|Jointed hydroid with reproductive bodies|
Thuiaria articulata, the jointed hydroid or sea spleenwort, is a branching colonial hydroid in the family Sertulariidae.
Hydrozoa are a taxonomic class of individually very small, predatory animals, some solitary and some colonial, most living in salt water. The colonies of the colonial species can be large, and in some cases the specialized individual animals cannot survive outside the colony. A few genera within this class live in fresh water. Hydrozoans are related to jellyfish and corals and belong to the phylum Cnidaria.
Family is one of the eight major hierarcical taxonomic ranks in Linnaean taxonomy; it is classified between order and genus. A family may be divided into subfamilies, which are intermediate ranks between the ranks of family and genus. The official family names are Latin in origin; however, popular names are often used: for example, walnut trees and hickory trees belong to the family Juglandaceae, but that family is commonly referred to as being the "walnut family".
Sertulariidae is a family of hydrozoans.
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.
Vema Seamount is a seamount in the South Atlantic Ocean. Discovered in 1959 by a ship with the same name, it lies 1,600 kilometres (1,000 mi) from Tristan da Cunha and 1,000 kilometres (620 mi) northwest of Cape Town. The seamount has a flat top at a mean depth of 73 metres which was eroded into the seamount at a time when sea levels were lower; the shallowest point lies at 26 metres depth. The seamount was formed between 15-11 million years ago, possibly by a hotspot.
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:
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Halichondria panicea, commonly known as the breadcrumb sponge, is a species of marine demosponge belonging to the family Halichondriidae. This is an abundant sponge of coastal areas of the North Atlantic and the Mediterranean Sea ranging from the intertidal zone to a recorded depth of over 550 m. It is also found in the intertidal zone of the coast of the northern part of the North Island of New Zealand. It is very tolerant of a wide range of coastal habitats, including strong currents, high salinity and exposure to powerful wave action. Its only requirement is a rocky substrate which can include small cobbles.
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.
Obelia longissima is a colonial species of hydrozoan in the order Leptomedusae. Its hydroid form grows as feathery stems resembling seaweed from a basal stolon. It is found in many temperate and cold seas world-wide but is absent from the tropics.
The tubular sponge hydroid is a species of hydroid cnidarian. It is a member of the family Tubulariidae.
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Hydractinia altispina, or high-spined commensal hydroid, is a small colonial hydroid in the family Hydractiniidae.
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Stylaster nobilis, the noble coral, is a branching colonial hydroid in the family Stylasteridae.
The planar hydroid is a branching colonial hydroid in the family Sertulariidae.
Corhiza scotiae, the fine hydroid, is a delicate colonial hydroid in the family Halopterididae.
Gattya humilis, the snowdrop hydroid, is a delicate colonial hydroid in the family Halopterididae.
Pycnotheca mirabilis, The feathery hydroid, is a colonial hydroid in the family Kirchenpaueriidae. Feathery hydroids are often white and grow in crowded colonies resembling upright feathers. The stems may grow to 3 cm in total height. The reproductive bodies are found at the base of the stems and resemble beehives.
Macrorhynchia filamentosa, the smoky feather hydroid, is a colonial hydroid in the family Aglaopheniidae.
Clathria prolifera, commonly known as red beard sponge, is a species of demosponge 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.
Ectopleura larynx, or ringed tubularia, is a hydroid in the family Tubulariidae.
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.
Halecium muricatum, commonly known as the sea hedgehog hydroid, is a species of hydrozoan in the family Haleciidae. It occurs mainly in arctic and northern temperate waters, in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
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