Periódicos Brasileiros em Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia

Seasonal variation of macromedusae (Cnidaria) at North Bay, Florianópolis, southern Brazil

Nogueira Júnior, MiodeliMitsuo Nagata, RenatoAngélica Haddad, Maria

Seasonal variation of large medusae abundance and biomass was studied in the North Bay, Santa Catarina, southern Brazil (27°30'S, 48° 32'W), from February to December 2005. Collecting was conducted seasonally with the help of fishing bottom trawl in 30-minute sections (12 in summer, 18 in each of the remaining seasons) in six stations, totaling 66 samples. Eight species were found: the hydrozoans Aequorea sp., Olindias sambaquiensis Müller, 1861, and Rhacostoma atlantica L. Agassiz, 1850; the cubozoans Chiropsalmus quadrumanus (Müller, 1859) and Tamoya haplonema Müller, 1859, and the scyphozoans Aurelia sp., Chrysaora lactea Eschscholtz, 1829 and Lychnorhiza lucerna Haeckel, 1880. Capture rates were low, up to 38 indiv. ha-1, and only ~47% of the samples were positive for jellyfish, comprising 206 individuals. Medusae abundance and species richness clearly changed from one season to another, but did not vary between the sites. Higher species richness (7 out of 8) and greater abundances were recorded during the fall (~60% and 72% of all medusae individuals and biomass respectively). Specific frequency of capture varied from 1.5 to 29% and C. lactea was the only species found in more than 25% of the samples. The three most common species dominated in different periods of the year: C. lactea during fall (78% of individuals and 60% of biomass), R. atlantica during winter (90% of individuals and 17% of biomass), and O. sambaquiensis in spring (78% of individuals and 40% of biomass). Only two individuals were caught during summer, one C. lactea and one R. atlantica. The results offer a general picture of the distribution of the macromedusae in the North Bay, but a continuous monitoring is desirable for a more detailed knowledge on the jellyfish dynamics in the Brazilian coastal waters.

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