The Hydrozoa comprise the hydroids, so abundant on all shores, most of which resemble vegetable organisms to the unassisted eye; the hydrocorallines, which, as their name implies, have a massive stony skeleton and resemble corals; the jelly-fishes so called; and the Siphonophora, of which the species best known by repute is the so-called "Portuguese man-of-war" (Physalia), dreaded by sailors on account of its terrible stinging powers.
The Siphonophora may be divided, following Delage and Herouard, into four sub-orders: I.
The third case gives a colony entirely composed of medusa-individuals, a possibility perhaps realized in the Siphonophora, which will be discussed in dealing with this group.
Since, however, medusa-colonies occur only in one group, the Siphonophora, and divergent views are held with regard to the morphological interpretation of the members of a siphonophore, only the first three of the above sub-divisions of hydromedusa morphology will be dealt with here in a general way, and the morphology of the Siphonophora will be considered under the heading of the group itself.
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