Pentapora foliacea (Ellis & Solander, 1786)

Pentapora foliacea

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: 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). Pentapora foliacea (Ellis & Solander, 1786). [In] Encyclopedia of Marine Life of Britain and Ireland. Accessed on 2024-05-30

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