MarLIN

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

An erect bryozoan (Bugula neritina)

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

Summary

Description

A bryozoan forming upright, dichotomously branching colonies with a foliose, tufted appearance, reaching 8 cm in height. Colonies purplish-brown in colour, embryos are pale brown.Colonies are attached to the substratum by a holdfast. Individual zooids measure 7.5 µm by 2.5 µm and alternate in biserial rows along unilamellar branches. Spines, opercula and avicularia are absent.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

Scattered marinas and harbours of Brighton (E. Sussex), the Solent (Hampshire), Poole and Weymouth (Dorset), Torquay and Plymouth (Devon) and Falmouth (Cornwall). Also found in Milford Haven and off the coast of Pembrokeshire in Wales.

Global distribution

Found in New Zealand and along Atlantic and Gulf coasts of Florida, U.S.A. Sparse and disparate records exist from Belgian coast, Greece (Ionian & Adriatic Seas), Californian coast of U.S.A., Hawaii, Bay of Bengal and Australia.

Habitat

Fouls artificial substrata such as ship hulls, docks, wharf pilings and immersed ropes.

Depth range

-

Identifying features

  • Upright, foliose colonies reaching 8 cm height.
  • Rhizoid attachment to substratum.
  • Branches unilamellar and dividing dichotomously.
  • Zooids large, 7.5 µm x 2.5 µm, lacking operculum.
  • Zooids in alternating, biserial rows.
  • Avicularia and spines absent.
  • Colonies purplish-brown with pale brown embryos (when present).

Additional information

Taxonomy
There are at least three cryptic species contained within Bugula neritina (Linnaeus, 1758). A shallow water species, a deep water species and a North Atlantic species exist within the U.S.A. but only the shallow water species is known to invade other sites worldwide (Mackie et al., 2006).

Listed by

- none -

Further information sources

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Bibliography

    Citation

    This review can be cited as:

    Bilewitch, J. 2009. Bugula neritina An erect bryozoan. 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/2223

    Last Updated: 28/07/2009