BIOTIC Species Information for Nematostella vectensis
Researched byCharlotte Marshall & Angus Jackson Data supplied byMarLIN
Refereed byDr Simon Davy & Dr Martin Sheader
General Biology
Growth formCylindrical
Feeding methodPassive suspension feeder
Temporary attachment
Environmental positionEpifaunal
Typical food typesHydrobia, Chironomid and Littorina juveniles. HabitAttached
BioturbatorNot relevant FlexibilityHigh (>45 degrees)
FragilityFragile SizeSmall(1-2cm)
HeightUp to 15 mm Growth RateInsufficient information
Adult dispersal potentialNo information found DependencyIndependent
General Biology Additional InformationAlthough the column rarely exceeds 15 mm in length, exceptionally large individuals may reach 60 mm long when fully extended. Furthermore, food availability probably limits size in this species.
Only females are found in the south coast populations of England (Sheader et al., 1997) and there seems to be only asexual reproduction in the UK (M. Sheader, pers. comm), therefore male size at maturity is not relevant. See reproduction for further information.

Abundance generally varies with geographic area and time of year. In Pennington Lagoon, Hampshire, a peak in abundance of up to 2700 individuals / m² is seen from September to October whilst in the Fleet, Dorset, the population peaks at around 1500 individuals / m², in November and December (Sheader et al., 1997). In September 1974, more than 12500 / m² were found in a Norfolk pool and an estimate of over 5 million individuals in a single pool has even been made (William, unpubl., cited in Williams, R.B., 1983). On the south coast of England, individual population numbers tend to peak in late summer, the considerable increase probably being the result of asexual reproduction (Sheader et al., 1997).

Biology References Manuel, 1988, Stephenson, 1935, Sheader et al., 1997, Hand & Uhlinger, 1992, Hand & Uhlinger, 1994, Anonymous, 1999(k), Williams, 1991, Williams, R.B., 1983,
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