Siphonophores and velellids

The Siphonophores and velellids Synopsis covers the 55 species of siphonophore and 1 velellid of British and Irish waters.

Most of the fragile, beautiful and anatomically complex siphonophores are members of the plankton. They are seldom seen as complete organisms but nearly always as transparent fragments in plankton samples. The only British velellid is Velella velella, or ‘Jack sail-by-the-wind’. Perhaps Physalia, the Portuguese man-o’war, is the most well-known siphonophore, at least outside of marine biologists.

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 are intended to bridge the gap between standard field guides and 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. The editors aim to keep them as user friendly as possible, with technical terminology 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.