Type of fouling organism: Erect Bryozoan
Bryozoa are sessile colonies of microscopic animals where each animal inhabits a separate box of the cuticle within the colony which is called a zooid. The zooid body has a fixed trunk and a lophophore for food collection. zooids are hermaphroditic. Gametes are passed out through the pores and fertilised eggs are brooded. After hatching motile larvae are released and while most are generally of short duration (minutes to hours), some can survive for up to a year in the plankton before settling. Bryozoa are common intertidal and subtidal animals, most are marine but there are some freshwater species.
Bugula neritina form flexible bushy colonies, which are branched and reach 10 cm in height. The colonies can be dark red-purple or purple-brown, though occasionally they are a dull, dark red. A single zooecium of is 0.2 - 0.3 mm wide and 0.6 - 1.1 mm long. Its front is a flexible membrane, and it bears no spines, although the upper, outer corner of the zooecium is pointed.
Environment and Habitat
- Habitat - intertidal to subtidal.
- Reproductive type: Hermaphrodite, budding.
- Found on other biofouling organisms.
Effects and Impacts
- Problematic for stock species as can compete for space and resources.
Control/ Strategies and Management
Principles of Management
C Combat Settlement
- Found from the Mediterranean north to south west England, where it is occasionally found in warm dock habitats.
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