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Nature volume 24, page 307 | Download Citation



IN Mr. H. N. Moseley's “Notes by a Naturalist”, on the Challenger, p. 404, a curious habit of Medusæ in the Island of Santa Cruz Major, is mentioned, viz. their lying on the tops of their umbrellas, its tentacles directed upwards. I think your readers may be interested to learn that I have frequently noticed Medusæ in a similar position in the West Indies. A few years ago I was quartered for some time at Port Royal, Jamaica, and in the channels between the mangroves I observed what I at first thought were Actineæ of large size on the muddy bottom, in about eight feet of water. They were very numerous. I stirred one up with the boat-hook, and was surprised to find it was a Medusa tamed upside down. On being disturbed, it lazily contracted its umbrella in the usual manner and settled down again in the mud as before. The species was about a foot in diameter of umbrella, and dirty white in colour. I never saw them swimming in the mangrove creeks, though I was frequently out in a boat, and they were at all times common on the bottom, lying as described. Some time afterwards I saw what seemed to be the same species at St. George's Bay, a small island about ten miles from Belize, Honduras. It was lying in the same position on the mud amongst the mangroves, in about four feet of water, I poked several up with a stick, and they slowly swam for a short distance, and again settled down on their umbrellas. I believe it to be really the habit of the species to lie on its back, as it were, and it is interesting to find another kind in the east acting similarly. Mangrove swamps are extensive in the vicinity of Singapore, but I have not noticed any Medusæ here in that position, possibly because there is a considerable tide which leaves the mud bare at low water.

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  1. Fort Canning, Singapore, June 28

    • H. ARCHER


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