MarLIN

information on the biology of species and the ecology of habitats found around the coasts and seas of the British Isles

Club-headed hydroid (Clava multicornis)

Distribution data supplied by the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS). To interrogate UK data visit the NBN Atlas.

Summary

Description

This colonial hydroid can appear in two forms either as a diffuse network of stolons with scattered polyps or as a dense mat of stolons with many polyps. The stolon is thread-like and the polyps rise directly from it growing up to 25 mm in height. The polyps have 30 to 40 tentacles and have reproductive bodies clustered on short branches below the tentacles. The polyps are pink, white or red. The physical form of the colony is variable and thought to be determined by a range of environmental factors such as substratum type, tidal exposure, food availability and water movement.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

Found around the north, west and southern coasts of Britain and Ireland.

Global distribution

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Habitat

This hydroid is found on middle to lower shore, mainly as an epiphyte growing on fucoid algae, such as Fucus vesiculosus, Fucus serratus and Ascophyllum nodosum. Clava multicornis can also be found on rocks or shells and in rock pools and is tolerant of brackish waters.

Depth range

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Identifying features

  • Occurs in two forms: diffuse or dense networks of stolons.
  • Stolon thread-like with polyps rising directly from it.
  • Polyps pink, white or red.
  • Polyps up to 25 mm in height.
  • Found mainly growing on fucoid algae.

Additional information

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Listed by

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Further information sources

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Bibliography

  1. Bruce, J.R., Colman, J.S. & Jones, N.S., 1963. Marine fauna of the Isle of Man. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press.

  2. Fish, J.D. & Fish, S., 1996. A student's guide to the seashore. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  3. Hayward, P.J. & Ryland, J.S. (ed.) 1995b. Handbook of the marine fauna of North-West Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  4. Howson, C.M. & Picton, B.E., 1997. The species directory of the marine fauna and flora of the British Isles and surrounding seas. Belfast: Ulster Museum. [Ulster Museum publication, no. 276.]

  5. JNCC (Joint Nature Conservation Committee), 1999. Marine Environment Resource Mapping And Information Database (MERMAID): Marine Nature Conservation Review Survey Database. [on-line] http://www.jncc.gov.uk/mermaid

  6. National Biodiversity Network (NBN) Atlas website. Available from: http://www.nbnatlas.org.  Accessed 01 April 2017

  7. Picton, B.E. & Costello, M.J., 1998. BioMar biotope viewer: a guide to marine habitats, fauna and flora of Britain and Ireland. [CD-ROM] Environmental Sciences Unit, Trinity College, Dublin., http://www.itsligo.ie/biomar/

Citation

This review can be cited as:

Pizzolla, P.F 2002. Clava multicornis Club-headed hydroid. In Tyler-Walters H. and Hiscock K. (eds) Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Reviews, [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. Available from: http://www.marlin.ac.uk/species/detail/1509

Last Updated: 11/10/2002