Comprehensive Description

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General Description

Bicellariella ciliata is an erect, branching bryozoan. Colonies from delicate feathery tufts up to 2.5 cm high and white in colour. The branches divide dichotomously, curving towards their extremity. Autozooids alternate, their narrow proximal regions (closest to the colony origin) contiguous with one another, but the cylindrical distal region mainly free, flaring and curving outwards, away from the colony. Autozooids bear a single long slender spine and a row of four to nine smaller spines. One to two long spines may also arise from the basal surface. The colonies die and disintegrate after breeding. Small overwintering colonies mature in spring.

The species is able to colonise stones, shells, hydroids and other bryozoan. It ranges from the shore, through the shallow subtidal water to approximately 150 metres. Bicellariella ciliata is distributed from central Norway, southwards to the South Atlantic and the Indo-Pacific.

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© Natural History Museum, London

Source: Bryozoa of the British Isles

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