nectophores are important for species identification. Bracts can also be diagnostic, and the complex stinging batteries on the gastrozooid tentacles of physonects particularly so. Siphonophore species vary in size from small diphyid calycophorans, such as Muggiaea atlantica with a nectophore only 2-3 mm long, to large physonects with a number of nectophores and a long trailing siphosome up to 30 metres in length.

Highlighted publications

Mapstone GM (2014) Global Diversity and Review of Siphonophorae (Cnidaria: Hydrozoa). Plos One, 9 (2) : doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0087737

Mapstone GM, Ljubenkov JC (2013) New observations on Dromalia alexandri Bigelow, 1911, a rhodaliid physonect siphonophore from Southern Californian waters. Marine Ecology-an Evolutionary Perspective, 34 : 96 - 112. doi: 10.1111/maec.12029

Publications

Publications

Ronowicz M, Kukliński P, Mapstone GM (2015) Trends in the Diversity, Distribution and Life History Strategy of Arctic Hydrozoa (Cnidaria). PLOS ONE, 10 (3) : doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0120204

Mapstone GM (2014) Global Diversity and Review of Siphonophorae (Cnidaria: Hydrozoa). Plos One, 9 (2) : doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0087737

Mapstone GM, Ljubenkov JC (2013) New observations on Dromalia alexandri Bigelow, 1911, a rhodaliid physonect siphonophore from Southern Californian waters. Marine Ecology-an Evolutionary Perspective, 34 : 96 - 112. doi: 10.1111/maec.12029

Appeltans W, Ahyong ST, Anderson G, Angel MV, Artois T, Bailly N, Bamber R, Barber A, Bartsch I, Berta A, Blazewicz-paszkowycz M, Bock P, Boxshall G, Boyko CB, Brandao SN, Bray RA, Bruce NL, Cairns SD, Chan T, Cheng L, Collins AG, Cribb T, Curini-galletti M, Dandouh-guebas F, Davie PJF, Dawson MN, De ClerckO, Decock W, De GraveS, De VoogdNJ, Domning DP, Emig CC, Erseus C, Eschmeyer W, Fauchald K, Fautin DG, Feist SW, Fransen CHJM, Furuya H, Garcia-alvarez O, Gerken S, Gibson D, Gittenberger A, Gofas S, Gomez-daglio L, Gordon DP, Guiry MD, Hernandez F, Hoeksema BW, Hopcroft RR, Jaume D, Kirk P, Koedam N, Koenemann S, Kolb JB, Kristensen RM, Kroh A, Lambert G, Lazarus DB, Lemaitre R, Longshaw M, Lowry J, Macpherson E, Madin LP, Mah C, Mapstone G, Mclaughlin PA, Mees J, Meland K, Messing CG, Mills CE, Molodtsova TN, Mooi R, Neuhaus B, Ng PKL, Nielsen C, Norenburg J, Opresko DM, Osawa M, Paulay G, Perrin W, Pilger JF, Poore GCB, Pugh P, Read GB, Reimer JD, Rius M, Rocha RM, Saiz-salinas JI, Scarabino V, Schierwater B, Schmidt-rhaesa A, Schnabel KE, Schotte M, Schuchert P, Schwabe E, Segers H, Self-sullivan C, Shenkar N, Siegel V, Sterrer W, Stohr S, Swalla B, Tasker ML, Thuesen EV, Timm T, Todaro MA, Turon X, Tyler S, Uetz P, Van derLandJ, Vanhoorne B, Van OfwegenLP, Van SoestRWM, Vanaverbeke J, Walker-smith G, Walter TC, Warren A, Williams GC, Wilson SP, Costello MJ (2012) The Magnitude of Global Marine Species Diversity. Current Biology, 22 (23) : 2189 - 2202. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2012.09.036

Hiscock K, Mapstone GM, Conway DVP, Halliday N (2010) Occurrence of the physonect siphonophore Apolemia uvaria off Plymouth and in south-west England. Marine Biodiversity Records, 3 : doi: 10.1017/S1755267210000205

Mapstone G (2009) Siphonophora (Cnidaria; Hydrozoa) of Canadian Pacific Waters. National Research Council (Canada) Research Press : Ottawa.

Mapstone GM (2005) Re-description of Rosacea symbiformis, a prayine siphonophore (from the Mediterranean Sea), with comments on nectophore designation and bract orientation.. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 85 (3) : 709 - 721. doi: 10.1017/S0025315405011628

Mapstone GM (2004) First full description of the large physonect siphonophore Halistemma amphytridis (Leseur dan Petit, 1807). Hydrobiologia, 231 - 240. doi: 10.1007/s10750-004-2677-1

Mapstone GM (2004) Rosacea Quoy & Gaimard, 1827; proposed conservation usage (Cnidaria, Siphonophora): Desmophyes annectens Haeckel, 1888 and Rosacea plicata Bigelo, 1911: proposed conservation. Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature, 61 : 14 - 153.

Mapstone G (2003) Redescriptions of two physonect siphonophores, Apolemia uvaria (Leseur, 18152) and Tottonia contorta Margulis, 1976, with comments on a third species Ramosia vitiazi Stepanjants, 1967 (Cnidaria: Hydrozoa: Apolemiidae). Systematics and Biodiversity, 1 : 181 - 212.