Variation in lethality and effects of two Australian chirodropid jellyfish venoms in fish

Kintner, Anna H., Seymour, Jamie E., and Edwards, Susan L. (2005) Variation in lethality and effects of two Australian chirodropid jellyfish venoms in fish. Toxicon, 46 (6). pp. 699-708.

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Abstract

The North Queensland chirodropid box jellyfish Chironex fleckeri and Chiropsalmus sp. share similar nematocyst composition and the same prey of Acetes australis shrimps in their early medusa stages; however, as C. fleckeri individuals reach larger size, the animals add fish to their diet and their complement of nematocyst types changes, allowing larger doses of venom to be delivered to prey. This study demonstrated that the venoms of the two species differ as well: despite similar effects previously documented in crustacean prey models, the two had widely different cardiac and lethal effects in fish, with C. fleckeri being substantially more potent in its ability to cause death. Comparisons between the venom delivery abilities of the two species showed that the change in nematocysts of C. fleckeri cannot alone account for its ontogenetic shift to prey fish; instead, its prey ecology clearly necessitates it having venom capable of acting efficiently to cause death in fish. Although this venom is almost certainly produced at greater metabolic cost to the animal than the less-lethal venom of Chiropsalmus sp., owing to its greater molecular protein complexity, it confers the advantage of increased caloric intake from fish prey, facilitating larger size and potentially greater reproductive output of C. fleckeri over Chiropsalmus sp.

Item ID: 7199
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: cardiac effects; Chironex fleckeri; Chiropsalmus sp.; cnidarian venoms; cubozoan; jellyfish; lethality; nematocyst
ISSN: 1879-3150
Date Deposited: 24 Mar 2010 06:13
FoR Codes: 07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0707 Veterinary Sciences > 070702 Veterinary Anatomy and Physiology @ 34%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0606 Physiology > 060603 Animal Physiology Systems @ 33%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0606 Physiology > 060604 Comparative Physiology @ 33%
SEO Codes: 93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9399 Other Education and Training > 939999 Education and Training not elsewhere classified @ 34%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960802 Coastal and Estuarine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 33%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 33%
Citation Count from Web of Science Web of Science 23
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