Hydrozoa are small aquatic organisms that range in size from 0.2 to 2 millimeters. They have a gelatinous body and are typically transparent or translucent. They have a single opening for both ingestion and excretion, and a single layer of cells that line the body. Hydrozoa are found in both marine and freshwater habitats, and can live for up to a year. They feed on small organisms such as plankton, and their population is estimated to be in the billions. They are distinguished by their unique ability to form colonies, and by their complex life cycle which includes both asexual and sexual reproduction.
Name Origin: The name Hydrozoa is derived from the Greek words "hydro" meaning water and "zoa" meaning animals. It was first used by zoologist Carl Linnaeus in 1758 to describe a group of aquatic animals that have both a polyp and medusa stage in their life cycle.
Related Species: Siphonophora, Anthoathecata, Leptothecata, Trachymedusae, Narcomedusae, Calycophorae