Thecate hydroids 1

Thecate hydroids and their medusae 1

Thecate hydroids and their medusae (part 1) Synopsis covers the Haleciidae and minor families. Part 2 covers the hydroid families with larger colonies Sertulaeiidae, Plumulariidae, Aglaopheniidae and Campanulariidae. Overall this is the first work to describe all the north-west European thecate hydroids since Hincks (1868).

Hydroids and their medusae are amongst the most exquisitely beautiful and intriguing of marine invertebrate groups. Moreover the history of their science reads like a detective story. The ‘normal’ life cycle alternates between sexual free-swimming medusae and asexual benthic hydroids, but there are many other variations. As a result it was many years before even the basic life cycle was recognised. Before this hydroids and medusae were classified independently of each other. The unravelling of the ensuing tangle has provided a major systematic challenge.

Synopses of the British Fauna is a series of identification guides. Each volume in the series is a detailed account of a group of animals. They 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 at a minimum and a glossary of terms. However the complexity of the subject matter makes the books more suitable for the more experienced practitioner.