Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description

 Phoronis hippocrepia secretes and lives in a membranous, cylindrical tube, and occur in either boring or encrusting forms. Individuals are 0.3-1.5 mm in diameter and can grow up to 10 cm in height, although more commonly attain 4 cm. The body is cylindrical and elongate with a slender trunk (metasome) and a bulbous posterior (ampulla). Tentacles (terminal lophophore) occur entirely on the 'head' region, numbering 50-150. The tentacles are 2-3 mm in length and are arranged in a 'horse-shoe' shape. Individuals are translucent white greenish grey, yellowish or fleshy in colour.Phoronis hippocrepia can occur in densities of more than 20,000 individuals/m². Identification on this species may require microscopic work and dissection (see Emig, 1979). The only other known genus in this phylum is Phoronopsis. The genus Phoronis can be distinguished from Phoronopsis by the absence of a collar-fold below the lophophore (see Emig, 1979).
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Distribution

Widespread
  • Hayward, P.J.; Ryland, J.S. (Ed.) (1990). The marine fauna of the British Isles and North-West Europe: 1. Introduction and protozoans to arthropods. Clarendon Press: Oxford, UK. ISBN 0-19-857356-1. 627 pp.
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http://paleopolis.rediris.es/Phoronida/SYST/HIPP/hipp_ADULT.html
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Source: World Register of Marine Species

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Ecology

Habitat

shallow water
  • UNESCO-IOC Register of Marine Organisms
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Depth range based on 26 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 5 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 1.5 - 25.3
  Temperature range (°C): 11.639 - 12.270
  Nitrate (umol/L): 4.573 - 6.151
  Salinity (PPS): 35.008 - 35.352
  Oxygen (ml/l): 6.128 - 6.346
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.333 - 0.418
  Silicate (umol/l): 2.442 - 3.727

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 1.5 - 25.3

Temperature range (°C): 11.639 - 12.270

Nitrate (umol/L): 4.573 - 6.151

Salinity (PPS): 35.008 - 35.352

Oxygen (ml/l): 6.128 - 6.346

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.333 - 0.418

Silicate (umol/l): 2.442 - 3.727
 
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 Recorded from the intertidal zone near low tide mark to a maximum depth of 48 m. Both boring and encrusting forms inhabit similar substrata: rock, empty mollusc shells, coral skeletons, encrusting coralline algae and wood, although this species is commonly associated with calcareous substrata. Phoronis hippocrepia generally occurs under poor light conditions.
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