Dr. Anita Brinkmann-Voss…. In Memoriam

Dr. Anita Brinckmann-Voss passed away on December 12 at her home in Sooke BC. Anita had been a long time friend of Lester B. Pearson College. From 1986, to 2005,  Dr. Anita Brinckmann-Voss  BC assisted the students and faculty of Lester Pearson College with her understanding of marine invertebrate ecology and her expertise in the taxonomy of hydroids and other invertebrates. Anita was one of the very few remaining taxonomists in the world who worked at such depth with this group of organisms.  She assisted many students with their work in biology and marine science and worked closely with several divers at the college who collected specimens for her.  Anita also was a regular donor to the Race Rocks program at the college.

Dr. Dale Calder, a colleague of Anita who works with the Royal Ontario Museum wrote the following about Anita:

“I knew of Dr. Anita Brinckmann-Voss and her research on hydrozoans from my days as a graduate student in Virginia during the 1960s. Her work at the famous Stazione Zoologica in Naples, Italy, was already widely known and respected.
Most noteworthy, however, was a landmark publication to come: her monumental monograph on hydrozoans of the Gulf of Naples, published in 1970. It highlighted studies on hydrozoan life cycles and was accompanied by the most beautiful illustrations of these marine animals that have ever been created. See the complete copy with color plates here:  Brinckmann70:


It was not until 1974, and the Third International Conference on Coelenterate Biology in Victoria, British Columbia (BC), Canada, that I met her for the first time. We discovered having common scientific interests and saw absolutely eye-to-eye on most issues. It was the beginning of a scientific collaboration and friendship that would last a lifetime. I always greatly valued her scientific insights, but I also appreciated her humility, good nature, and keen sense of humour.

In having moved from Europe to Canada, first to Winnipeg, Manitoba, and later to Toronto, Ontario, Anita’s research shifted from Mediterranean species to those of Canadian waters and especially British Columbia. Her professional base became the Royal Ontario Museum and the University of Toronto, but it was far from the ocean. She soon acquired a residence in Sooke, BC, conveniently located on the beautiful Pacific coast. Life cycle research was now possible on Canadian species, and at times several hundred cultures of hydrozoans were being maintained by her. One final move was made, from Ontario to permanent residence at her cottage in Sooke. From there she kept marine research underway the rest of her life. A focus became Race Rocks and the rich hydrozoan fauna inhabiting the site.

Anita altered the direction of my career in a most positive way. It was largely thanks to her that I moved from employment as a benthic ecologist in South Carolina to a curatorial position at the Royal Ontario Museum in 1981. It was the best career move of my life. Thank you, Anita!

Over the decades we collaborated in research, shared our libraries, and jointly authored several scientific papers. Outside a professional association, we were close friends. My wife and I often visited Anita at her homes, first in Pickering, Ontario, near Toronto, and later in Sooke. In return, she often visited us in Toronto after moving west. It is an understatement to say she will be sorely missed.”
-(Quote from Dr. Dale Calder, ROM, 2018)

Links to her work with the college:

Other references: http://www.racerocks.ca/tag/anita-brinckmann-voss/



Aurelia aurita: Moon Jellyfish–The Race Rocks Taxonomy


Moon Jellyfish Aurelia aurita photos by Eric Schauff


From the log February 05, 2002
We counted 7 Moon Jellyfish( Aurelia aurita) floating amid the logs and debris in the tide wash east side of the boat dock.Most of them were 15-16 cm wide. In the sea they looked bluish -white and translucent.Unfortunately they were somewhat battered as they washed towards shore and Garry said that they were on their last legs so to speak.
Mike and Carol Slater.

From the log February 05, 2002
There were 19 Moon Jellyfish along the east side of the dock this morning and we saw quite a few more just off shore when we left in the boat.
Mike and Carol Slater.

Scientific classification:

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Cnidaria
Class: Scyphozoa
Order: Semaeostomeae
Family: Ulmaridae
Genus: Aurelia
Species: A. aurita

Aurelia aurita
Linnaeus, 1758

Other Members of the Phylum Cnidaria at Race Rocks.

taxonomyiconReturn to the Race Rocks Taxonomy
and Image File
pearsonlogo2_f2The Race Rocks taxonomy is a collaborative venture originally started with the Biology and Environmental Systems students of Lester Pearson College UWC. It now also has contributions added by Faculty, Staff, Volunteers and Observers on the remote control webcams.


Stylaster parageus columbiensis- Lindner & Cairns in Cairns & Lindner, 2011

Record in the Smithsonian Institute, from : http://collections.si.edu/search/record/nmnhinvertebratezoology_910698?q=set_name:%22Invertebrate+Zoology%22

Stylaster parageus columbiensis Lindner & Cairns  (**in Cairns & Lindner, 2011)

Paratype for Stylaster parageus columbiensis Lindner & Cairns in Cairns & Lindner, 2011
Catalog Number: USNM 1096625
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Invertebrate Zoology

Microhabitat Description:
shallow water
Dr. Alberto Lindner
North Pacific Ocean
Preparation: Dry
  • Sex: male
  • Type Status: Paratype
Strait of Juan de Fuca, Race Rocks near Sooke Community, British Columbia, Canada, North Pacific Ocean
Collection Date:
Jul 2002
Common name:
Animalia ,
Cnidaria ,
Published Name:
Stylaster parageus columbiensis Lindner & Cairns in Cairns & Lindner, 2011
Stylaster campylecus parageus (Fisher, 1938)
Stylaster sp.
Stylaster parageus (Fisher, 1938)
USNM Number:
Specimen Count:
Site Number:
AL 470
Record Last Modified:
17 Jul 2013
See more items in:
Invertebrate Zoology
Data Source:
NMNH – Invertebrate Zoology Dept.
Visitor Tag(s):
**Paratype: Cairns, S. D. & Lindner, A. 2011. A Revision of the Stylasteridae (Cnidaria, Hydrozoa, Filifera) from Alaska and Adjacent Waters. Zookeys. 158: 1-88.

See the entry of the Race Rocks Taxonomy

Haliclystus salpinx –Stalked jellyfish: The Race Rocks Taxonomy

These animals are best desribed as “upside down” medusae, with their bell extended into a stalk which is attached, in the case of this species, mostly to surfgrass leaves. They occur from low intertidal to the subtidal littoral. They feed mostly on caprellid amphipods. Natural size up to 1cm :


Stalked Jellyfish Haliclystus salpinx

Stalked Jellyfish Haliclystus salpinx

Note update on Taxonomy of :STAUROZOA*

“Stauromedusae are little stalked jellyfishes that spend their entire life attached to the substrate (rock or algae, usually), rather than swimming freely up in the water column like most other jellyfish. They have long been considered to be in the Order Stauromedusae in the Class Scyphozoa of the Phylum Cnidaria, but recent morphological and molecular studies (Marques and Collins, 2004; Collins and Daly, 2005) argued convincingly that they should be elevated to a rank equal to both the Scyphozoa and Cubozoa, as the Staurozoa. For those who prefer to apply taxonomic ranks, these might now all be considered Classes, but many scientists are pulling away from the concept of tight adherence to the old hierarchies of rank, in which case just “Staurozoa” will do.” (C.Mills)


Image by Ryan Murphy of the habitat of this animal, showing attachment to eel grass. Taken at Swordfish Island at 4 metres depth.

The Haliclystus salpinx is among the order of cnidarians which the more commonly known are jelly fish. Unlike jelly fish however this family of cnidarians is not free floating but more or less fixed, and always attached to the blade of eelgrass. It occurs frequently in the eelgrass bed around Swordfish island and Emdyck Pass near Bentinck island adjacent to Race RocksIt moves on very slowly or by somersaulting itself from one plant to another. Its physiological makeup has not been studied in enough detail at the present time how ever it shares some characteristics with more documented species. The Haliclystus salpinxas can be seen by the photo appears as an upside down medusae or in common terms jelly fish with its tentacles pointing outwards. The bell of the hydroid is then attached to a stalk that is stationery on the eel grass. It is found in the tidal and intertidal zones rendering it more conducive to shallow water as opposed to deep water.

Domain Eukarya
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Cnidaria
Class Staurozoa*
Order Stauromedusae
Suborder Eleutherocarpida
Family Lucernariinae
Genus Haliclystus
Species salpinx   (Clark, 1863)
COMMON NAME: Stalked Jellyfish


It is located most abundantly in the North Atlantic, Europe and Asia where areas are generally free external influences on rocky coasts. They are generally found in intertidal and tidal zones attached to surf grass.


Mills, C.E. Internet 1999-2001. Stauromedusae: list of all valid species names. Electronic internet document available at http://faculty.washington.edu/cemills/Stauromedusae.html Published by author, web page established October 1999, last updated December 2nd 2001.

This file is provided as part of a collaborative effort by the students, faculty, volunteers and staff of Lester B. Pearson College– Dec 2001, by Sarah Gross



Anthopleura elegantissima: Aggregating Anemone-Race Rocks taxonomy


Anthopleura growing in a moist crevasse. Photo by Ryan Murphy.

One of the many organisms found at Race Rocks are sea anemones. Sea anemones belong to the phylum known as the Cnidaria, from the cnida or stinging cells that are present in this major group of animals that also include corals, jellyfish, hydroids, medusae, and sea fans. Sea anemones, corals and their allies form the class know as the Anthozoa. Anthopleura elegantissima is abundant on rock faces or boulders, in tide pools or crevices, on wharf pilings, singly or in dense aggregations (Smith and Carlton, 1975)
anthopleur       Link to extended essay of Santiago on Anthopleura distribution in the intertidal zone.





maliha   Link to  the extended essay by Maliha Zahid on Anthopleura-elegantissima-Distribution





Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Cnidaria
Class Anthozoa
Subclass Zoantharia
Order Actiniatia
Family Actiniidae
Genus Anthopleura
Species elegantissima
Common Name Aggregating Anemone



  • The aggregating anenome is 2-5 cm in column diameter and 4-5 cm high in its clonal form.
  • The tentacular crown is roughly 8 centimeters in diameter.
  • The species presents numerous short tentacles, in five or more cycles, which are variously colored.
  • At the bases of its tentacles are bulbous structures where certain types of stinging capsules are concentrated.
  • The column is light green to white, and twice as long as wide when extended, with longitudinal rows of adhesive tubercles (verrucae)
  • Rock, sand, and shell fragments accumulate on anenome by adhering to the tubercles on the column.
  • The anenome is a green or olive colour depending on the algae living in its tissues.


It is a species characteristic of middle intertidal zone of semi protected rocky shores of both bays and outer coast from Alaska to Baja California.


Anthopleura elegantissima reproduces both sexually and asexually. In sexual reproduction, ova are present as early as February and grow steadily until their release in July; the ovarian is then resorbed and new eggs do not appear until the following February. Sperm are released through the summer. The asexual reproduction occurs by longitudinal fission. This process results in aggregations or clones of anemones pressed together in concentrations of several hundred per square meter.

Ecological Niche:

  • Anthopleura elegantissima is a carnivore, feeding on small crustacians such as copepods, isopods, amphipods, and other small animals that contact the tentacles.
  • It is preyed upon by the nudibranch Aeolidia papillosa, which usually attacks the column, by the nail Epitonium tinctum, which attacks the tips of the tentacles, and by sea stars such as Dermasterias imbricata that can engulf an entire small anemone.
  • Moreover, in some anemones, small pink amphipods, Allogaussia recondita, make a home in the gastro vascular cavity. Two types of unicellular algae live in the tissues ofAnthopleura elegantissima in a symbiotic relationship. It is these algae that give the anenome its distinctive green or olive colour.

Interesting Further Studies:

  • Ecological niche study was conducted by Santiago, Pearson College Student 1998-2000../../research/santiago/santiago.htm
  • The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has investigated using aggregating anenome as a test for salinity. This bioindicator would be used to see the freshwater influx in ocean environments. http://es.epa.gov/ncer/fellow/progress/99/cohenri00.html
  • The behaviour of Anthopleura elegantissima at different depths.
  • The reproduction cycle of Anthopleura elegantissima.
  • Further study of aggregating anenomes at Race Rocks.


  • Kozloff, Eugene N. Seashore Life of the Northern Pacific Coast. (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1983).
  • Kozloff, Eugene N. Keys to the Marine Invertebrates of Puget Sound, the San Juan Archipelago, and Adjacent Regions. (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1974).
  • Morris, R.H. etal. Intertidal Invertebrates of California. (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1980).


Rhysia fletcheri (a new species of colonial hydroid from Vancouver Island, BC, Canada)

Permission for reproduction of this paper has been granted by the Canadian Journal of Zoology and the Author. Color images have been taken by A.B.V. and D.M.L. and were added to this html document by G.Fletcher. 

p.401 , Vol 71, 1993 Rhysia fletcheri (Cnidaria, Hydrozoa, Rhysiidae), a new species of colonial hydroid from Vancouver Island (British Columbia, Canada) and the San Juan Archipelago (Washington, U.S.A.)A. BRINCKMANN-VOSS
Department of lnvertebrate Zoology, Royal Ontario Museum, 100 Queen’s Park, Toronto, Ont., Canada M55 2C6
And D. M. LICKEY AND C. E. MILLS, Friday Harbor laboratories, University of Washington, 620 University Road, Friday Harbor, WA 98250, U.S.A.Received February 28, 1992 Accepted September 17, 1992BRINCKMANN-VOSS, A., LICKEY, D. M., and MILLS, C. E. 1993. Rhysia fletcheri (Cnidaria, Hydrozoa, Rhysiidae), a new species of colonial hydroid from Vancouver Island (British Columbia, Canada) and the San Juan Archipelago (Washington, U.S.A.).
Can. J. Zool. 71: 401-406.


A group of females

A new species of colonial athecate hydroid, Rhysia fletcheri, is described from Vancouver Island, British Columbia Canada, and from Friday Harbor, Washington, U.S.A. Its relationship to Rhysia autumnalis Brinckmann from the Mediterranean and Rhysia halecii (Hickson and Gravely) from the Antarctic and Japan is discussed. Rhysia fletcheri differs from Rhysia autumnalis and Rhysia halecii in the gastrozooid having distinctive cnidocyst clusters on its hypostome and few, thick tentacles. Most of its female gonozooids have no tentacles. Colonies of R. fletcheriare without dactylozooids. The majority of R. fletcheri colonies are found growing on large barnacles or among the hydrorhiza of large thecate hydrozoans. Rhysia fletcheri occurs in relatively sheltered waters of the San Juan Islands and on the exposed rocky coast of southern Vancouver Island.


c. (a group of males.. relaxed)


b. -( group of males ..contracted.)





On trouvera ici la description d’un nouvelle espece d’hydroide colonial sans theque. Rhysia fletcheri, trouvee dans l’ile de Vancouver en Colombie-Britannique, Canada, et a Friday Harbor, Washington, Etats-Unis. Sa relation avec Rhysia autumnalis Brinckmann en Medlterrannee et Rhysia halecii (Hickson and Gravely), de l’Antarctique et du Japon, fait l’objet d’une discussion. Rhysia fletcheri differe des deux autres especes par la presence chez le gastrozooide de faisceaux tres particuliers de cnidocystes sur l’ hypostome et de tentacules epais et peu nombreux. La plupart des gonozooides femelles sont depourvus de tentacules. Les colonies de R. fletcheri ne comportent pas de dactylozooides. La majorite des colonies de R. Fletcheri crois sent sur les grosses balanes ou parmi les hydrorhizes des gros hydrozoaires a theque. Rhysia Fletcheri se trouve dans les eaux relativement protegees des iles San Juan et sur la cote rocheuse exposee du sud de l’ile de Vancouver. [Traduit par la redaction.]

Introduction:Colonies of a hydroid species belonging to the genus Rhysia Brinckmann, 1965 were collected off Friday Harbor in Washington State, U.S.A., from 1972 to 1992. They were found in tide pools at Race Rocks, British Columbia, Canada, and from adjacent coastal regions of Vancouver Island between 1986 and 1992. The species is referable to the hydrozoan family Rhysiidae, and to the genusRhysia, in having gonads within the body wall along one side of the gonozooid. However, it differs from previously described species of the genus in having cnidocysts arranged in clusters on the hypostome of the gastrozooid, and in having fewer and thicker tentacles on the gastrozooid, and no dactylozooids. The purpose of this paper is to provide a systematic and ecological account of Rhysia fletcheri sp.nov. The species is compared with Rhysia autumnalis Brinckmann, 1965, type species of the genus Rhysia, and with Stylactis halecii Hickson and Gravely, 1907. The latter species has lateral gonads, as doR. autumnalis and R. fletcheri sp.nov., and is assigned here to the genus Rhysia as well.ETYMOL0GY: Rhysia fletcheri is named for Garry Fletcher, senior biologist at Pearson College and voluntary warden of the Ecological Reserve of Race Rocks, British Columbia, Canada, who was instrumental in establishing Race Rocks as an Ecological Reserve in 1980.

  • Systematic account:
  • FAMILY Rhysiidae Brinckmann, 1965
  • GENUS Rhysia Brinckmann, 1965
  • Rhysia fletcheri sp.nov


Material examined:


Growing on the valves of the barnacle Balanus nubilus , female and male colony .(.click on picture) . Top left, two females, below left gastrozooids: below right – male.

Holotype: Friday Harbor, Washington, U.S.A., on Balanus nubilis attached to a tire on the side of floating docks at Friday Harbor Laboratories of the University of Washington, 0.5 m, 5 October 1984, female colony, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Cat. No. USNM 73984.

Paratypes: Race Rocks, British Columbia, Canada, on Semibalanus cariosus in tide pool, 0.5 m, 5 April 1990, male colony, Royal Ontario Museum Cat. No. ROMIZ B1164;

Friday Harbor, Washington, on hydrorhiza of a thecate hydroid colony, 10-15 m, October 1972, female colony,

Royal Ontario Museum Cat. No. ROMIZ B1165; Race Rocks, British Columbia, on Semibalanus cariosus in tide pool, 0.5 m, 15 June 1991, female and male colony, Royal British Columbia Museum Cat. No. RBCM 992-170-1.

Further material is deposited in the Natural History Museum, London, England.


Hydroid colony stolonal, arising from a creeping and anastomosing hydrorhiza. Hydrorhiza thick (averaging 0.05 mm), covered with a very thin and often virtually invisible perisarc (Fig. 2a), giving rise to gastrozooids and gonozooids. Zooids inserting with hydrorhiza via a broad base and without a neck or stem (Figs. Ia, 2a); perisarcal collar absent around bases of zooids. Gastrozooids widely scattered, occurring singly or in a loose group. Gastrozooids extremely contractile, 0.3÷1.0 mm long, appearing columnar to barrel-shaped or like a contracted sea anemone if exposed to strong light (compare Figs. Ia and 4a).

(Page 402)


Figure 1. Rhysia fletcheri, gastrozooid, relaxed, preserved. (a) Whole animal, (b) oral region. Scale bars =0.1 mm.

Gastrozocid tentacles 4 – 10, filiform, in a single whorl, 0.08 – 0.10 mm thick depending on the degree of contraction, each with more than 30 endodermal cells, cnidocysts arranged in a more or less distinct spiral (Fig. lb). Hypostome round, surrounded by a circle of 4 or 5 cnidocyst clusters that do not develop into tentacles (Figs. 2e, 2f, 4a). Gonozooids often separated from gastrozooids by several millimetres, occurring in dense clusters (Figs. 3, 4}. Gonads developing internally on one side of gonozooid, without a gonophore (Figs. 4b, 4c). Female gonozooids up to 1.1 mm high when mature (Figs. 3a÷3d); hypostome round, provided with a cap of cnidocysts, not divided into separate clusters as in gastrozooid; mouth lacking; tentacles typically lacking; in gastrozooid; mouth lacking; tentacles typically lacking; immature female gonozooids, at a stage not more than 115 the height of a mature gonozooid, being recognizable as such in showing an egg on one side. Male gonozooids develop 3 or 4 oral tentacles, which are shorter and thinner than those of gas- trozooids, each tentacle has up to 10 endodermal cells and bears cnidocysts at the tip only, some with thickened tips(Figs. 2c, 4b) because of the presence of larger numbers of cnidocysts (this varies among colonies); hypostome of males round, more conical than in females, provided with evenly distributed cnidocysts, unlike the cnidocyst clusters typical of gastrozooids; mouth lacking. Male gonozooids with mature gonads sometimes exceeding gastrozooids in length, reaching a maximum of 1.5 mm.

Dactylozooids absent.

Gastrozooids and gonozooids pink to orange, due to the colour of the endoderm; tentacles and hypostomes milky white; eggs and planulae peach coloured; male gonads milky white in early stages, iridescent in later stages.

rhysiagastrozooidCnidocysts: large microbasic euryteles (average 10; 20.2/1 9.6 um) (height/diameter) when exploded; small microbasic euryteles (average 10; 9.6/4.8 um when exploded); desmonemes (not measured).



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