Difference between Polyps and Medusae

Polyp and Medusa body forms

Cnidarians have two types of body forms, viz., polyp and medusa.
  • The polyp is cylindrical and usually fixed. It represents the asexual stage.
  • The medusa is umbrella like and usually free swimming. It represents the sexual phase.
Polyp vs Medusa

1. Fixed, rarely free, found near water mark attached to rocks. 1. Free swimming, found in open waters.
2. Body cylindrical with a long stalk (Hydra). 2. Body saucer shaped, umbrella like with a reduced stalk (Jellyfish).
3. Body attached below so that manubrium is directly upward. 3. Base above so that manubrium hangs downward.
4. Velum is absent 4. Velum is present.
5. Sense organs absent 5. Statocysts present at the bases of eight adradial tentacles.
6. Gastrovascular cavity simple without radial and circular canals. 6. Gastro vascular cavity represented by stomach, four radial canals and one circular canal.
7. Gonads absent. 7. Four gonads on radial canals.
8. Reproduces asexually by budding. 8. Reproduces sexually by gametes.
9. Concerned with feeding, protection and asexual reproduction. 9. Concerned with sexual reproduction.
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