BIOTIC Species Information for Virgularia mirabilis
Researched byJacqueline Hill & Emily Wilson Data supplied byMarLIN
Refereed byThis information is not refereed.
Reproduction/Life History
Reproductive typeGonochoristic
Developmental mechanismLecithotrophic
Reproductive SeasonJune to October Reproductive LocationWater column
Reproductive frequencyAnnual episodic Regeneration potential No
Life spanSee additional information Age at reproductive maturityInsufficient information
Generation timeInsufficient information FecundityInsufficient information
Egg/propagule sizeInsufficient information Fertilization typeExternal
Larval/Juvenile dispersal potential>10km Larval settlement periodInsufficinet information
Duration of larval stage2-10 days   
Reproduction Preferences Additional Information
  • The sexes are separate in sea pens. Each colony of polyps is either male or female.
  • There is very little information on population structure or life cycles in any of the British sea pens, but the limited data available from other species would lead one to predict a similar pattern of patchy recruitment, slow growth and long life-span (Hughes, 1998(b)).
  • In other species of sea pen the eggs and sperm are released from the polyps and fertilization takes place externally. The sea pen Ptilosarcus guerneyi spawns in late March, with up to 200,000 eggs produced per female colony. Chia & Crawford, (1973) found free-swimming larvae of this species did not feed, suggesting a lecithotrophic larvae, and settled within seven days if a suitable substratum was encountered. Birkeland, (1974) found the life span of Ptilosarcus guerneyi to be up to 15 years, taking 5 or 6 years to reach sexual maturity.
Reproduction References Hughes, 1998(b), Birkeland, 1974, Chia & Crawford, 1973,
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