Overview

Comprehensive Description

General Description

Bugula neritina is an erect bryozoan that forms luxuriant tufts up to 8 cm high. The colonies are composed of dichotomous branches, which have a light spiral growth at the tip. The colonies are a vivid purplish-brown when alive, and a distinctive translucent brown when they have been preserved.

Autozooids are large and narrow towards the base. They lack spines or avicularia; all other British Bugula species have avicularia.

The species colonises a range of substrates including pier piles, ships’ hulls, buoys and similar artificial submerged structures, where it can reach a very high abundance. Small modified zooids which resemble rootlets (rhizoids) are used to attach to the colony to the substrate.

The species is recognised as a serious fouler, and can grow freely in ships’ intake pipe and condenser chambers. It settles readily on immersed test surfaces and has become invasive in New Zealand ports. The native range of the species remains uncertain. Today, B. neritina is widely distributed in warm-temperate and subtropical coastal waters. In Britain, it has been recorded from southern coasts, the east coast up to Lowestoft and on the west coasts as far as the Firth of Clyde.

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© Natural History Museum, London

Source: Bryozoa of the British Isles

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B. neritina is an erect, arborescent bryozoan whose colonies form brown or reddish tufts on whatever substratum they encounter. It is a common and abundant member of the fouling community (Winston 1995). Zooids are large and measure an average of 0.97 X 0.28 mm. Zooids alternate biserially on branches, with individual zooids tapering proximally. A membrane covers the frontal surface. B. neritina differs from other species in this genus in that it possesses no avicularia and no spines. Rather, its zooids have sharp points in the distal corners. The lophophore measures an average of 0.764 mm in diameter and bears 23 tentacles.
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© Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce

Source: Indian River Lagoon Species Inventory

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Distribution

Een zuiderse soort van havens, op palen en havenhoofden, scheepsrompen, boeien en ondergedompelde voorwerpen. Te verwachten op jachten die uit Zuid- Europa komen en als tijdelijke of permanente introductie in havens. In België éénmalig levend op een jacht aangetroffen in de Mercatorjachthaven in Oostende in 1999 (Kerckhof, 2000). In april 2007 zijn overwinterende koloniedelen ontdekt in de jachthaven in Burghsluis, in augustus van hetzelfde jaar komt ze er massaal voor (Faasse, 2007). Overwinterende koloniedelen groeien in maart 2008 weer uit. Uit deze meer permanente vestiging is een snelle verspreiding in jachthavens in Zeeland te verwachten. Oudere meldingen uit België en Nederland zijn niet geloofwaardig.
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© WoRMS for SMEBD

Source: World Register of Marine Species

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National Distribution

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Year-round

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© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

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B. neritina is a highly cosmopolitan and abundant species throughout warm water areas of the world and is considered a troubling fouling organism. B. neritina occurs throughout the Indian River Lagoon and along the Florida coast.
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Source: Indian River Lagoon Species Inventory

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Physical Description

Size

Zooids are large and measure an average of 0.97 X 0.28 mm. The lophophore measures an average of 0.764 mm in diameter and bears 23 tentacles.
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Source: Indian River Lagoon Species Inventory

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Diagnostic Description

Description

Vormt een paarsbruine weelderige bos tot 8 cm hoog. Takken met zoïden in 2 rijen. Zoïden groot, proximaal versmallend; de volledige frontale oppervlakte membraneus. Stekels afwezig, maar de vrije distale hoek van de buitenkant steekt licht uit. Polypide met 23-24 tentakels. Avicularia komen niet voor. Broedkamers vastgehecht aan de binnenste distale hoek van de zoïden en schuin gericht naar de as van de tak. Embryo’s bruin. Ancestrula symmetrisch, met een U-vormige membraneuze ruimte; stekelloos.
  • De Blauwe, H. (2009). Mosdiertjes van de Zuidelijke Bocht van de Noordzee. Determinatiewerk voor België en Nederland. Uitgave Vlaams Instituut voor de Zee, Oostende: 464pp.
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Source: World Register of Marine Species

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Ecology

Habitat

Depth range based on 87 specimens in 2 taxa.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 71 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 0 - 4706
  Temperature range (°C): 2.513 - 27.099
  Nitrate (umol/L): 0.086 - 22.792
  Salinity (PPS): 34.901 - 38.547
  Oxygen (ml/l): 4.065 - 5.561
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.085 - 1.519
  Silicate (umol/l): 1.193 - 44.576

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 0 - 4706

Temperature range (°C): 2.513 - 27.099

Nitrate (umol/L): 0.086 - 22.792

Salinity (PPS): 34.901 - 38.547

Oxygen (ml/l): 4.065 - 5.561

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.085 - 1.519

Silicate (umol/l): 1.193 - 44.576
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Trophic Strategy

B. neritina, like all bryozoans, is a suspension feeder. Each individual zooid in a colony has 23 ciliated tentacles that are extended to filter phytoplankton less than 0.045 mm in size (about 1/1800 of an inch) from the water column. Bullivant (1967; 1968) showed that the average individual zooid in a colony can clear 8.8 ml of water per day.Habitats: Typical habitat for ectoprocts in the Indian River Lagoon include seagrasses, drift algae, oyster reef, dock, pilings, breakwaters, and man-made debris (Winston 1995).
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© Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce

Source: Indian River Lagoon Species Inventory

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Associations

Seagrasses as well as floating macroalgae, provide support for bryozoan colonies. In turn, bryozoans provide habitat for many species of juvenile fishes and their invertebrate prey such as polychaete worms, amphipods and copepods. (Winston 1995). Bryozoans are also found in association with other species that act as support structures: mangrove roots, oyster beds, mussels, etc.
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Source: Indian River Lagoon Species Inventory

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Population Biology

B. neritina is one of the most abundant bryozoans in the IRL and an important member of the fouling community. It is most common in the winter months where it and B. stolonifera dominate bryozoan populations on hard substrata such as seawalls and docks (Winston 1995). It does however, show a fluctuating pattern of abundance. In some years it is a dominant species from late fall through late spring. In other years, it is sparsely distributed.Locomotion: Sessile
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Source: Indian River Lagoon Species Inventory

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Life History and Behavior

Reproduction

B. neritina has large ovicells that are attached to the distal corners of zooids and oriented at angles to the axis of the branch. In temperate waters, B. neritina reproduces in summer and fall. In the IRL, reproduction occurs in the cooler months. Older colonies appear to "over-summer." Winston (1982) reported that colonies collected coastally in June and July were brown in color and appeared to be nearly completely degenerated, with many zooids dead or filled with ciliates. However, closer examination revealed functional zooids present in the distal ends of the colony.
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Source: Indian River Lagoon Species Inventory

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Growth

Embryos brooded in ovicells are dark brown in color and measure approximately 0.25 mm in diameter (Winston 1982).
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Source: Indian River Lagoon Species Inventory

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Bugula neritina

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


There are 20 barcode sequences available from BOLD and GenBank.

Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.

See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.

ATAAAACGATGGTTCATATCCACTAACCATAAAGATATTGGTACATTATACTTTTTATTTGGACTATGAGCTGGGATAATTGGTAGAGGTTTAAGAGCTCTTATTCGAGTAGAATTAAGACAACCAGGCAGCTTATTAGGTAACGACCAACTTTATAATGTAATTGTCACAGCTCATGCATTTTTAATAATTTTTTTTATAGTCATACCAGTTATAATTGGGGGGTTTGGAAATTGATTGGTTCCCTTGATACTGGGGGCTCCTGATATGGCATTTCCCCGCTTAAACAACATAAGATTTTGGCTTCTCCCTCCAGCATTATTACTTCTATTAATATCTTCTTTAGTAGAGAGGGGAGCTGGAACTGGGTGAACCGTATACCCTCCCTTATCATCGGGCTTAGGTCACAGAGGAGCAGCTGTGGATTTAGCCATTTTATCTTTACACCTTGCCGGTGTATCCTCAATTTTAGGAGCAATTAACTTTATTACTACAACAATTAATATACGAAGAAACTCTATAAAAATAATTCAAATCCCTTTATTTATTTGGGCAGTTTTTATTACAGCCATTTTGTTACTTTTATCTTTACCAGTGCTAGCTGGAGCTATTACTATACTACTAACCGATCGTAATGTTAATACATCTTTTTTTGACCCTGCTGGAGGGGGGGATCCTATTTTATACCAACACTTATTTTGGTTTTTTGGTCACCCCGAAGTATATATTTTAATTATCCCCGGATTTGGAATAATTTCACATATTATCAGAAACTCCAGGTCTAAAGAAGAAGTATTTGGTGTAATCGGAATAATTTATGCTATGCTATCAATTGCACTCTTAGGATTCATTGTTTGAGGGCACCATATGTTTATGGTAGGGATAGATGTTGATACTCGAGCATATTTTACTTCAGCAACCATAGTAATTGCTGTGCCCACAGGGGTGAAAGTGTTTAGATGGTTATCTACTATAAACGGTAAAATTCCAAAATTAAGAA
-- end --

Download FASTA File

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© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Bugula neritina

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 10
Specimens with Barcodes: 137
Species With Barcodes: 1
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© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Genomic DNA is available from 2 specimens with morphological vouchers housed at British Antarctic Survey
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© Ocean Genome Legacy

Source: Ocean Genome Resource

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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: GNR - Not Yet Ranked

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Benefit in IRL: Bryozoans are ecologically important in the Indian River Lagoon due to their feeding method. As suspension feeders, they act as living filters in the marine environment. For example, Winston (1995) reported that bryozoan colonies located in 1 square meter of seagrass bed could potentially filter and recirculate an average of 48,000 gallons of seawater per day.
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Source: Indian River Lagoon Species Inventory

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