Overview

Brief Summary

Biology

colonial, no medusae
  • UNESCO-IOC Register of Marine Organisms
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Comprehensive Description

additional information

Allman (1871) reported reduced medusoids in Nemertesia antennina (L. 1758), but this observation has not been confirmed by further studies (see Millard, 1975; Hughes, 1977).
  • Bouillon, J.; Boero, F. (2000). Synopsis of the families and genera of the Hydromedusae of the world, with a list of the worldwide species. Thalassia Salent. 24: 47-296
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Description

 Nemertesia antennina is a colonial hydroid. The colony consists of up to 50 thick, stiff, erect, stems which can be up to 25 cm tall. The stems grow from a fibrous mass of rootlets. The stems bear bundles of 6-10 whorled side branches, these are incurved and widest at their bases. Nemertesia antennina is orange-buff in colour.
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Description

The main stems are straight and unbranched and arise from a tangled basal mass of rhizoids, usually in clumps of 3 or more. In strong tidal streams but shelter from wave action these clumps may consists of 50 or more stems. Each upright branch is reported to be a separate individual (Hughes, 1977). The main stems bear whorled side-branches in groups of 6, each bearing approximately 6 small hydrothecae. The hydrothecae and defensive polyps have a similar structure and arrangement to Nemertesia ramosa. The reproductive gonothecae are ovoid and clustered around the stem on short pedicels in mature colonies. Colonies normally 200-300mm in height when full-grown. Unlikely to be confused with any species other than Nemertesia ramosa.
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Source: Encyclopedia of Marine Life of Britain and Ireland

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Distribution

This species is found all around 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 519 specimens in 2 taxa.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 100 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 0 - 1970
  Temperature range (°C): 3.844 - 15.119
  Nitrate (umol/L): 2.853 - 22.430
  Salinity (PPS): 34.218 - 36.131
  Oxygen (ml/l): 3.308 - 6.665
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.311 - 1.561
  Silicate (umol/l): 1.784 - 18.016

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 0 - 1970

Temperature range (°C): 3.844 - 15.119

Nitrate (umol/L): 2.853 - 22.430

Salinity (PPS): 34.218 - 36.131

Oxygen (ml/l): 3.308 - 6.665

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.311 - 1.561

Silicate (umol/l): 1.784 - 18.016
 
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Depth range based on 1 specimen in 1 taxon.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 427.5 - 427.5
 
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 Nemertesia antennina is found attached to shells and stones on sandy bottoms from the shallow sublittoral into deeper waters offshore.
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This is a common species in the sublittoral environment and appears to prefer stable rock surfaces in the circalittoral zone, in areas subjected to moderate to strong currents. It is scarce at sites exposed to the Atlantic swell.
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General Ecology

Ecology

The nudibranchs Lomanotus marmoratus, Doto pinnatifida and Doto fragilis all feed on this hydroid.
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