Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description

 Escharoides coccinea forms reddish-orange encrusting colonies of many individuals (zooids) that are separated from each other by a deep groove. Individual zooids are quadrangular in shape with a convex-shaped upper surface. The upper surface has a broad opening (orifice) that is sealed by an operculum and marked by a wide shelf inside the outer rim and distinct tooth-like projections on the inner rim. The side of the orifice facing the edge of the colony bears an arc of 6, long, tubular spines, although these are absent from fertile zooids that house globular-shaped ovicells encasing red coloured embryos instead. The sides of the individual zooids are calcified with irregular nodules and marked along the edges by large pores. On either side of the orifice is a smaller, pointed, avicularia that extends outwards away from the main zooid.Individuals colonies of Escharoides coccinea have a life span of at least 2 years.
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Distribution

Escharoides coccinea is a boreal species, widespread and often common around the British Isles and Ireland. It extends south into the Mediterranean, as far as the Aegean and Madeira. It ranges north to Shetland and the west coast of Norway but is apparently absent from the Faroe Isles and Arctic waters.

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© Sally Rouse

Source: Bryozoa of the British Isles

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Escharoides coccinea is a boreal species, widespread and often common around the British Isles and Ireland. It extends south into the Mediterranean, as far as the Aegean and Madeira. It ranges north to Shetland and the west coast of Norway but is apparently absent from the Faroe Isles and Arctic waters.

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© Natural History Museum, London

Source: Bryozoa of the British Isles

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Physical Description

Morphology

Escharoides coccinea is an encrusting bryozoan. The colonies form extensive sub-circular patches that are red-orange in colour. Autozooids are broad, quadrangular and convex. They range in size from 0.6-0.7 by 0.3-0.4 mm, with six thick tubular spines.

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© Sally Rouse

Source: Bryozoa of the British Isles

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Escharoides coccinea is an encrusting bryozoan. The colonies form extensive sub-circular patches that are red-orange in colour. Autozooids are broad, quadrangular and convex. They range in size from 0.6-0.7 by 0.3-0.4 mm, with six thick tubular spines.

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© Natural History Museum, London

Source: Bryozoa of the British Isles

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Ecology

Habitat

The species is able to colonise a wide range of substrates including stones, shells and rocky overhangs. It is particularly associated with Laminaria holdfasts, where it is frequently a significant and conspicuous part of the bryozoan epifauna. It is a characteristic component of intertidal rocky shore communities on all British coasts and extends into subtidal water beyond the kelp zone. Its precise depth range is uncertain.

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© Sally Rouse

Source: Bryozoa of the British Isles

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Depth range based on 10 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 6 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 0 - 597
  Temperature range (°C): -0.197 - 12.348
  Nitrate (umol/L): 3.158 - 13.432
  Salinity (PPS): 34.633 - 35.363
  Oxygen (ml/l): 6.151 - 6.965
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.351 - 0.948
  Silicate (umol/l): 2.118 - 7.787

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 0 - 597

Temperature range (°C): -0.197 - 12.348

Nitrate (umol/L): 3.158 - 13.432

Salinity (PPS): 34.633 - 35.363

Oxygen (ml/l): 6.151 - 6.965

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.351 - 0.948

Silicate (umol/l): 2.118 - 7.787
 
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The species is able to colonise a wide range of substrates including stones, shells and rocky overhangs. It is particularly associated with Laminaria holdfasts, where it is frequently a significant and conspicuous part of the bryozoan epifauna. It is a characteristic component of intertidal rocky shore communities on all British coasts and extends into subtidal water beyond the kelp zone. Its precise depth range is uncertain.

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Source: Bryozoa of the British Isles

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 Escharoides coccinea is found on rocky coasts attached to hard substratum, stones, the holdfasts of Laminaria and below rocks on the lower shore and in shallow water.
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