Athecate hydroids and their medusae

The Athecate hydroids and their medusae Synopsis features identification keys to the 113 species of athecate hydroids and their medusae. Coverage extends to all species of the north-east Atlantic. These keys use external characters where possible.

Hydroids and their medusae are among the most exquisitely beautiful and intriguing of marine invertebrate groups. The usual life cycle alternates between sexual free-swimming medusae and asexual benthic hydroids. But many variations exist within the group.

Until recently even the basic life cycle of the hydroids was unknown. As a result, hydroids and medusae were for many years classified independently of each other. And the story is by no means over. Several species are currently known only from their hydroid or medusae stage.

This volume is the first work to provide descriptions of all the northern European athecate hydroids since Hincks (1868) and the first ever book to include keys to their identification. It is the first on anthomedusae since Russell (1953).

Synopses of the British Fauna is a series of identification guides. Each volume in the series provides a detailed account of a group of animals. They bridge the gap between standard field guides and the more specialised monograph or treatise. Since 1993 the the Field Studies Council has published these guides on behalf of the Linnean Society.

These volumes are suitable for the lab or field. Technical terminology is kept to a minimum and a glossary of terms provided. However the complexity of the subject matter makes the books more suitable for the more experienced practitioner.