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 Major Groups | Cnidaria (hydra, jelly fish) | Hydrozoa (hydra, jellyfish) | Oceaniidae

Cordylophora caspia

Major Group: Cnidaria
Minor Group:Hydrozoa (Pennak 1989, ABRS 2004)
Order: Hydrozoa (Williams 1980) or Hydroida (Pennak 1989, ABRS 2004)
Oceaniidae (formerly Clavidae)
Genus: Cordylophora
Species: caspia
This family is represented in Australian freshwaters by a single species, Cordylophora caspia Pallas. There is some discrepancy in the literature about the taxonomic level of Hydrozoa. This does not affect the identification of Clavidae.

Descriptive Features:

  • profusely branching, moss-like, colonial animals
  • feeding individuals are spindle-shaped with prominent manubrium and 10 20 thin scattered tentacles
  • reproductive polyps, gonophores, are ovoid
  • Size: 30 mm in height

    Cordylophora caspia, colony


    Cordylophora caspia, colony

    Taxonomic Checklist: Cordylophora caspia Pallas

    Distribution: Eastern Australia

    Sensitivity Rating: SIGNAL grade 3

    Functional Feeding Group: predators


    Murray River estuarine, Hindmarsh Island SA

    Ecology: Instream habitat: Cordylophora caspia tolerates both fresh water and mildly saline waters. It occurs in still or flowing, inland or coastal waters.
    Feeding ecology: All cnidarians are predators feeding on minute animals such as cladocerans and copepods. They catch their prey with tentacles armed with stinging nematocysts.
    Habit: Cordylophora caspia individuals unite to form a colony structure.
    Life history:


    Information Sources: Williams 1980, Pennak 1989, Gooderham & Tsyrlin 2002