Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description

This small octocoral forms an encrusting network of 2mm wide, flattened stolons on rocks and shells. Sometimes the stolons fuse to form a continuous sheet. The polyps are up to 10mm tall including tentacles, semi-translucent white. The stolon is typically red but may be yellow or colourless. Compare with Cornularia cornucopiae. If identification is still uncertain observe with a good magnifying glass: the stolon contains numerous minute calcareous particles (sclerites or spicules) about 0.1mm long; these are absent from Cornularia.
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Source: Encyclopedia of Marine Life of Britain and Ireland

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Distribution

Common on all westerly coasts of Great Britain and Ireland, occasional in the North Sea. Also found around southwest Europe to the Mediterranean.
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Source: Encyclopedia of Marine Life of Britain and Ireland

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Ecology

Habitat

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

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 0 - 64
  Temperature range (°C): 11.639 - 11.639
  Nitrate (umol/L): 4.573 - 4.573
  Salinity (PPS): 35.008 - 35.008
  Oxygen (ml/l): 6.328 - 6.328
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.333 - 0.333
  Silicate (umol/l): 3.419 - 3.419

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 0 - 64
 
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Occurs from the lower shore to at least 100m depth. May be most common in sheltered situations such as sea lochs and in small caves and beneath overhangs. Tolerates reduced salinity.
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© National Museums Northern Ireland and its licensors

Source: Encyclopedia of Marine Life of Britain and Ireland

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