Overview

Brief Summary

Biology

colonial, fixed sporosacs
  • UNESCO-IOC Register of Marine Organisms
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Source: World Register of Marine Species

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Comprehensive Description

Description

 A colonial hydroid with slender, upright stems that are closely spaced along branching stolons attached to the substratum. They are white to yellowish, typically 3-6 cm, and may be up to 10 cm in height. Branching is pinnate with short, stiff side branches that bear polyps at equal intervals on their inner side in chitinous cups (hydrothecae). The tiny gonothecae are pear-shaped and usually attached to the main stem.
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Source: Marine Life Information Network

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Description

A feather-like hydroid with central main stem and numerous side branches arising in a flat plane. The side branches are composed of separate joints each bearing a hydrotheca and defensive nematophores which have no nematothecae. The gonothecae are spherical, borne in abundance along the central region of the colony. The colonies are normally colourless to pale grey, the gonothecae may be white or pink. Fully grown colonies are typically 70-80mm in height by 15mm in width. Very similar to the other Kirchenpaueria species, Plumularia setacea, and young colonies of Polyplumaria frutescens.
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© National Museums Northern Ireland and its licensors

Source: Encyclopedia of Marine Life of Britain and Ireland

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Distribution

Widely distributed in the British Isles.
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Source: Encyclopedia of Marine Life of Britain and Ireland

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Ecology

Habitat

Depth range based on 223 specimens in 3 taxa.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 29 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 0 - 765
  Temperature range (°C): 9.238 - 16.940
  Nitrate (umol/L): 2.559 - 15.997
  Salinity (PPS): 34.243 - 35.904
  Oxygen (ml/l): 4.278 - 6.351
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.344 - 0.985
  Silicate (umol/l): 2.143 - 8.306

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 0 - 765

Temperature range (°C): 9.238 - 16.940

Nitrate (umol/L): 2.559 - 15.997

Salinity (PPS): 34.243 - 35.904

Oxygen (ml/l): 4.278 - 6.351

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.344 - 0.985

Silicate (umol/l): 2.143 - 8.306
 
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 Found on rock and a wide variety of other substrata including molluscan and crustacean shells, macroalgae, seagrasses and artificial wooden structures. Intertidal to about 100 m and occasionally to 350 m.
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Source: Marine Life Information Network

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This is a common species in a wide variety of sublittoral habitats, occurring on bedrock in exposed places and attached to shells and stones in sheltered muddy channels with slight to moderate tidal streams.
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Source: Encyclopedia of Marine Life of Britain and Ireland

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General Ecology

Ecology

The nudibranchs Doto dunnei and Eubranchus vittatus are often found feeding on this hydroid.
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Source: Encyclopedia of Marine Life of Britain and Ireland

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