Orange peel bryozoan (Turbicellepora magnicostata)

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



This bryozoan forms orange, domed colonies (zoariums) or cylindrical colonies. The individual zooid is broad with a shallow sinus, a prominent ovicell and smooth frontal shield (a calcified surface) composed of external spines. The surface of the ovicell (the skeletal structure containing the brood chamber) is punctured by pores, commonly 4-5 of these pores being large, round lacunae. The embryos, present in July in British specimens, are orange in colour and may accentuate the colour of the zoarium.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

Occurs on the Isles of Scilly.

Global distribution

Found from the Mediterranean north to the Isles of Scilly.


In the Mediterranean it is usually found to depths of 50 m but has been recorded at 87m. In the Isles of Scilly the bryozoan is a conspicuous member of the rocky shore community and is often found on sublittoral algae.

Depth range


Identifying features

  • Zoariums form domes or thick cylinders around hydroids or other algae.
  • Zoariums are orange in colour.
  • The zoarium characteristically exhibits large avicularia that are generally triangular or elliptical.
  • The avicularia are oval with a broad, blunt, distally-narrowed mandible.
  • Zooids have a smooth frontal shield.
  • The raised marginal ribs creating the shield, are separated by large pores (areoli).
  • Each polypide has 16-17 tentacles.
  • A low thin collar (peristome) around the orifice encompasses a low avicularium to the left or right of the sinus.

Additional information

The colony form is similar to that of Turbicellepora avicularis. The two species may be differentiated due to the larger, sparser pores on the ovicell of Turbicellepora magnicostata. Turbicellepora magnicostata also has a wider sinus and more distinct marginal ribs.

Listed by

- none -


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

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

  3. Hayward, P.J. & Ryland, J.S. 1999. Cheilostomatous Bryozoa. Part II Hippothooidea - Celleporoidea. London: Academic Press. [Synopses of the British Fauna, no. 14. (2nd edition)]

  4. Ryland, J.S., 1970. Bryozoans. London: Hutchinson University Library.


  1. Fenwick, 2018. Aphotomarine. Occurrence dataset Accessed via on 2018-10-01

  2. National Trust, 2017. National Trust Species Records. Occurrence dataset: accessed via on 2018-10-01.

  3. NBN (National Biodiversity Network) Atlas. Available from:

  4. OBIS (Ocean Biodiversity Information System),  2024. Global map of species distribution using gridded data. Available from: Ocean Biogeographic Information System. Accessed: 2024-05-18


This review can be cited as:

Hughes, J.R. 2002. Turbicellepora magnicostata Orange peel bryozoan. In Tyler-Walters H. and Hiscock K. Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Reviews, [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 18-05-2024]. Available from:

Last Updated: 04/04/2002