Morphological and molecular documentation of Jellyfish Rhopilema hispidum (Vanhöffen, 1888) (Scyphozoa: Rhizostomatidae) from Mumbai coast, India
Identification of jellyfish species is challenging, even for taxonomic experts, due to their fragile forms and complex, morphologically-distinct life-history stages. DNA barcoding along with the morphological characters would complement the species identification. In the present study, a jellyfish collected from the Juhu beach, Mumbai coast, Maharashtra, India was identified based on the morphology and molecular markers. Visual morphological characters indicate that the specimen belongs to the genus Rhopilema. The partial gene of nuclear Internal Transcribed Spacer 1 was amplified, sequenced and subjected to similarity analysis with the NCBI GenBank database. The analysis showed a similarity of 99 % with the reported Rhopilema hispidum and confirmed the species identity. In the Neighbour-joining tree, the present study specimen is clustered with R. hispidum reported from Malaysia.
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