Overview

Comprehensive Description

General Description

This species is currently accepted as Alcyonidioides mytili

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Source: Bryozoa of the British Isles

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Distribution

This species is most likely under recorded. It has been observed as far north as Sutherland (North Scotland) and Loch Maddy (Hebrides), west around Galway on cultured mussels, south to Pembrokeshire (Milford Haven) and on the eastern side of the UK at the island of Sylt (North Germany).

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© Natural History Museum, London

Source: Bryozoa of the British Isles

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Physical Description

Morphology

When colonies are in the early stages of growth they are unilaminar and iridescent. As they develop they start to produce kenozooids in amongst the autozooids and the colonies thicken into multiple layers. These layers give the colony a grey, opaque appearance. As the colonies develop, the autozooids are arranged into such a way that excurrent chimneys can be seen, giving the colony a knobbly appearance. These chimneys are important in the process of sperm dispersal.

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Source: Bryozoa of the British Isles

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Look Alikes

A. mytili could get confused with A. gelatinosum but colour, microhabitat and reproductive biology are different.

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Source: Bryozoa of the British Isles

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Ecology

Habitat

Depth range based on 36 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 10 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 0 - 2700
  Temperature range (°C): -0.018 - 11.513
  Nitrate (umol/L): 1.242 - 33.037
  Salinity (PPS): 27.165 - 35.504
  Oxygen (ml/l): 5.234 - 7.160
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.097 - 2.332
  Silicate (umol/l): 2.118 - 124.254

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 0 - 2700

Temperature range (°C): -0.018 - 11.513

Nitrate (umol/L): 1.242 - 33.037

Salinity (PPS): 27.165 - 35.504

Oxygen (ml/l): 5.234 - 7.160

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.097 - 2.332

Silicate (umol/l): 2.118 - 124.254
 
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The colonies grow on Mytilus edulis valves, but can also be found on the slipper limpet Crepidula fornicata and Ostrea edulis shells, stones and occasionally on the stipes of Laminaria hyperborea from LWST into the shallow sublittoral

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Source: Bryozoa of the British Isles

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Life History and Behavior

Reproduction

This species is planktotrophic, producing large numbers of microlecithal eggs. It has been observed to have a intertentacular organ.

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Source: Bryozoa of the British Isles

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Disclaimer

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