PORT PHILLIP BAY


Rocket Siphonophore 

Chelophyes appendiculata (Eschscholtz, 1829)

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Small siphonophores with transparent bell about 10-15 mm long and in the shape of a witch's hat or rocket. The bell is adapted for swimming and known as a nectophore. Its thickened mesoglea provides buoyancy. At the apex are 3 ridges. There is a central cavity but no opening at the sharp end. Specimens found may consist of an anterior nectophore, or a conjoined anterior and posterior nectophore. Live animals have a string of fishing tentacles that trail behind the swimming bell.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Cnidaria
Class:
Hydrozoa
Subclass:
Siphonophorae
Order:
Calycophorae
Family:
Diphyidae
Genus:
Chelophyes
Species:
appendiculata

General Description

Small, transparent bell in the shape of a witch's hat. There is a central cavity but no opening at the pointed end. Live animals have a string of tentacles that trail behind the swimming bell. Bell up to 2 cm long.

Biology

These animals sometimes wash ashore in large numbers. In these beach-washed remains, the tentacle trail is retracted or lost, leaving a transparent small cone. This species can be confused with small free-swimming sea squirts (known as salps) that have openings at both ends. They are more closely related to sea-floor dwelling hydroids than they are to other jellyfish.

Habitat

Open waters in tropical and temperate oceans, to depth of 300 m.

Open water

Coastal shores

Distribution guide

Worldwide.

Species Group

Jellyfishes and allies Jellyfishes

Depth

Shore (0-1 m)
Shallow (1-30 m)
Deep ( > 30 m)

Water Column

Surface Midwater

Max Size

2 cm

Diet

Carnivore

Harmful

Not known to be dangerous to humans.

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Recorded in Australia

Identify

Conservation Status

  • DSE Advisory List : Not listed
  • EPBC Act 1999 : Not listed
  • IUCN Red List : Not listed

Author

article author Browne, J.

Jo Browne is a consultant with expertise in ctenophore and cnidarian taxonomy.

citation

Cite this page as:
Browne, J., 2011, Rocket Siphonophore, Chelophyes appendiculata, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 17 Aug 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/5671

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