Overview

Comprehensive Description

General Description

Fenestrulina malusii is a subtidal bryozoan found throughout the NE Atlantic and Mediterreanean. Colonies form bright white encrusting patches around 1 cm in diameter, on a wide variety of substrata.

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Source: Bryozoa of the British Isles

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Distribution

In 1904 is bij het lichtschip ‘Westhinder’ een kolonie verzameld, in dezelfde buurt is in 1905 een tweede kolonie opgevist (collectie KBIN). In juni 2005 zijn minstens 16 overleden kolonies aangetroffen op een schelp opgevist bij de Westhinderbank. Spoelde aan op plastic in Blankenberge in 1999, 3 maal in Zeebrugge in 2000 en in het najaar van 2004 tussen Oostduinkerke en De Panne (De Blauwe, 2005); in Westkapelle (NL) op een aangespoelde kreeftenfuik in 2004. De Kluijver (2006) meldt het voorkomen van F. malusii in de Oosterschelde bij Wemeldinge in 2002 maar het betreft waarschijnlijk F. delicia. Dit materiaal kon niet opgespoord worden.
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Source: World Register of Marine Species

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This bryozoan is common on all British coasts, and throughout the temperate NE Atlantic and Mediterranean. Colonies have been reported from California between 5 -25 m (Nielsen, 1981)

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Source: Bryozoa of the British Isles

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Physical Description

Morphology

Colonies form circular encrusting sheets which are bright white in colour. The colony shape may vary due to irregularities in the substratum and the presence of other organisms. Older colonies often loose the central area, such that they appear as a ring or crescent.

F. malusii zooids are oval, with a calcified body wall. The individual zooids are separated by distinct grooves and have a number of round pores present around the periphery. A large central pore (the ascopore) is situated on the frontal surface, proximal to the orifice which is semicircular in shape. Two to three spines are present on young zooids and no avicularia are present

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Size

Zooids are typically 0.4-0.6 by 0.3.-0.4 mm. Colonies typically 1 cm in diameter.

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Diagnostic Description

Description

Vormt witte korsten. Zoïden ovaal, convex en glad, 0,6 tot 0,7 mm lang, gescheiden door duidelijke groeven. Eerst porseleinachtig, later wit. Poriën tussen de opening en de ascopore en aan de rand van de zoïde, het centrale deel proximaal van de ascopore is niet geperforeerd. De opening is D-vormig met minuscule scharnierpuntjes, het lichtbruin operculum heeft een verdikte rand. Op jonge zoïden staan 2 of 3 korte distale orale stekels. De halvemaanvormige ascopore is omrand door een dikke rand en heeft een getande binnenrand. De polypide draagt 14 of 15 tentakels. Broedkamers rusten op de volgende zoïde, hun zijkant is witter dan het frontale deel. Broedkamer met opgerichte boord en grote marginale poriën. Het frontale oppervlak heeft geen dwarse plooi noch ribben. De embryo’s zijn geeloranje. Ancestrula grotendeels frontaal membraneus, omringd door ongeveer 10 stekels. Er zijn 3 periancestrulaire zoïden.
  • 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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Ecology

Habitat

F. malusii commonly grows on a wide variety of substrata including stones and shells. Algal fronds and holdfasts, particularly large kelp species such as Macrocystis pyrifera and Agarum fimbriatum, may also be colonised by F. malusii.

The species ranges from the subtidal kelp forest to at least 50 m. Gautier (1962) reported it from 300 m in the western Mediterranean, but stated that it was rare beyond 100 m. F. malusii has been recorded from brackish conditions in the Lagoon of Orbatello, in the Mediterranean (Apolloni, 1931) and Maizuru Bay in Japan (Rucher, 1969).

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Depth range based on 37 specimens in 3 taxa.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 14 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 0 - 219
  Temperature range (°C): 9.215 - 24.377
  Nitrate (umol/L): 0.146 - 8.636
  Salinity (PPS): 31.235 - 35.563
  Oxygen (ml/l): 4.869 - 6.794
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.176 - 1.030
  Silicate (umol/l): 1.521 - 20.289

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 0 - 219

Temperature range (°C): 9.215 - 24.377

Nitrate (umol/L): 0.146 - 8.636

Salinity (PPS): 31.235 - 35.563

Oxygen (ml/l): 4.869 - 6.794

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.176 - 1.030

Silicate (umol/l): 1.521 - 20.289
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Trophic Strategy

Like all bryozoans, F. malusii is a suspension feeder. It feeds on small phytoplankton using ciliated tentacles of the lophophore.

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Associations

F. malusii frequently grows attached to the frond and holdfasts of sublittoral aglae, including the species Macrocystis pyrifera and Agarum fimbriatum.

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Life History and Behavior

Life Cycle

The founding zooid (ancestrula) develops into a young colony, and later  into an adult colony through asexual budding. Sexually produced embryos  are brooded within the colony and larvae are released after 10-14 days.  Larvae settle soon after liberation (often within an hour) and  metamorphose into an ancestrula.

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Reproduction

Sexually-produced embryos, which are yellow-orange in colour, are brooded throughout the year, but they are particularly abundant in late summer. The ovicells (brood chambers) are conspicuous and present in large numbers on zooids towards the periphery of the colony. The larvae of F. malusii are large non-feeding coronate larvae, which lack a shell and have a densely ciliated belt (the corona) for locomotion. The larvae are pale yellow when fully formed and settle quickly after liberation.

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Growth

Colonies grow through asexual budding of new zooids.

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