BIOTIC Species Information for Funiculina quadrangularis
Researched byOlwen Ager Data supplied byMarLIN
Refereed byThis information is not refereed.
Scientific nameFuniculina quadrangularis Common nameThe tall sea pen
MCS CodeD615 Recent SynonymsNone

PhylumCnidaria Subphylum
SuperclassAnthozoa ClassOctocorallia
Subclass OrderPennatulacea
Suborder FamilyFuniculinidae
GenusFuniculina Speciesquadrangularis

Additional Information
Taxonomy References Howson & Picton, 1997, Hayward & Ryland, 1995b, Manuel, 1988, Hayward et al., 1996,
General Biology
Growth formPinnate
Feeding methodPassive suspension feeder
Mobility/MovementTemporary attachment
Environmental positionEpibenthic
Typical food typesPlankton and organic particles HabitAttached
BioturbatorNot relevant FlexibilityLow (10-45 degrees)
FragilityIntermediate SizeLarge(>50cm)
HeightUp to ca 2 m Growth RateInsufficient information
Adult dispersal potentialNo information found DependencyIndependent
General Biology Additional InformationFlexibility
Eno et al. (1996) found that the tall sea pen bends away from lobster creels dropped on of them in a passive response to the pressure wave travelling ahead of the pot.

Associated species
The deep-water brittlestar, Asteronyx loveni, which has been recorded sporadically from the west coast of Scotland (Hughes, 1998b), is known to use its arms to cling to Funiculina quadrangularis (Fujita & Ohta, 1988).
Biology References Eno et al., 1996, Hughes, 1998(b), Jones et al., 2000, Fujita & Ohta, 1988,
Distribution and Habitat
Distribution in Britain & IrelandWest and north coasts of Ireland and Scotland.
Global distributionFuniculina quadrangularis occurs in the North Atlantic and Mediterranean. It has been recorded in New Zealand (Manuel, 1988) and Japan (Fujita & Ohta, 1988).
Biogeographic rangeNot researched Depth range20-2000m
MigratoryNon-migratory / Resident   
Distribution Additional Information

Substratum preferencesMud
Muddy sand
Physiographic preferencesOpen coast
Biological zoneUpper Circalittoral
Lower Circalittoral
Wave exposureSheltered
Very Sheltered
Extremely Sheltered
Ultra Sheltered
Tidal stream strength/Water flowWeak (<1 kn)
Very Weak (negligible)
SalinityFull (30-40 psu)
Habitat Preferences Additional Information
Distribution References Hayward & Ryland, 1995b, Manuel, 1988, Hayward et al., 1996, Hughes, 1998(b), Fujita & Ohta, 1988,
Reproduction/Life History
Reproductive typeGonochoristic
Developmental mechanismInsufficient information
Reproductive SeasonInsufficient information Reproductive LocationInsufficient information
Reproductive frequencyInsufficient information Regeneration potential No
Life spanSee additional information Age at reproductive maturitySee additional information
Generation timeSee additional information FecundityInsufficient information
Egg/propagule sizeInsufficient information Fertilization typeInsufficient information
Larval/Juvenile dispersal potentialInsufficient information Larval settlement periodInsufficient information
Duration of larval stageInsufficient information   
Reproduction Preferences Additional Information
  • Sexes in sea pens are separate; each colony of polyps are either male or female.
  • Hughes (1998b) suggests, using the information from other species of seapen, that Funiculina quadrangularis may follow a similar pattern of patchy recruitment, slow growth and a long life span.
  • Birkeland (1974) found the life span of Ptilosarcus gurneyi to be 15 years, reaching sexual maturity between the ages of 5 and 6 this may be similar in Funiculina quadrangularis
Reproduction References Hughes, 1998(b), Birkeland, 1974,
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