|Jointed hydroid with reproductive bodies|
Thuiaria articulata, the jointed hydroid or sea spleenwort, is a branching colonial hydroid in the family Sertulariidae.
Jointed hydroids look like a child's drawing of a Christmas tree. They have an upright stem with side branches that emerge in pairs and extend upwards from the 'trunk'. The branches all grow in one plane. The colony is usually 4–8 cm in total height but may grow to 22 cm.
This colonial animal is found off the length of the South African coast down to 135m under water. It is also found at Vema Seamount.
Jointed hydroids live in sheltered areas and are common on the southern Cape coast. The reproductive bodies are ovoid with a distinct depression in their apex.
The following species are considered synonyms of Thuiaria articulata:
Nucella squamosa, common name the scaly dogwhelk, is a species of sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Muricidae, the murex snails or rock snails.
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Clathria prolifera, commonly known as red beard sponge, is a species of sea sponge in the family Microcionidae. It is native to shallow water habitats in the western Atlantic Ocean from Prince Edward Island southwards to Florida and Mexico, and possibly Brazil. In the twentieth century it also became established on the west coast of the United States.
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Plumapathes pennacea is a species of black coral in the order Antipatharia. It is found in the tropical Indian, Pacific and Atlantic Oceans in deep reef habitats where it forms part of a biologically diverse community.
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