Freshwater medusae Limnocnida indica Annandale, 1911 in the Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary, Dubare Reserve Forest and Shivanasamudram in Karnataka, India, with a commentary note on the exotic Craspedacusta sowerbii Lankester, 1880

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Naren Sreenivasan
Joshua Barton


Fifty years after the first report of freshwater medusae (Limnocnida indica) from Cauvery River in Krishanrajasagar Reservoir, there has been only one other published report of its occurrence in the Cauvery Basin at Hemavathi Reservoir, Kodagu District.  Recent interest in freshwater photography has revealed three more locations in the Cauvery Basin where medusae are found.  Medusae are often observed at these locations but are erroneously identified as invasive species.  According to published literature, this is true of Craspedacusta sowerbii, a cosmopolitan species with only three confirmed reports from India.  All these reports were from artificial structures such as ponds and aquaria.  The native Limnocnida and exotic Craspedacusta can be distinguished from each other visually and with respect to temporal variation in the occurrence of their free swimming medusae.  This short note is intended to shed light on the status, distribution, and field identification of L. indica, a species endemic to the Western Ghats of India.

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