BRYOZOA : CHEILOSTOMATIDA : HippoporinidaeSEA MATS

Pentapora foliacea (Ellis & Solander, 1786)


Description: This is the largest bryozoan to be found around our coasts, growing to 40cm or more across. The colony consists of a series of brittle plates joined to each other to form a domed or hemispherical colony. Small colonies start by encrusting the rock and then growing a series of upright plates.

Habitat: This species is most common in sand-scoured habitats attached to bedrock or boulders, often surrounded by coarse gravel

Distribution: A common species in the southern part of Ireland and the British Isles, becoming more scarce in Scotland, but recorded as far north as Lewis in the Outer Hebrides.

Similar Species: No other species in the area forms large upright lamellate colonies. Smittina landsborovii is normally an encrusting species, but can grow small two-sided, convoluted plates which look like the start of a Pentapora colony.

Key Identification Features:

Distribution Map from BioMar data for Ireland - Google Earth map:  download this placemark (not got Google Earth installed?)

Distribution Map from NBN: Grid map (fast) : Interactive map (slow, requires login to view records) : National Biodiversity Network mapping facility, data for UK.


 Picton, B.E. & Morrow, C.C., 2010. [In] Encyclopedia of Marine Life of Britain and Ireland
http://www.habitas.org.uk/marinelife/species.asp?item=Y3510

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