MarLIN

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

Bottle-brush hydroid (Thuiaria thuja)

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

Summary

Description

Colony 5-25 cm high, with a narrow, cylindrical brush shape. Short, dichotomizing side branches are closely spaced around a thick central stem. Young colonies are pinnate (feather-like) and become arranged in a bottle-brush shape when 2 cm high. Pinnate colonies have zig-zag stems and alternate branches.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

A northern species recorded south to Northumberland. Found in the Forth of Firth, Orkney and Shetland in Scotland.

Global distribution

Circumpolar arctic to northern temperate. In western Europe, recorded from Portugal to the north of Scandinavia but in the more southerly of these latitudes probably confined to deeper water.

Habitat

Present on hard substrata, including shells, from shallow sublittoral and offshore to edge of continental shelf (2-800 m).

Depth range

-

Identifying features

  • Hydrothecae (protective cups around specialised feeding polyps) are present only on side branches.
  • Hydrothecae are flask-shaped, in two or three alternating series, and entirely immersed in the branch.
  • Gonothecae (protective cups surrounding specialised reproduction polyps) are oval and sharply tapered at the base.

Additional information

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Listed by

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Further information sources

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Bibliography

  1. Cornelius, P.F.S., 1995b. North-west European thecate hydroids and their medusae. Part 2. Sertulariidae to Campanulariidae. Shrewsbury: Field Studies Council. [Synopses of the British Fauna no. 50]

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

  3. Hayward, P., Nelson-Smith, T. & Shields, C. 1996. Collins pocket guide. Sea shore of Britain and northern Europe. London: HarperCollins.

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

  5. Hiscock, K., Southward, A., Tittley, I., Jory, A. & Hawkins, S., 2001. The impact of climate change on subtidal and intertidal benthic species in Scotland. Scottish National Heritage Research, Survey and Monitoring Report , no. 182., Edinburgh: Scottish National Heritage

  6. 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.]

Citation

This review can be cited as:

Skewes, M. 2001. Thuiaria thuja Bottle-brush 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/1600

Last Updated: 01/10/2001