|Tetraplatia volitans Busch, 1851
Phylum Cnidaria / Class Scyphozoa / Order Coronatae / Family Tetraplatidae
Even a jellyfish expert may be thrown off by this bizarre little creature – it hardly resembles any other jellyfish. Looking more like a worm, and being 4 to 9 mm long, it’s easily overlooked. It feeds on small zooplankton, capturing prey without the aid of tentacles, which are lacking. The color is whitish to bluish white. The body is cylindrical with pointed ends, with a constriction closer to the aboral end. Its cnidarian affinities are revealed by the presence of nematocysts contained in 4 tracks that run the length of the body, and 4 shorter tracks between these. The coronal groove is divided into 8 pairs of lappet-like structures. Between the lappets are marginal sense structures (8 total). The four gonads are not easily visible. Tetraplatia is cosmopolitan, found worldwide in oceanic waters, from the surface down to about 900 meters.
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