2018 Volume 13 Issue 2 Pages 66-74
In this study, we investigated the trophic interactions between the Japanese giant box jellyfish, Morbakka virulenta, and fish in the central part of the Seto Inland Sea, western Japan, in autumn and winter. Occurring in the surface waters at nighttime, these cubomedusae, regardless of their size (1.5 to 22.5 cm in bell height), were found to be piscivorous, feeding mainly on the Japanese anchovy, as shown by their stomach contents analysis. This finding was supported by a stable isotopic analysis and by an unchanged cnidome, irrespective of the bell height of medusae. Their nocturnal occurrence near the surface often took place around the slack tide, during which the medusae were foraging with tentacles fully extended. Other associations between the medusae and fish were also observed at this time: presumed commensalism with juvenile Japanese horse mackerel, and predation by black scraper.