Type of fouling organism: Encrusting 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 internally incubated. 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.
Electra pilosa form star shaped or broad sheet colonies on a range of surfaces, including algae but most often hard substrates. The colony is made up of individual zooids which are ovate-oblong in shape. Average size of zooids which form sheets is 0.5 - 0.6 by 0.25 - 0.35 mm. When zooid spines get very long the colony can appear bristly.
Environment and Habitat
- Found from low water into the shallow sublittoral to the intertidal to at least 50 m.
- Reproduction type: Hermaphrodite.
- Found on other biofouling organisms.
Effects and Impacts
- Problematic for stock species.
Control/ Strategies and Management
Principles of Management
C Combat Settlement
- Common throughout the north east Atlantic and Mediterranean
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