Microscopy Primer
Light and Color
Microscope Basics
Special Techniques
Digital Imaging
Confocal Microscopy
Live-Cell Imaging
Microscopy Museum
Virtual Microscopy
Web Resources
License Info
Image Use
Custom Photos
Site Info
Contact Us

The Galleries:

Photo Gallery
Silicon Zoo
Chip Shots
DNA Gallery
Amino Acids
Religion Collection
Cocktail Collection
Screen Savers
Win Wallpaper
Mac Wallpaper
Movie Gallery

Differential Interference Contrast Image Gallery

Obelia Hydroid

Obelia is a genus of invertebrate marine organisms whose members exist in alternate generations as polyps and medusae. Part of the phylum Cnidaria, Obelia species are related to sea anemones, corals, freshwater hydra, and jellyfish.

The polyp members of Obelia are asexual, stalk-like, and usually attached to the ocean floor, rocks, shells, or other surfaces. The polyps generate additional polyps by budding, creating a branching colony of the organisms that has a structure similar to that of a tree. A transparent sheath known as the perisarc encases the colony. Dimorphic, some of the polyps are responsible for feeding, while others concentrate their energy on reproduction. The feeding polyps feature tentacles and share the nutrients they imbibe with the rest of the colony after digestion in the gastrovascular cavity. Reproductive polyps, however, lack tentacles and are club-shaped.

The following generation of Obelia organisms are produced by the reproductive polyps via budding and are free-swimming. Similar in appearance to umbrellas, the medusae exhibit stinging tentacles that hang downward in the water. Inside the organisms are interconnected passageways that enable the distribution of water, nutrients, and oxygen, as well as waste removal. The medusae reproduce sexually, eggs and sperm combining in the surrounding water to develop a zygote. After growing into a planula larva, the organism finds a place to settle and transforms into a polyp that soon creates its own colony.


Questions or comments? Send us an email.
© 1998-2022 by Michael W. Davidson and The Florida State University. All Rights Reserved. No images, graphics, scripts, or applets may be reproduced or used in any manner without permission from the copyright holders. Use of this website means you agree to all of the Legal Terms and Conditions set forth by the owners.
This website is maintained by our
Graphics & Web Programming Team
in collaboration with Optical Microscopy at the
National High Magnetic Field Laboratory.
Last modification: Friday, Nov 13, 2015 at 01:19 PM
Access Count Since April 22, 2003: 28869
For more information on microscope manufacturers,
use the buttons below to navigate to their websites: