Apolemia uvaria (Lesueur, 1811)
Phylum Cnidaria / Class Hydrozoa / Subclass Siphonophora / Order Physonecta / Family Apolemiidae

Apolemia

JelliesZone    Lurking in the inky darkness of the midwater, the siphonophore Apolemia acts like a living drift net, with a length exceeding an incredible 30 meters.  With tentacles spread out, it is indeed a formidable predator on creatures inhabiting the depths.  Apolemia is a physonect siphonophore and thus has an anterior gas float and set of swimming bells.  The vast majority of the body is formed by the elongate stem region with its feeding and reproductive structures.   Since the stem is exceedingly delicate, you will never find the entire siphonophore, or even long segments, near the surface.  You are far more likely to see sections of no more than a meter in length.  Typically the stem sections have a pinkish white color and drift with the currents, unable to move on their own.   Although a relatively abundant inhabitant of Monterey Canyon and other midwater locations, Apolemia is not commonly encountered by divers.  If you do come across a section of the stem, it is best to avoid contact since the stinging nematocysts are relatively potent.

All photographs David Wrobel and may not be used or copied without permission!

[ Apolemia ] Calycophoran ] Forskalia ] Nanomia ] Physophora ] Praya ]

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