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Overview

Brief Summary

Biology

colonial; fixed gonophores
  • UNESCO-IOC Register of Marine Organisms
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Source: World Register of Marine Species

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Comprehensive Description

Description

This hydroid consists of fine, sparsely branched stems bearing paired hydrothecae. The hydrothecae are triangular in shape, with a hair-like outer cusp. The stems are usually clustered into small bushes, and are golden-brown in colour. Typically colonies measure 100mm in height. This is a distinctive species, with finer branches than most Sertulariid hydroids.
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© National Museums Northern Ireland and its licensors

Source: Encyclopedia of Marine Life of Britain and Ireland

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Detailed Description

Hydrorhiza reticulating, stolons tubular, thin. Stems to 15 mm high, pinnate, monosiphonic, with one to three strong basal V-nodes, stem thereafter decidedly zigzag, internodes slender, nodes transverse, narrow, marked by a distinct shoulder in perisarc; hydrocladia alternate, well separated, given off just above node, a hydrotheca in axil and two, sub opposite, above.

Hydrocladia standing out stiffly at angle of ca, 60° to stem, on a long tubular apophysis with indistinct distal node.

Cauline hydrothecae subopposite, those more distal on stem tending to be opposite, one or two pairs on internode, nodes slender, transverse, marked by shoulder in perisarc, sometimes absent, internode widening from node to base of hydrotheca. Hydrotheca small, saccate, standing out at angle of ca. 45° to axis of internode, widest at junction of adnate and free adcauline wall, narrowing thereafter to margin; abcauline wall weakly convex, a smooth continuation of internode, an inwardly directed peg of perisarc about one third distance up wall from base; adnate adcauline wall convex, free adcauline wall with one, sometimes two humps followed by a small concavity behind margin, a thickening of perisarc in concavity. Floor of hydrotheca flat to weakly convex, a collar of perisarc surrounding connection with internode. Margin obliquely upturned, flanked by two long, opposite, upwardly pointing blunt spines.

Perisarc uniformly thick throughout.

Colour: Colony pale honey-brown.

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© Watson, Jeanette

Source: Cnidaria Lifedesk

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General Description

Colonies tall, to 25 cm high, usually comprising many thin, wiry, irregularly arranged branches without obvious main stem. Perisarc thick and tough, hydrothecae tubular, situated in opposite pairs on the branches, one pair per internode, the internodes separated by distinct joints.

Hydrothecae facing upward and outward, margin with two long, opposite, upwardly pointed cusps.

Gonotheca elongate-oval, widest at the top, flattened, perisarc smooth, the distal aperture surmounted by a low collar and closed by an operculum. Reproduction is by release of planula larvae.

Colour: colonies greenish-yellow to honey brown but are often overgrown by a film of pink coralline algae.

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© Watson, Jeanette

Source: Cnidaria Lifedesk

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Distribution

semi-cosmopolitan
  • UNESCO-IOC Register of Marine Organisms
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Widespread on western coasts of the British Isles.
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© National Museums Northern Ireland and its licensors

Source: Encyclopedia of Marine Life of Britain and Ireland

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Southern Australia.

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© Watson, Jeanette

Source: Cnidaria Lifedesk

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Distribution near-cosmopolitan in coastal waters.

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© Watson, Jeanette

Source: Cnidaria Lifedesk

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Ecology

Habitat

Depth range based on 35 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 9 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 0 - 472
  Temperature range (°C): -0.245 - 16.940
  Nitrate (umol/L): 1.146 - 11.245
  Salinity (PPS): 29.197 - 35.385
  Oxygen (ml/l): 5.757 - 7.462
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.057 - 1.096
  Silicate (umol/l): 2.643 - 8.393

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 0 - 472

Temperature range (°C): -0.245 - 16.940

Nitrate (umol/L): 1.146 - 11.245

Salinity (PPS): 29.197 - 35.385

Oxygen (ml/l): 5.757 - 7.462

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.057 - 1.096

Silicate (umol/l): 2.643 - 8.393
 
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This species is especially characteristic of the infralittoral zone where strong wave action or tidal streams are present. It normally grows on stipes of the kelp, Laminaria hyperborea, but may also attach directly to bedrock.
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Source: Encyclopedia of Marine Life of Britain and Ireland

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Subtidal, epizoic on hydroids and other invertebrates.

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© Watson, Jeanette

Source: Cnidaria Lifedesk

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Subtidal, growing on algae and amongst shell and rubble.

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© Watson, Jeanette

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General Ecology

Ecology

The nudibranch Doto eireana feeds exclusively on this hydroid.
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© National Museums Northern Ireland and its licensors

Source: Encyclopedia of Marine Life of Britain and Ireland

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