W. subovoidea, like all bryozoans, is a suspension feeder. Each individual zooid in a colony has 21 ciliated tentacles which are extended to filter phytoplankton less than 0.045 mm in size (about 1/1800 of an inch) from the water column. Bullivant (1967; 1968) showed that the average individual zooid in a colony can clear 8.8 ml of water per day.Competitors: W. subovoidea, like other encrusting types of bryozoan, competes for space with other groups of attached organisms such as algae and hydroids. In calm waters, or in areas where competition for space is intense, W. subovoidea grows as bilaminar frills. In high energy areas, or where there is less competition for space, it grows as unilaminar crusts.Habitats: Typical habitat for ectoprocts in the Indian River Lagoon include seagrasses, drift algae, oyster reef, docks, pilings, breakwaters, and man-made debris (Winston 1995). W. subovoidea is common on the rocks of breakwaters, and is the only encrusting bryozoan that grows on "wormrock," the cemented sand tubes of Phragmatopoma lapidosa, the reef-building sabellarid.
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