Zoological Studies

Vol. 62, 2023

(update: 2023.3.20)

A New Species of Box Jellyfish (Cnidaria: Tripepalidae: Tripedalia) from Hong Kong, China

Yanan Sun1, Justin Hon Yin Tsui2, Rachel Ting Huen Wong2, Ringo Nga Ching Cheung3, Murphy Kam Pui Ng3, Carmen K.M. Or4, and Jian-Wen Qiu1,*

1Department of Biology, Hong Kong Baptist University, 224 Waterloo Road, Hong Kong, China. *Correspondence: E-mail: qiujw@hkbu.edu.hk (Qiu).
E-mail: sunyanan8733@gmail.com (Sun)
2Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health, The University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom. E-mail: justintsui100@gmail.com (Tsui); strgrachel@gmail.com (Wong)
3Ocean Park Corporation, Hong Kong, China. E-mail: ringo.cheung@oceanpark.com.hk (Cheung); murphy.ng@oceanpark.com.hk (Ng)
4WWF-Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China. E-mail: cor@wwf.org.hk (Or)

(Received 21 August 2022 / Accepted 27 January 2023 / Published 20 March 2023)
Communicated by Benny K.K. Chan

We describe a box jellyfish, Tripedalia maipoensis sp. nov., based on samples collected from a shrimp pond in Hong Kong. This new species is morphologically distinct from other species of the family Tripedalidae by the following combination of characters: (1) three pedalia at each bell corner; (2) each pedalium with one tentacle; and (3) velarium with forked canals. Phylogenetic analyses based on a concatenated dataset of the 16S, 18S and 28S rRNA genes show that T. maipoensis sp. nov. is sister to the morphologically similar species T. cystophora, but the two species exhibit 17.4% divergence in the 16S rRNA gene, supporting T. maipoensis sp. nov. as a distinct species. This new species represents the fourth described species of Tripedaliidae, and the first record of the family in Chinese coastal waters.

Key words: Box jellyfish, Tripedalia, Morphology, Phylogeny, Hong Kong. 

Citation: Sun Y, Tsui JHY, Wong RTH, Cheung RNC, Ng MKP, Or CKM, Qiu JW. 2023. A new species of box jellyfish (Cnidaria: Tripepalidae: Tripedalia) from Hong Kong, China. Zool Stud 62:17. doi:10.6620/ZS.2023.62-17.

Supplementary materials: Supplementary NoteFig. S1Fig. S2Table S1