Colony encrusting , or erect, bilamlellar and foliose, or vinculariiform and branching. Autozooids with moderately developed gymnocyst; cryptocyst well developed. Spines present (rarely, absent), basally jointed, often branched or scutiform. Occlusor laminae – calcified struts within the cavity of the cystid, associated with the insertion of the opercular occlusor muscles – typical of many genera. Avicularia adventitious and/or vicarious (rarely, absent), often polymorphic. Ovicell hyperstomial, or endozooidal, or absent. Mural septula present.
This large family includes numerous speciose genera, most of which are distributed in southern hemisphere seas. Gordon (1982) recognised the northeast Atlantic genus Larnaciucus as belonging to the Chaperiidae.
(Hayward and Ryland, 1998)
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