Phylum Bryozoa: Subtidal Moss Animals
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Bryozoans are the only wholly colonial animal phylum. Colonies come in a wide diversity of shapes and colors and are composed of individuals housed in separate box-like zooecia.  Filter feeders. Most species are hermaphroditic. Although most people aren't familiar with them, bryozoans are very abundant and diverse in kelp forest of Monterey. 4000 living species.

Class Stenolaemata
  Order Cyclostomatida
Class Gymnolaemata
  Order Ctenostomatida
Crisia spp.
Diaperoforma californica

Pherusella brevituba
Crisia spp. Diaperoforma californica
Pherusella brevituba Bowerbankia
Class Gymnolaemata
 Order Cheilostomatida, Suborder Anascina
Bugula californica Bugula neritina Cellaria mandibulata Membranipora fusca Membranipora serrilamella Scrupocellaria
Bugula californica Bugula
neritina
Cellaria mandibulata Membranipora fusca Membranipora serrilamella Scrupocellaria californica
  Order Cheilostomatida, Suborder Ascophorina
Celleporella hyalina
Celleporella sp.
Celleporina robertsoniae Colepora gigantea Eurystomella bilabiata Hippoporina insculpta Lagenicella punctulata Phidolopora pacifica
Celleporella hyalina Celleporella
sp.
Celleporina robertsoniae Coleopora gigantea Eurystomella bilabiata Hippoporina insculpta Lagenicella punctulata Phidolopora pacifica
Order Cheilostomatida, Suborder Cribimorphina
Watersipora subtorquata Celleporaria brunnea

Reginella hippocrepis
Watersipora subtorquata Celleporaria brunnea Reginella hippocrepis















Crisia spp.
Crisia spp.
Phylum Bryozoa, Class Stenolaemata, Order Cyclostomatida,  Family Crisiidae

Erect, finely branched & delicate; 3-5 cm tall; side branches <1 mm across; white to cream. 

Common, but patchy; on rocks among red algae & other sessile invertebrates.

Geogr. Range: British Columbia to Baja
Synonyms:
Similar species: Scrupocellaria has a similar branching pattern but is much more robust with thicker branches. Branching hydroids such as Obelia are much more delicate than Crisia.

Image: Diodora aspera (cntr left), Paracyathus (top rt.). Phidolopora pacifica (bottom rt.), Calliostoma ligatum (far left)

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Diaperoforma californica Diaperoforma californica  (d'Orbigny, 1852)
Phylum Bryozoa, Class Stenolaemata, Order Cyclostomatida, Family Diastoporidae

Erect; branches flattened in cross section 2-4 mm across. Pale yellow or tan. Colonies 5-8 cm thick & >30 cm across in some sites.

Moderately common, but patchy in Monterey; provides habitat for many kinds of small motile  invertebrates.

Geogr. Range: British Columbia to Baja
Synonyms: Diaperoecia californica
Similar species: branches of Lagenicella are orange-tan, round in cross section rather than flattened, and more tightly packed.  Celleporella is creamy white & has thicker branches, round in cross section & grows more erect.

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Pherusella brevituba Pherusella brevituba  Soule, 1951
Phylum Bryozoa, Class Gymnolaemata, Order Ctenostomatida, Family Alcyonidiidae

Chitinous leathery folded sheets, tan; forms rounded fan-like encrustations on algae; colony appears fuzzy when zooids' large lophophores are extended.

Common, usually encrusting vegetative fronds of Cystoseira in Monterey region.

Geogr. Range: Monterey Bay(farther north?)  to Baja
Synonyms:
Similar species: Pherusella  is not rigid & brittle like most other common bryozoans; it is the most abundant foliacious bryozoan on algae.

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Bowerbankia Bowerbankia
Phylum Bryozoa, Class Gymnolaemata, Order Ctenostomatida, Family Vesiculariidae

Tiny tubular zooids (<0.5 mm tall) interconnected by basal stolons, growing on algae or as minute branching colonies. Appears as a white fuzz or a very delicate hydroid to unaided eye.

Common but inconspicuous; especially on wharf pilings & other fouling communities.

Geogr. Range: Puget Sound to Gulf of California
Synonyms:
Similar species:  

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Membranipora serrilamella Membranipora serrilamella  Osburn, 1950
Phylum Bryozoa, Class Gymnolaemata, Order Cheilostomatida, Suborder Anascina, Family Membraniporidae

Encrusting on kelp or other algae; colonies translucent white; zooids rectangular with clear frontal membrane.

Abundant but variable in time and space. On kelp blades as well as smaller algae.

Geogr. Range: British Columbia to southern California
Synonyms: previously identified as the European Membranipora membranacea which was only transitory if introduced at all along Pacific coast.
Similar species:  Membranipora fusca occurs on rocks rather than algae and its zooids are pale orange with dark orange or brown edges.

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Membranipora fusca Membranipora fusca  Osburn, 1950
Phylum Bryozoa, Class Gymnolaemata, Order Cheilostomatida, Suborder Anascina, Family Membraniporidae

Encrusting on rocks, colonies orange with darker orange or brownish margins; zooids rectangular with clear frontal membrane & dark orange borders (inset). 

Common but inconspicuous on undersides of rocks & in crevices.

Geogr. Range: northern & central California
Synonyms:
Similar species: Membranipora serrilamella is white & occurs mainly on fronds of kelp & other algae. Celleporella hyalina is white, appears more glassy when not fouled & colonies often have more circular perimeters. Reginella hippocrepis is yellow rather than orange.  However, encrusting bryozoans are difficult to identify in the field & require microscopic examination.

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Bugula neritina Bugula neritina  Linnaeus, 1758
Phylum Bryozoa, Class Gymnolaemata, Order Cheilostomatida, Suborder Anascina, Family Bicellariellidae

Erect bushy colony, 5-8 cm tall;  branches curve slightly inward toward central axis, lightly calcified; dark purple. 

Common in sheltered sites such as wharf pilings, Deep Reef; sporadic in kelp forests in Monterey.

Geogr. Range: Monterey Bay to Baja
Synonyms:
Similar species: Bugula californica is tan, its branches stiffer and arranged in spirals around central axis of colony. Scrupocellaria is tan, its branches are not spirally arranged and are flat, not curved.

Image: Phidolopora (cntr rt.), Metridium farcimen (upper left)

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Bugula calfiornica Bugula californica  Robertson, 1905
Phylum Bryozoa, Class Gymnolaemata, Order Cheilostomatida, Suborder Anascina, Family Bicellariellidae

Erect, bushy, 5-8 cm tall; side branches arranged in distinct spirals around central axis; pale orange to tan.  

Spotty but can be common, on rocks in low intertidal and kelp forest depths; also on wharf pilings.

Geogr. Range: British Columbia to southern California
Synonyms:
Similar species: Scrupocellaria is a similar color but its branches are not spirally arranged.

Image: compound tunicate (Diplosoma?) rt. side

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Scrupocellaria sp. Scrupocellaria spp.
Phylum Bryozoa, Class Gymnolaemata, Order Cheilostomatida, Suborder Anascina, Family Scrupocellariidae

Colony erect & branched, 10 cm tall; branches flattened with two rows of zooids on inward-facing side (biserial); flagella-like vibraculae present. Microscopic examination required to distinguish species.

Moderately common, on rocks with other sessile invertebrates & red algae; also on wharf pilings.

Geogr. Range: British Columbia to Baja
Synonyms:
Similar species: Crisia has a similar branching pattern but is smaller and  more delicate. Bugula californica is less common in kelp forests & its side branches are arranged spirally around its central axes.

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Cellaria mandibulata Cellaria mandibulata  Hincks, 1882
Phylum Bryozoa, Class Gymnolaemata, Order Cheilostomatida, Suborder Anascina, Family Cellariidae

Colony erect & branched, 5-8 cm tall; with dark joints separating sausage-like internodes; giant avicularia with dark mandible (visible only under a microscope). 

Common, but inconspicuous; on rocks among other sessile invertebrates and red algae.

Geogr. Range: British Columbia to Baja
Synonyms:
Similar species: Thalamoporella californica lacks dark joints & occurs more frequently in southern California (rare in Monterey).

Image: Coleopora (middle left), encrusting bryozoan (lower rt.)

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Reginella hippocrepis Reginella hippocrepis  (Hincks, 1882)
Phylum Bryozoa, Class Gymnolaemata, Order Cheilostomatida, Suborder Cribimorphina, Family Cribrilinidae

Encrusting, pale yellow with dark yellow margin. 

Common, but inconspicuous, on rock faces and undersides of cobbles & boulders, usually with other encrusting bryozoans & often partially overgrown by neighboring invertebrates or algae.

Geogr. Range: Alaska to southern California
Synonyms: Lyrula hippocrepis
Similar species: most encrusting bryozoans are very difficult to identify in the field, though few are as yellow as Reginella.

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Celleporella hyalina Celleporella hyalina  (Linnaeus, 1767)
Phylum Bryozoa, Class Gymnolaemata, Order Cheilostomatida, Suborder Ascophorina, Family Hippothoidae

Encrusting colony, usually on red algae. Glassy white; colonies dioecious with larger female feeding zooids and minute dwarf male zooids. 

Very abundant, especially on low-lying red algae such as Rhodymenia.

Geogr. Range: Alaska to Galapagos Islands
Synonyms: Hippothoa hyalina
Similar species: this is a complex of several species; other encrusting bryozoans also occur on red algae, but require microscopic examination to distinguish.

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Celleporella sp. Celleporella sp.
Phylum Bryozoa, Class Gymnolaemata, Order Cheilostomatida, Suborder Ascophorina, Family Hippothoidae

Erect to 10 cm tall; branches circular in cross section 3-5 mm diameter; white or cream. 

Very common, on rocks in areas with moderate to strong water motion.

Geogr. Range: this is an undescribed species of Celleporella
Synonyms:
Similar species: misidentified in many popular sources as Heteropora magna (which is a cyclostome, not a cheilostome).

Image: Celleporina robertsoniae (lower left, upper rt)

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Celleporaria_brunnea Celleporaria brunnea  (Hincks,1884)
Phylum Bryozoa, Class Gymnolaemata, Order Cheilostomatida, Suborder Ascophorina, Family Curculionoidea

Encrusting colony of thick lumpy brown or gray crusts; possess giant interzooecial avicularia with black mandible (only visible under a microscope). 

Common, especially in protected harbors & wharf pilings.

Geogr. Range: Oregon to Ecuador
Synonyms:  Holoporella brunnea
Similar species: .

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Eurystomella bilabiata Eurystomella bilabiata  (Hincks, 1884)
Phylum Bryozoa, Class Gymnolaemata, Order Cheilostomatida, Suborder Ascophorina, Family Eurystomellidae

Encrusting with visible zooids; rose red to pink. 

Common, on rocks, often partially overgrown by other inverts or algae.  Preferred prey of pink hopkinsia nudibranch Okenia rosacea.

Geogr. Range: Alaska to Mexico
Synonyms:
Similar species: only rose-pink encrusting bryozoan in Monterey region. Invasive Watersipora usually grows in foliacious erect sheets, but can be just a crust; it is often darker red to nearly black.

Image: Balanophyllia elegans (right)

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Coleopora gigantea Coleopora gigantea  (Canu & Bassler, 1923)
Phylum Bryozoa, Class Gymnolaemata, Order Cheilostomatida, Suborder Ascophorina, Family Petraliidae

Encrusting with large zooids (1-2 mm) visible to naked eye; aperture round with raised collar-like margin; yellow to pale orange. 

Common but inconspicuous; on rocks.

Geogr. Range: Monterey Bay to Baja
Synonyms:
Similar species: the many orangish-tan encrusting bryozoans are very difficult to distinguish in the field.

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Celleporina robertsoniae Celleporina robertsoniae  (Canu & Bassler, 1923)
Phylum Bryozoa, Class Gymnolaemata, Order Cheilostomatida, Suborder Ascophorina, Family Celleporidae

Forms low rounded knobs 4 cm tall; bright orange. 

Common, on rocks interspersed with other bryozoans and sessile invertebrates.

Geogr. Range: Alaska to Baja
Synonyms: Costazia robertsoniae
Similar species: Lagenicella is more branched & erect (not knob-like), its branches are smaller in diameter, more densely packed, & pale orange or tan rather than bright orange.

Image: Hippoporina insculpta (lower left, middle left); Eudistylia polymorpha (center top); Pisaster giganteus (cntr bottom)

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Lagenicella punctulata Lagenicella punctulata  (Gabb & Horn, 1862)
Phylum Bryozoa, Class Gymnolaemata, Order Cheilostomatida, Suborder Ascophorina,
Family Phylactellidae

Erect branched colony 5 cm tall; branches cylindrical 2-3 mm diameter & densely packed; pale orange or tan. 

Common, on rocks; colony may cover respectable area; interior of colony provides habitat for many different polychaetes, crustaceans, & other small motile invertebrates.

Geogr. Range: British Columbia to Baja
Synonyms: Lagenipora punctulata
Similar species: Celleporella sp. is white, less densely branched with thicker diameters. Celleporina robertsoniae is bright orange, more knob-like and much less branched.

Image: Reginella hippocrepis (upper rt), Celleporina (upper rt corner), Corynactis californica (left, middle rt.)

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Hipporporina insculpta Hippoporina insculpta  (Hincks, 1882)
Phylum Bryozoa, Class Gymnolaemata, Order Cheilostomatida, Suborder Ascophorina,
Family Hippoporinidae

Encrusting base growing into foliacious sheet-like folds; golden brown to orange; no lace-like perforations in colony. 

Common, growing on rocks and encrusting blades of red algae.

Geogr. Range: Alaska to central California
Synonyms: Hippodiplosia insculpta
Similar species: Phidolopora pacifica is orange with obvious perforations in colony, giving it a lacy appearance. Invasive Watersipora has similar growth form but is dark rose red rather than golden brown & is more delicate.

Image: Celleporella sp. (upper rt., lower left),  Crisia sp. (top rt. corner), compound tunicate (Diplosoma?) overgrowing bryozoans

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Phidolopora pacifica Phidolopora pacifica  (Robertson, 1908)
Phylum Bryozoa, Class Gymnolaemata, Order Cheilostomatida, Suborder Ascophorina,
Family Reteporidae

Erect, foliacious, rigid tuft of folded sheets to 10 cm or more across with lace-like perforations throughout colony; bright to pale orange; zooids only on inner faces of folds. 

Abundant, on rocks. Often with juvenile Calliostoma annulatum living on colony.

Geogr. Range: British Columbia to Galapagos Islands
Synonyms:
Similar species: no other foliacious bryozoan in Monterey region has perforations throughout colony.

Image: Lagenicella punctulata (lower left); Paracyathus stearnsi (cup coral)

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Watersipora subtorquata Watersipora subtorquata  (d'Orbigny, 1852)
Phylum Bryozoa, Class Gymnolaemata, Order Cheilostomatida, Suborder Ascophorina,
Family

Encrusting base growing into foliacious folded sheets. Dark red to black; zooecia with large black opercula. Colonies rigid, but fragile; erect portions appear to die back periodically (gray portion in photo).

Increasingly common; fast-growing introduced species; on rocks in kelp forests as well as sheltered sites such as harbors & wharf pilings. 

Geogr. Range: world-wide distribution
Synonyms:
Similar species: Hippoporina insculpta has a similar foliacious growth form, but is golden brown to pale orange rather than deep rose red and is not nearly so fragile as Watersipora.

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Page created by J.M. Watanabe with contributions from Amanda Kahn
All images copyright James Watanabe unless otherwise indicated
Contact:  watanabe_at_stanford_dot_edu                                                                                                                                   Last  update: 30 August 2010