Comprehensive Description

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General Description

Puellina praecox is an encrusting bryozoan. Colonies form irregular patches, composed of a single layer of autozooids. This species is very small; the largest known specimen consists of approximately 20 autozooids. Autozooids are irregular, oval, convex and clearly separated. They range in size from0.14-0.30 by 0.10-0.19 mm. Five spines are present in non-reproductive zooids, and four in reproductive zooids  (with an ovicell).

The species is able to colonise shells and hard substrates. It has been recorded at depths of 73-99 metres. Puellina praecox is found as a fossil in the Pleistocene Red Crag of East Anglia, and is only known as a living bryozoan from a few localities off the English Channel coast of Brittany; from the Irish Seam and off Antrim.

Puellina praecox closely resembles Puellina bifida, however P. praecox is less heavily calcified than P. bifida


Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© Natural History Museum, London

Source: Bryozoa of the British Isles

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