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Department of Invertebrate Zoology

image of Chiropsalmus quadrumanus (box jellyfish)

Chiropsalmus quadrumanus(box jellyfish) can be found from Brazil to the U.S. East Coast. It is not considered as venomous as its infamous relative, the Australian sea-wasp Chironex fleckeri. This image was taken of a specimen collected on the border of North and South Carolina (USNM 1124254). Image by Bastian Bentlage.

bar image of Bastain Bentlage

Bastian BentlageResearch Collaborator

  • Phone: 301-405-8300
  • Fax: 301-314-1248
  • E-mail:

  • Mailing Address:
    Smithsonian Institution
    PO Box 37012, MRC 163
    Washington, DC 20013-7012

  • Courier Delivery Address:
    Smithsonian Institution
    National Museum of Natural History
    10th and Constitution Ave, NW
    Washington, DC 20560-0163

    Responsibilities: Research Collaborator

    Diplom, Biology, University of Hannover, Germany
    Ph.D., Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Kansas

    Research Interests:
    Generally, I am interested in the biogeographic patterns and ecological processes that govern species distributions and interactions in aquatic environments. As such, I employ methods and concepts from different fields of inquiry, including phylogenetic systematics, population genetics, and ecological modeling. In my research I focus on jellyfish (Cnidaria: Medusozoa), but have worked in the past on sponges (Porifera) and have recently become involved in a molecular ecological project that uses algae as a study system.

    Professional Activities:
    Currently a postdoctoral scholar with Charles Delwiche at the University of Maryland, where I work on the molecular genetic responses of green algae to competition.

    At the natural history museum I work on the phylogenetic systematics and phylogeography of open ocean and deep sea hydrozoan jellyfish as well as the infamous box jellyfish (Cubozoa).

    Selected Publications:
    Bentlage B, Peterson AT, Barve N and Cartwright P (2013) Plumbing the depths: Extending ecological niche modeling and species distribution modeling in three dimensions Global Ecology and Biogeography 22: 952-961.

    Bentlage B and Lewis C (2012) An illustrated key and synopsis of the families and genera of carybdeid box jellyfish (Cnidaria: Cubozoa: Carybdeida), with emphasis on the “Irukandji family” (Carukiidae) Journal of Natural History 41/42: 2595-2620.

    Bentlage B, Cartwright P, Yanagihara AA, Lewis C, Richards GS and Collins AG (2010) Evolution of box jellyfish (Cnidaria: Cubozoa), a group of highly toxic invertebrates Proceedings of the Royal Society B 277: 493–501.

    Bentlage B, Peterson AT and Cartwright P (2009) Inferring distributions of chirodropid box-jellyfishes (Cnidaria: Cubozoa) in geographic and ecological space using ecological niche modeling Marine Ecology Progress Series 384: 121-133.

    Collins AG, Bentlage B, Lindner A, Lindsay D, Haddock SHD, Jarms G, Norenburg JL, Jankowski T and Cartwright P (2008) Phylogenetics of Trachylina (Cnidaria: Hydrozoa) with new insights on the evolution of some problematical taxa. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 88: 1673-1685.

    Bentlage B and Wörheide G (2007) Low genetic structuring among Pericharax heteroraphis (Porifera: Calcarea) populations from the Great Barrier Reef (Australia), revealed by analysis of nrDNA and nuclear intron sequences Coral Reefs 26: 807-816.

    Google Scholar Profile, citation statistics

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