Skip to main content

New symbiotic associations of hyperiid amphipods (Peracarida) with gelatinous zooplankton in deep waters off California

  • Rebeca Gasca (a1), Rebecca Hoover (a2) and Steven H.D. Haddock (a2)

Hyperiid amphipods are holoplanktonic marine crustaceans that are known as temporary symbionts of different groups of gelatinous zooplankton. The nature and dynamics of these associations are still poorly understood, particularly in deep waters. The mesopelagic and deep-living planktonic fauna off Monterey Bay, California (down to 4000 m) was surveyed using a remotely operated submersible (ROV) and blue-water diving (BWD) between September 2005 and January 2008. In this work we report our observations on a total of 51 symbiotic associations observed in situ (not from zooplankton samples), between hyperiid amphipods and various taxa of gelatinous zooplankton. We present the first information on the symbiotic relations of the hyperiid Vibilia caeca, and we provide data of 34 previously unknown symbiotic associations. The host range was expanded for several widely distributed hyperiid species. These findings suggest that the symbiotic associations between hyperiid amphipods and gelatinous zooplankton in deep waters deserve further study worldwide.

Corresponding author
Correspondence should be addressed to: R. Gasca, El Colegio de la Frontera Sur (ECOSUR), Av. Centenario Km 5.5, Chetumal, Quintana Roo 77014, Mexico email:
Hide All
Brusca, G.J. (1981) Annotated keys to the Hyperiidea (Crustacea: Amphipoda) of North American coastal waters. Allan Hancock Foundation Technical Report 5, 176.
Buecher, E., Sparks, C., Brierley, A., Boyer, H. and Gibbons, M. (2001) Biometry and size distribution of Chrysaora hysoscella (Cnidaria, Scyphozoa) and Aequorea aequorea (Cnidaria, Hydrozoa) off Namibia with some notes on their parasite Hyperia medusarum. Journal of Plankton Research 23, 10731080.
Dittrich, B. (1987) Postembryonic development of the parasitic amphipod Hyperia galba. Helgoländer Meeresuntersuchungen 41, 217232.
Dittrich, B. (1992) Functional morphology of the mouthparts and feeding strategies of the parasitic amphipod Hyperia galba (Montagu, 1813). Sarsia 77, 1118.
Flores, M. and Brusca, G.J. (1975) Observations on two species of hyperiid amphipods associated with the ctenophore Pleurobrachia bachei. Bulletin of the Southern California Academy of Sciences 74, 1015.
Gasca, R. (2005) Hyperoche shihi sp. nov. (Crustacea: Peracarida: Amphipoda) a symbiont of a deep-living medusa in the Gulf of California. Journal of Plankton Research 27, 617621.
Gasca, R. and Haddock, S.H.D. (2004) Associations between gelatinous zooplankton and hyperiid amphipods (Crustacea: Peracarida) in the Gulf of California. Hydrobiologia 530/531, 529535.
Gasca, R., Suárez-Morales, E. and Haddock, S.H.D. (2007) Symbiotic associations between crustaceans and gelatinous zooplankton in deep and surface waters off California. Marine Biology 151, 233242.
Godeaux, J.E.A. (1998) The relationships and systematics of the Thaliacea, with keys for identification. In Bone, Q. (ed.) The biology of pelagic tunicates. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 273294.
Harbison, G.R., Biggs, D.C. and Madin, L.P. (1977) The associations of Amphipoda Hyperiidea with gelatinous zooplankton – II. Associations with Cnidaria, Ctenophora and Radiolaria. Deep-Sea Research 24, 465468.
Harbison, G.R., Madin, L.P. and Swanberg, N.R. (1978) On the natural history and distribution of oceanic ctenophores. Deep-Sea Research 25, 233256.
Hirota, J. (1974) Quantitative natural history of Pleurobrachia bachei in La Jolla Bight. Fisheries Bulletin 72, 295335.
Hoogenboom, J. and Hennen, J. (1985) Etude sur les parasites du macrozooplankton gélatineux dans la rade de Villefranche-sur-Mer (France), avec description des stades de développement de Hyperoche mediterranea Senna (Amphipoda, Hyperiidae). Crustaceana 49, 233243.
Kobayashi, H., Hatada, Y., Tsubouchi, T., Nagahama, T. and Takami, H. (2012) The hadal amphipod Hirondellea gigas possessing a unique cellulase for digesting wooden debris buried in the deepest seafloor. PLoS ONE 7, e42727.
Krumbach, T. (1911) Notizen über die Fauna der Adria bei Rovigno. IV. Die Ctenophorenfauna von Rovigno nach den Novemberstürmen 1910. Zoologischer Anzeiger 37, 315319.
Laval, P. (1980) Hyperiid amphipods as crustacean parasitoids associated with gelatinous zooplankton. Oceanography and Marine Biology Annual Review 18, 1156.
Lavaniegos, B.E. and Ohman, M.D. (1999) Hyperiid amphipods as indicators of climate change in the California Current. In von Vaupel Klein, J.C. and Schram, F. (eds) The biodiversity crisis and Crustacea. Proceedings of the Fourth International Crustacean Congress, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 20–24 July 1998. Rotterdam: A.A. Balkema, pp. 489–509.
Lima, M.C.G. and Valentin, J.L. (2001) Preliminary results to the holistic knowledge of the Amphipoda Hyperiidea faunal composition off the Brazilian coast. Journal of Plankton Research 23, 469480.
Madin, L.P. and Harbison, G.R. (1977) The associations of Amphipoda Hyperiidea with gelatinous zooplankton. I. Associations with Salpidae. Deep Sea Research 24, 449463.
Mills, C.E. (1987) Phylum Ctenophora. In Kozloff, E.N. and Price, L.H. (eds) Marine invertebrates of the Pacific Northwest. Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press, pp. 7981.
Mills, C.E. and Haddock, S.H.D. (2007) Ctenophores. In Carlton, J.T. (ed.) Light and Smith's manual: intertidal invertebrates of the Central California Coast. 4th edition. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, pp. 189199, with 5 plates.
Schlining, B. and Jacobsen Stout, N. (2006) MBARI's video annotation and reference system. In Oceans 2006, Proceedings of the Marine Technology Society/Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Oceans Conference, 18–21 September 2006, Boston, MA.
Shih, C.-T. and Chen, Q.-C. (1995) Zooplankton of China Seas (2). The Hyperiidea (Crustacea: Amphipoda). Beijing: China Ocean Press.
Spandl, H. (1927) Die Hyperiden (exkl. Hyperiidea, Gammaroidea und Phronimidae) der Deutschen Südpolar-Expedition, 1901–1903. Deutsche Südpolar-Expedition 19, 147287, pl. 10.
Steuer, A. (1911) Adriatische planktonamphipoden. Naturwissenschaftlichen Klasse der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften 120, 671688, pl. 1–3.
Thiel, M. (1976) Wirbellose Meerestiere als Parasiten, Kommensalen oder Symbionten in oder an Scyphomedusen. Helgoländer Wissenschaftliche Meeresuntersuchungen 28, 417446.
Thiel, M. (2000) Extended parental care behavior in crustaceans – a comparative overview. In von Vaupel Klein, J.C. and Schram, F. (eds) The biodiversity crisis and Crustacea. Proceedings of the Fourth International Crustacean Congress, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 20–24 July 1998. Rotterdam: A.A. Balkema, pp. 211–225.
Thurston, M.H. (1977) Depth distribution of Hyperia spinigera Bovallius, 1889 (Crustacea: Amphipoda) and medusae in the North Atlantic Ocean, with notes on the association between Hyperia and coelenterates. In Angel, M. (ed.) A voyage of discovery. Oxford: Pergamon Press, pp. 499536.
Totton, A.K. (1965) A synopsis of the Siphonophora. London: Trustees of the British Museum (Natural History).
Vader, W. (1983) Associations between amphipods (Crustacea: Amphipoda) and sea anemones (Anthozoa: Actinaria). Australian Museum Memoir 18, 141153.
Vinogradov, G. (1999) Amphipoda. In Boltovskoy, D. (ed.) South Atlantic zooplankton. Leiden: Backhuys Publishers, pp. 11411240.
Vinogradov, M.E., Volkov, A.F. and Semenova, T.N. (1996) Hyperiid amphipods (Amphipoda, Hyperiidea) of the world oceans. Lebanon, NH: Science Publishers.
von Westernhagen, H. (1976) Some aspects of the biology of the hyperiid amphipod Hyperoche medusarum. Helgoländer Wissenschaftliche Meeresuntersuchungen 28, 4350.
Zeidler, W. (1992) Hyperiid amphipods (Crustacea: Amphipoda, Hyperiidea) collected recently from eastern Australian waters. Records of the Australian Museum 44, 85133.
Zeidler, W. (1998) Pelagic Amphipods (Crustacea: Amphipoda: Hyperiidea) collected from eastern and south-eastern Australian waters by the CSIRO research vessel “Warreen” during the years 1938–1941. Records of the South Australian Museum. Monograph Series 4, 1143.
Zeidler, W. (2003) A review of the Hyperiidean amphipod superfamily Vibilioidea Bowman & Gruner, 1973 (Crustacea: Amphipoda: Hyperiidea). Zootaxa 280, 1104.
Zeidler, W. (2004) A review of the families and genera of the hyperiidean amphipod superfamily Phronimoidea Bowman & Gruner, 1973 (Crustacea: Amphipoda: Hyperiidea). Zootaxa 567, 166.
Zeidler, W. (2012) A review of the hyperiidean amphipod families Mimonectidae and Proscinidae (Crustacea: Amphipoda: Hyperiidea: Scinoidea). Zootaxa 3533, 174.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom
  • ISSN: 0025-3154
  • EISSN: 1469-7769
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-the-marine-biological-association-of-the-united-kingdom
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed