Overview

Distribution

Common along the Atlantic, Gulf, and southern California coasts of the United States existing in near-shore waters. Some species range as far south as Chile.

Biogeographic Regions: atlantic ocean (Native ); pacific ocean (Native )

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Physical Description

Morphology

Other Physical Features: ectothermic ; radial symmetry

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Ecology

Habitat

Renilla Kollikeri occur in the tropical near-shore waters on soft bottoms. The stem -like base of the polyp is anchored in the sand or mud ground.

Aquatic Biomes: coastal

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shelf
  • UNESCO-IOC Register of Marine Organisms
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Source: World Register of Marine Species

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Trophic Strategy

Renilla feed on small animals and larvae, stinging and swallowing them after they become entangled in a mucous net secreted over the surface of the sea pansy. Food is first digested by septal filaments followed by intracellular digestion.

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Life History and Behavior

Reproduction

The colonies consist of elongated axial polyps, which bud secondary polyps on their exposed surface.

Parental Investment: no parental involvement

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Conservation

Conservation Status

Renilla are most commonly found along the Atlantic, Gulf, and Pacific coasts of the United States. Related forms are known from the Red Sea, Australia and other coastal areas.

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

No significant negative importance; stinging capsules are very small and cannot penetrate the human skin.

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Renilla are themselves eaten by nudibranch mollusks, one of the few animal groups with a taste for coelenterates. Renilla kollikeri has been the subject of much zoological and neurobiological research because of its possession of complex physiological properties such as highly developed neurotransmitters.

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