CLASSIFICATION OF PHYSALIA

PHYLUM :- COELENTRATA (Tissue grade, diploblastic and acoelomate. )

CLASS :-  HYDROZOA  (The hydroids and craspedote medusa )

ORDER :- SIPHONOPHORA (Polymorphic colonies with various polypoid and medusoid zooids.)

SUB-ORDER :- PHYSOPHORIDA (Upper end of colony contains float or pneumatophore, without swimming bells or bracts and with simplified cormidia. )

FAMILY :- PHYSALIDAE (Large float with apical pore.)

GENUS :- Physalia (The Portuguese man-of-war)

GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION

  • Found in the warm sea in the gulf stream from Florida to Vineyard, U.S.A.

HABIT AND HABITAT

  • Physalia is a marine. colonial, floating, pelagic coelenterate.

PHYSALIA

GENERAL CHARACTERSTICS OF PHYSALIA

  • Commonly called as Portuguese man of war. It is so named because of its sudden appearance and disappearance like Portuguese ships during war.
  • Most beautiful siphonophore having irredescent peacock, blue or orange colour. 
  • Size 10 to 30 em long but tentacles measure several metres.
  • Animal is composed of upper large crested pneumatophore or float and lower various zooids. 
  • Pneumatophore contains gas glands which secrete air composed off 7.5% to 13.5% oxygen, 1·5% argon and 85% to 91% nitrogen. 
  • Gas fills the float to swim or float and when animal has to sink, gas is forced out through the pneumatophore.
  • Ventrally the float contains budding coenosarc from which dactylozooids, gastrozooids, gonGzooids and gonodendra hang down. 
  • A portion of cluster of zooids reveal large fishing tentacles with batteries of pneumatoeyst, gastrozooids without tentacles, large daetylozooids, small daetylozooids, gonodendra and large gelatinous zooids of unknown function.
  • A part of gonodendra shows upper small male gonophores, lower large rounded female gonophores with eggs. Along with gonophores are several cylindrical gonopulpons.
PHYSALIA

IDENTIFICATION

  • The animal has floats hanging gastrozooids, tentacles, gonozooids and all above characters, hence it is Physalia.
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