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Mar Environ Res. 2014 Feb;93:93-101. doi: 10.1016/j.marenvres.2013.07.004. Epub 2013 Jul 23.

Ephyra jellyfish as a new model for ecotoxicological bioassays.

Author information

  • 1CNR - Institute of Marine Sciences (ISMAR), Genoa, Italy.
  • 2CNR - Institute of Marine Sciences (ISMAR), Genoa, Italy. Electronic address:
  • 3CNR - Institute of Marine Sciences (ISMAR), Genoa, Italy; Acquario di Genova - Costa Edutainment S.p.A, Genova, Italy.
  • 4Acquario di Genova - Costa Edutainment S.p.A, Genova, Italy.


The aim of this study was a preliminary investigation on the possibility of using the ephyra of Scyphozoan jellyfish Aurelia aurita (Linnaeus, 1758), the common moon jellyfish, as an innovative model organism in marine ecotoxicology. A series of sequential experiments have been carried out in laboratory in order to investigate the influence of different culturing and methodological parameters (temperature, photoperiod, ephyrae density and age) on behavioural end-points (% of Frequency of Pulsations) and standardize a testing protocol. After that, the organisms have been exposed to two well known reference toxic compounds (Cadmium Nitrate and SDS) in order to analyse the acute and behavioural responses during static exposure. Results of this work indicate that the proposed behavioural end-point, frequency of pulsations (Fp), is an easily measurable one and can be used coupled with an acute one (immobilization) and that ephyrae of jellyfish are very promising model organisms for ecotoxicological investigation.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Aurelia aurita; Cadmium nitrate; Ecotoxicology; Jellyfish; Larval bioassay; SDS; Sublethal effects; Swimming speed

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