BIOTIC Species Information for Halichondria panicea
Click here to view the MarLIN Key Information Review for Halichondria panicea
Researched byDr Keith Hiscock Data supplied byMarLIN
Refereed byDr Rob van Soest
General Biology
Growth formCushion
Feeding methodActive suspension feeder
Mobility/MovementPermanent attachment
Environmental positionEpiphytic
Epilithic
Typical food typesPhytoplankton HabitAttached
BioturbatorNot relevant FlexibilityNone (< 10 degrees)
FragilityFragile SizeMedium(11-20 cm)
Height1 - 25 cm Growth RateAverage 0.8mm/day in summer, 0.2 mm/day in winter
Adult dispersal potentialNone DependencyIndependent
SociabilityColonial Host forSymbiotic algae
Toxic/Poisonous?No
General Biology Additional InformationGrowth rate
Under optimal conditions, Vethaak et al. (1982) recorded a mean length increase of 0.8 mm / day in summer and 0.2 mm / day in winter. It should be noted that this figure was a mean of six specimens. In terms of percentage increase in area, Barthel (1988) recorded a 1.6% increase in area per day and an increase in mean organic body mass of 100-240% between March and August in the western Baltic. Leichler & Witman (1997) recorded growth rates of about 5% per week with highest growth rates in lower currents in the Gulf of Maine.

Growth form
Vethaak et al. (1982) described six distinct forms (as well as intermediate forms) including apparently free-living forms, low incrusting forms and massive forms with elaborate chimneys (see Vethaak et al., 1982 for further details and photographs).

Biology References Fish & Fish, 1996, Barthel, 1988, Leichler & Witman, 1997, Campbell, 1994, Birkett et al., 1998(b), Barnes, 1980, Barthel & Wolfrath, 1989, Vethaak et al., 1982,
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