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  • The initial submission of this article was received on May 31st, 2021 and was peer-reviewed by 3 reviewers and the Academic Editor.
  • The Academic Editor made their initial decision on June 22nd, 2021.
  • The first revision was submitted on August 3rd, 2021 and was reviewed by the Academic Editor.
  • The article was Accepted by the Academic Editor on August 4th, 2021.

Version 0.2 (accepted)

· Aug 4, 2021 · Academic Editor


There are too few people studying the biology of Cnidaria. The authors have paid careful attention to the reviewers' comments.

If we need to clarify any details required to move the manuscript forward, then our production staff will get in touch with you. Otherwise, a proof will be forthcoming shortly for your review.

Congratulations and thank you for your submission.

[# PeerJ Staff Note - this decision was reviewed and approved by James Reimer, a PeerJ Section Editor covering this Section, who noted that "I don't think the title needs the "Order" etc rank indicators." #]

Version 0.1 (original submission)

· Jun 22, 2021 · Academic Editor

Major Revisions

Dear Dr Gueroun,

We have received the reports from our reviewers on your manuscript.

Based on the advice received, the Editor feels that your manuscript could be accepted for publication should you be prepared to incorporate major revisions. When preparing your revised manuscript, you are asked to carefully consider the reviewers' comments which are attached, and submit a list of responses to the comments. Your list of responses should be uploaded as a file in addition to your revised manuscript.

Best regards,
Alexander Ereskovsky

[# PeerJ Staff Note: The review process has identified that the English language must be improved. PeerJ can provide language editing services - please contact us at for pricing (be sure to provide your manuscript number and title) #]


Basic reporting

As a not native English speaking person I cannot appreciate true value of the language, but my opinion is the English can be improved.
The rest is Ok, except the figures, some of which need editting in lebels.

Experimental design

No comment - everithing is Ok

Validity of the findings

Everything is Ok, but discussion should be improved.

Additional comments

The last paragraph of the abstract describes the methodology and results in short, excessively short. It must present more results in more details.

In the Results it is a long and detailed description of the ephyra development (growth) stages, missing the temporal parameters. And no discussion of these data in Discussion. The authors need either discuss (compare) their data with the similar descriptions of other species, or remove such detailed descriptions.

The final part - the spatial and seasonal distribution of the species (in the Results and Discussion) - in its present description sound poorly connected with the rest of the manuscript. One possibility - is to connect the revealed ecological preferences of the species with its records in the region. At the moment it sounds vice-versa.

lines 1, 38, 42, 348, Table 4 - Rhizostomida -you should clearly define the taxonomic classification used in the study. According to WoRMS taxon names are different. Moreover sometimes the spelling is different in different parts of the manuscript: Rhizostomida or Rhizostomidae...

Other comments you will find in 'comments' in the file.

Reviewer 2 ·

Basic reporting

This research, even if it contains original data of undoubted interest, has some criticalities.
English would need to be refined.
References ok.
Article structure should be improved; the morphological / morphometric description is sufficient, but the section concerning the experiments is a bit confusing and unclear.
Fig. 7 is unclear and confusing
There are also some doubts about the experimental design system, see next point.

Experimental design

The authors tested the effect of temperature and salinity on planula development, and this is OK, but why didn't they perform the same type of experiments on the asexual reproductive rate of the polyps?
The authors limited themselves to analyzing the effect of temperature and feeding on asexual reproduction, but this section is somewhat confusing and unclear.
As for the statistical analysis, some doubts fall in the methodological approach adopted. Following the authors’ rationale, the nature of repated measurements (line 194) have not been considered in the models. GLMM or LMM would be appropriate in such type of data. Furthermore, in relation to the performed models, I think that, once a Poisson GLM model was overdispersed, the Authors have to opt for a quasipoisson distribution of error (just changing the overdispersion parameters) since prediceted values (integers) are more realistic than those predicted by a negative binomial distribution.
In general, the whole section describing statistical methods can be improved and Authors choices better justified.

Validity of the findings

I do not doubt that the observations made by the authors in the final discussion are correct, but the problems indicated above make them poorly supported.

Additional comments

I would suggest to refine the research as indicated above, perhaps adding an experimental part on the asexual reproductive rate as a function of the main environmental variables, temperature and salinity, and not only as a function of nutrition. Also review the statistical analysis section, as indicated above.


Basic reporting

1) I would strongly recommend this article to be revied by a native speaker. English, which is used here, is ambiguous. Abstract is especially hard to understand due to the fact that sentences are not connected with each other. Moreover, there are multiple typos and some mistakes in terminology.
Problems with language, that I can define:
Lines 1.38.42. “Rhizostomida”, the preferred name of this suborder is Dactyliophorae. Line 1. Also, it is strange to name class and suborder (Scyphozoa, Rhizostomida) without naming the order (Scyphozoa, Rhizostomeae, Dactyliophorae). Maybe naming only class and order will be more appropriate (Scyphozoa, Rhizostomeae).
Lines 32-33 are unreadable. What do you mean by “jellyfish outbreaks are … natural events”? What do you mean by “environmental… activities”? How the first leads to the second?
Line 34. “different jellyfish life stage” – it should be: “different jellyfish life stages”
Line 34.385. “its” – “it’s”
Line 35. “have its full life cycle understood” – I’m not sure the word “understood” is a good fit for the scientific article.
Line 38. “scyphistoma presents 18 tentacles” – The word “presents” doesn’t look like a good choice.
Line 39. “Only podocyst production was observed.” – This sentence should be expanded. In the current state it conflicts with the next sentence, where you talk about strobilation, that you also observed.
Line 41. “ephyrae… at liberation” – The word “detachment” or “release” is usually used.
Lines 52-53. “Tagus estuary” is used twice.
Lines 56-57. What do you mean by “The outbreaks often have severe… ecosystems”? Please rephrase.
Lines 57-60. The sentence is too complicated and thus very hard to understand.
Lines 63.115.157. I would recommend to use the word “attached” instead of “fixed”.
Lines 64-65.224-225.326-327.332-333. “(e.g. budding, swimming buds, podocysts, fission, strobilation) (Arai, 1997)”; “lateral budding by stolon, lateral scyphistoma budding, or pedalocysts”; “various budding modes (e.g. lateral budding, budding from stolon, motile bud-like tissue particles, etc.) and podocysts (Arai, 1997)”; “lateral budding, lateral budding through stolons, reproduction from parts of stolons/stalks, motile bud-like tissue particles, podocysts) (Schiariti et al., 2014)” – The unification of the names of modes of asexual reproduction is required, especially while you citate the same article on this lines.
Line 68. “both phases integral to the study” – I’m not sure the word “integral” fits here.
Lines 5.Gigure 6. Please use the sign ‰ , when you specify the salinity.
Line 115. “given to planula choice to” – please rephrase.
Lines 140.230.237-238.249.320.Table 1.Figure 1.Figure 2. “ephyra lappet elongated”; “Ephyrae typically had eight marginal arms with a pair of antler palm-like rhopalial lappets and a single rhopalium per lappet” – unification of the terms is needed. Which part of ephyra do you call “marginal arm”, “marginal lobe”, “lappet”, “marginal lappet”, “rhopalial lappet”, “rhopalia lappet”?
Line 142. “MDD/CL 9 100” – I believe it was supposed to be “MDD/CL x 100”.
Lines 143.144. “CDD/TBD 9 100”, “RLL/TMLL 9 100” – the same.
Line 148. “three temperature” – “three temperatures”.
Line 161. “The effect of temperature and feeding on asexual reproduction” – “The effect of temperature and feeding regime on asexual reproduction”.
Line 162. “two temperature levels” – “two temperatures”.
Line 163. “three feed regimes” – “three feeding regimes”.
Lines 163-164. “Eighteen polyps were tested in each of the six combinations.” – This sentence is ambiguous and thus should be rephrased.
Lines 164-165. The sentence is very hard to understand. Please rephrase.
Line 215-216. 218. “total body length (TBD)” – I believe it was supposed to be “total body length (TBL)”.
Line 218-219. “was distinctly longer than wide” – seems to be a poor choice of words, specifics are required.
Line 227. “strobiles” – “strobilae” is preferable.
Lines 229-230. “calyx upper part” – How do you define “up” and “down” in strobila? It would be correct to use terms “oral”-“aboral”.
Lines 245-248. “The first oral tentacles develop on the distal ends of the manubrium. … The first oral tentacles develop around the manubrium opening” – information seems to be doubled.
Line 258.Table 2. “two other canals develop horizontally” – the word “horizontally” doesn’t describe the position of the structure in the jellyfish body. Please rephrase.
Line 260. The word “canals” is missing.
Line 359. “up to” is used twice.
Table 1. “ep:ephyrae” – “ep:ephyra”.
“ephyrae:500μm” - “ephyra:500μm”
“ephyrae” - “ephyra”
“•18 filiform tentacles •Long, club-shape and flexible” – I believe it was supposed to be “•18 filiform tentacles; long, club-shape and flexible”
“•MDD ≈ 44 % of the TBL” – Is everything correct here? Diameter in relation to length?
Table 2. “Development stages” - “Developmental stages”.
“• Rhopalia canals are sli forked, rounded points • • rhopalial canals slightly forked with rounded points” – information is doubled.
Figure 3. “Enlargement of the mouth development of Catostylus tagi.” – “Enlargement of the mouth of Catostylus tagi.”
“at the lips mouth in (stage 1)” – the content is not clear.
Figure 5. “Stage 1: 1-3 tentacles” – but on the lines 157-158 “Stage 1: 1-4 tentacles”.
Figure 7. “C. tagi asexual reproduction under temperature and diet regimes.” – the word “different” seems to be missing.
“ephyra. strobilation-1” - “ephyrae.strobilation-1”.

2) The background is present, but it lacks the known information on ephyra development. This work is not the first to show the development of gastric system and margin of the Scyphozoan young medusa. For example:
• Holst, S. (2012). Morphology and development of benthic and pelagic life stages of North Sea jellyfish (Scyphozoa, Cnidaria) with special emphasis on the identification of ephyra stages. Marine Biology, 159(12), 2707–2722. doi:10.1007/s00227-012-2028-0
• Holst, S., Sötje, I., Tiemann, H., & Jarms, G. (2007). Life cycle of the rhizostome jellyfish Rhizostoma octopus (L.) (Scyphozoa, Rhizostomeae), with studies on cnidocysts and statoliths. Marine Biology, 151(5), 1695–1710. doi:10.1007/s00227-006-0594-8 (Which is by the way cited in the text).
Lines 61-62. “With some exceptions (e.g. Pelagia noctiluca), Scyphozoan species are meroplanktonic with a bipartite life cycle.” - There is a lack of references.
Lines 322-325. “This anatomic characteristic of C. tagi distinguishes the species from the other two Rhizostomatidae, Rhizostoma luteum (Kienberger et al., 2018) and Rhizostoma octopus (Holst et al., 2007), occurring in the same geographical area.” – Please specify, what is known about velar canals of Rhizostoma luteum and Rhizostoma octopus, how exactly are they differ.
Line 363. “(Gueroun, unpublished data)” – the date is also required.
Lines 363-368. It would be great if you’ll describe the dynamics of salinity and temperature changes during the year in Tagus estuary.

3) Structure of the article is clear. There are just few notes:
Abstract lacks the conclusion.
Between the lines 244 and 245 there is a lack of introduction. Stages of what are you going to describe?
Lines 308-310. “Our observations of adult gonads from individuals collected in the Tagus estuary (Portugal) showed the absence of planulae” – This information wasn’t mentioned in “results”.
Lines 359-360. “C. tagi scyphistomae were repeatedly strobilated twice a month (≥18°C), producing up to up to 15 ephyrae (6.8 ± 3.6)” – The same.

Table 1 and Table 2 would be better in a form of complex Figures with letters on each photo. Thus you will be able to make more concrete references in the text.
Also margins of the photos in Tables 1 and 2 should be corrected: less black space is needed and the color of the background must be well matched (in the current state the slight difference between colors is seen).
Table 4 is very informative, it is a pity that the information in this table isn’t discussed in the text.
The necessity of Figure 2 is questionable.
The color coding on Figure 7 is ambiguous.

Experimental design

Some notes on Materials and methods:
Line 112. “containers of ultraviolet treated artificial seawater (salinity 35) at 18°C” – What artificial seawater was used in experiments? What brand or the exact composition if it is self-made?
It is unclear, how much food was used per feeding.
What was the approximate number of planulae, used in experiment? – it should be mentioned in the text.
Lines 172-173. “Specimens in the unfed treatment never received food.” – Was the protocol of water exchange the same for this group?

Validity of the findings

How many fully developed polyps had 18 tentacles? It doesn’t seem plausible that this number was constant, because according to the literature (for example, articles that you cite in Table 4) Scyphozoa polyps usually have number of tentacles, which is multiple of four. Some individuals have extra tentacles or lack few tentacles but most have 16 or 32 tentacles. Please check your data.
Lines 245-267 and Table 2. Please add the timing of the stages. Most likely it isn’t the exact timing, but rather time ranges, nevertheless they should be given.

Additional comments

The research is important, well established and informative (Only the number of tentacles is questionable and the timing of the stages is missing). But unfortunately, the text of the article is poorly written and definitely should be revised.

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