1. Analyses have been made of the ionic composition of the body fluids of some twenty marine invertebrates belonging to five phyla. The body fluids were again analysed after dialysis in collodion sacs against samples of the original sea water in which the animals had been kept. Comparison of the two analyses in terms of weight of water gives a true measure of ionic regulation by taking into account such factors as the Donnan equilibrium and the formation of calcium-protein complexes in those animals with significant concentrations of protein in their blood.
2. Some ionic regulation is found in all the animals examined, but it is most pronounced in the cephalopod Mollusca and the decapod Crustacea.
3. The mesogloeal tissue fluid of the jelly-fish Aurelia showed the following composition (expressed as percentage of concentration in the dialysed fluid): Na 99%, K 106%, Ca 96%, Mg 97%, Cl 104%, SO4 47%. This regulation seems to be brought about by elimination of sulphate and accumulation of potassium by the epithelia bounding the mesogloea, with resultant alteration in the remaining ions in conformity with osmotic equilibrium between the jelly and sea water.
4. In the echinoderms studied only potassium is regulated, values in the perivisceral fluid not exceeding 111% being found, with higher values in the ambulacral fluid. Polychaetes regulated potassium (up to 126%) and sometimes reduced sulphate (92%).
5. Regulation extends to all ions in the decapod Crustacea. In six species the range was Na 104-113%, K 77-128%, Ca 108-131%, Mg 14-97% Cl 98-104%, SO4 32-99%. There is a series Lithodes, Cancer, Carcinus, Palinurtis, Nephrops and Homarus in which magnesium falls from 97 to 14%; the series is roughly in accordance with increase of activity. Analyses given of the secretion from the antennary glands emphasize the importance of these organs in controlling the composition of the blood. They eliminate magnesium, sulphate, and sometimes calcium, and conserve the other ions.
6. Lamellibranchs and gastropods accumulate potassium and calcium, and eliminate sulphate to a small degree. Range of values in six species was Na 97-101%, K 107-155%, Ca 103-112%, Mg 97-103%, Cl 99-101%, SO4 87-102%.
7. Considerable ionic regulation exists in the Cephalopoda, ranges being Na 95-98%, K 152-219%, Ca 94-107%, Mg 102-103%, Cl 101-104%, SO4 29-81%. In Eledone and Sepia differential excretion by renal organs is an important factor in this. Sulphate and sodium are eliminated in quantities greater than would be present in an ultrafiltrate of the plasma, tending to lower these values, whereas the other ions are excreted in proportions below those of an ultrafiltrate, tending to elevate their concentrations in the blood.
8. The ratio of equivalents Na+K/Ca+Mg in the body fluids of these marine invertebrates remains at the sea-water figure of 3.8 in Aurelia, echinoderms, anneli worms, and lamellibranchs, but decreases in the gastropods and cephalopods to 3.5. In the decapod Crustacea, owing principally to reduction of magnesium, it increases from 3.8 in Lithodes to 9 and 12 in the Palinura and Astacura genera.