In situ observations of Stygiomedusa gigantea

Latest version published by SCAR - AntOBIS on Mar 19, 2019 SCAR - AntOBIS

This dataset was provided by Dhugal Lindsay (Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC)). The data is extracted from a paper by Mark C. Benfield (Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences, Louisiana State University) and William M. Graham (Dauphin Island Sea Lab and University of South Alabama). Four individuals of the large scyphozoan jellyfish Stygiomedusa gigantea were observed in the northern Gulf of Mexico over 2005 – 2009 by industrial remotely operated vehicles as part of the SERPENT Project. One of these observations included the symbiotic Bythitid fish Thalassobathia pelagica. Prior to these observations, neither S. gigantea nor T. pelagica had been observed in, or collected from the Gulf of Mexico. In order to summarize the available information on S. gigantea, we located 110 observations obtained over 110 years (1899 – 2009) representing 118 individual specimens of this species from around the world. The resulting dataset confirms that this species is cosmopolitan occurring with records from all Oceans except the Arctic. While the depth range of the four Gulf of Mexico specimens was bathypelagic, there appears to be a pattern of S. gigantea occurring in mesopelagic and epipelagic depth zones at high latitudes, particularly in the Southern Ocean and mesopelagic and bathypelagic depths at mid- and low-latitudes. This pattern may be related to the meridional vertical distribution of temperature or perhaps avoidance of light levels that could degrade porphyrin pigments. There was no evidence that this species migrates vertically. Two of the individuals in the Gulf of Mexico appeared to be actively clinging to subsea structures and we speculate that this is a consequence of its normal mode of feeding which may entail using its large oral lobes to hold on to, and trap prey.

Data Records

The data in this occurrence resource has been published as a Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A), which is a standardized format for sharing biodiversity data as a set of one or more data tables. The core data table contains 109 records.

This IPT archives the data and thus serves as the data repository. The data and resource metadata are available for download in the downloads section. The versions table lists other versions of the resource that have been made publicly available and allows tracking changes made to the resource over time.


Download the latest version of this resource data as a Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A) or the resource metadata as EML or RTF:

Data as a DwC-A file download 109 records in English (8 KB) - Update frequency: unknown
Metadata as an EML file download in English (9 KB)
Metadata as an RTF file download in English (10 KB)


The table below shows only published versions of the resource that are publicly accessible.

How to cite

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

Mark C. Benfield and William M. Graham [date accessed]. In situ observations of Stygiomedusa gigantea in the Gulf of Mexico with a review of its global distribution and habitat.


Researchers should respect the following rights statement:

The publisher and rights holder of this work is SCAR - AntOBIS. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) 4.0 License.

GBIF Registration

This resource has been registered with GBIF, and assigned the following GBIF UUID: 7b6c8226-f762-11e1-a439-00145eb45e9a.  SCAR - AntOBIS publishes this resource, and is itself registered in GBIF as a data publisher endorsed by Ocean Biodiversity Information System.


Abundance; Behaviour; Distribution; Remotely operated vehicles; Occurrence

External data

The resource data is also available in other formats

Online dataset UTF-8 Plain Text
Metadata UTF-8 XML


Who created the resource:

Dhugal Lindsay
Research Scientist
Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology

Who can answer questions about the resource:

Anton Van de Putte
Project Manager
Antarctic Biodiversity Information Facility (ANTABIF)

Who filled in the metadata:

Anton Van de Putte
Project Manager
Antarctic Biodiversity Information Facility (ANTABIF)

Who else was associated with the resource:

William Graham
Dauphin Island Sea Lab
Custodian Steward
Bruno Danis
Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences; Departement Educatie en Natuur; Afdeling Zoetwaterbiologie
Custodian Steward
Davy Fiankan
Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Mark Benfield
Louisiana State University; Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences
Custodian Steward
Davy Fiankan
Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Geographic Coverage

PS, Southern Ocean

Bounding Coordinates South West [-75, -180], North East [50, 180]

Taxonomic Coverage

Class  Scyphozoa [Jellyfish]

Temporal Coverage

Start Date 1899-01-01

Additional Metadata

marine, harvested by iOBIS

Alternative Identifiers 7b6c8226-f762-11e1-a439-00145eb45e9a