Kirchenpaueria pinnata (Linnaeus, 1758)

Kirchenpaueria pinnata

Description: A feather-like hydroid with central main stem and numerous side branches arising in a flat plane. The side branches are composed of separate joints each bearing a hydrotheca and defensive nematophores which have no nematothecae. The gonothecae are spherical, borne in abundance along the central region of the colony. The colonies are normally colourless to pale grey, the gonothecae may be white or pink. Fully grown colonies are typically 70-80mm in height by 15mm in width.

Habitat: This is a common species in a wide variety of sublittoral habitats, occurring on bedrock in exposed places and attached to shells and stones in sheltered muddy channels with slight to moderate tidal streams.

Ecology: The nudibranchs Doto dunnei and Eubranchus vittatus are often found feeding on this hydroid.

Distribution: Widely distributed in the British Isles.

Similar Species: Very similar to the other Kirchenpaueria species, Plumularia setacea, and young colonies of Polyplumaria frutescens.

Key Identification Features:

Distribution Map: NBN map : National Biodiversity Network mapping facility, data for UK.

WoRMS: Species record : World Register of Marine Species.

iNaturalist: Species account : iNaturalist World Species Observations database

 Picton, B.E. & Morrow, C.C. (2016). Kirchenpaueria pinnata (Linnaeus, 1758). [In] Encyclopedia of Marine Life of Britain and Ireland. Accessed on 2024-05-22

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