Australian Biological Resources Study

Australian Faunal Directory


Regional Maps

Class SCYPHOZOA Goette, 1887

Compiler and date details

June 2012 - Lisa-ann Gershwin


This taxon is under review. This record is released now for public view, prior to final verification. For further information or comment email us.


The class Scyphozoa originally comprised five orders: the Semaeostomeae (the discoid jellyfishes), the Rhizostomeae (the blubber jellyfishes), the Coronatae (the deep-sea coronate jellyfishes), the Cubomedusae (the box jellyfishes), and the Stauromedusae (the benthic jellyfishes). The Cubomedusae were removed to their own class, the Cubozoa, about 30 years ago (Werner 1973). The Stauromedusae were removed to their own class, the Staurozoa, just recently by Marques & Collins (2004).

Of the remaining orders, Haeckel (1880, 1881) hypothesised that the Coronates were a monophyletic branch of what he figured as the four branches of the Scyphozoa, i.e., equal to the Stauromedusae and the Cubomedusae in being separate from the semeaostome + rhizostome branch. Recent molecular studies by Collins (2002) and Marques & Collins (2004) place the Coronatae as the sister group to the remaining Scyphomedusae.

Theil (1970) put forward a hypothesis that the Rhizostomeae is polyphyletic, with the Kolpophorae arising from the Cyaneidae and the Dactyliophorae arising from the Aureliidae (=Ulmaridae). This hypothesis has not been widely adopted.



Medusozoa characterized by strobilation and ephyrae.


Diagnosis References

Marques, A.C. & Collins, A.G. 2004. Cladistic analysis of Medusozoa and cnidarian evolution. Invertebrate Biology 123(1): 23–42 [27]


General References

Collins, A.G. 2002. Phylogeny of Medusozoa and the evolution of cnidarian life cycles. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 15: 418–432

Haeckel, E. 1880. System der Acraspeden. Zweite Halfte des System der Medusen. Jena : G. Fischer.

Haeckel, E.H. 1881. Report on the deep sea medusae dredged by the H.M.S. Challenger during the years 1873-1876. Report on the Scientific Results of the Voyage of H.M.S. Challenger 1873–1876, Zoology 4: 1-154

Marques, A.C. & Collins, A.G. 2004. Cladistic analysis of Medusozoa and cnidarian evolution. Invertebrate Biology 123(1): 23–42

Thiel, M.E. 1970. Uber den zweifachen stammesgeschichtlichen ("biphyletischen") Ursprung der Rhizostomae (Scyphomedusae) und ihre Aufteilung in die zwei neuen Ordnungen Cepheida und Rhizostomida. Abhandlungen und Verhandlungen des Naturwissenschaftlichen Vereins in Hamburg 14: 145–168

Werner, B. 1973. New investigations on systematics and evolution of the class Scyphozoa and the phylum Cnidaria. Publications of the Seto Marine Biological Laboratory 20: 35–61 [Proceedings of the Second International Symposium on Cnidaria]


History of changes

Note that this list may be incomplete for dates prior to September 2013.
Published As part of group Action Date Action Type Compiler(s)
13-Aug-2013 MODIFIED