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Characteristics, distribution and ecology
Taxonomische classification
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(Steenstrup, 1850)

Umbrella globular, sometimes wider than high [Bougainvillia principis ]; jelly moderately thick; velum fairly broad. Four radial canals broad and ring canal narrow.
A slight broad-based gastric peduncle often present, manubrium short, with broad base, in section cross-shaped. Mouth with four oral tentacles inserted above mouth opening, dichotomously branched 5-6 times terminating in small nematocyst clusters, basal trunk of oral tentacle short [B.principis-tentacles ].
Gonads situated adradially on manubrium, swollen.
Four large marginal tentacular bulbs each with a group of 20-30 tentacles of one kind in a single row. With round, black ocelli [B.principis-tentacles ].
Young medusa with abundant nematocysts and four moderately deep interradial and four less deep perradial longitudinal furrows on exumbrella.
Development: B.principis-stages.

Umbrella 7-11 mm high.

Manubrium wine-red or golden yellow; marginal bulbs wine red, dark reddish brown, brown or orange, with central mass of dark pigment with rays radiating towards the tentacles [B.principis-female-habitus ].

A northern boreal species usually appearing earlier in southern British waters than in the far north; generally present in May.

Distribution in the North Sea
Northern and southern North Sea.

World distribution
NE North Atlantic Ocean; Arctic Ocean.

[After Russell, 1953a; Kramp, 1959]

Bougainvillia principis