Thuiaria articulata

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Thuiaria articulata
Jointed hydroid9.jpg
Jointed hydroid with reproductive bodies
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Cnidaria
Class: Hydrozoa
Order: Leptothecata
Family: Sertulariidae
Genus: Thuiaria
Species:T. articulata
Binomial name
Thuiaria articulata
(Pallas, 1766)

Thuiaria articulata, the jointed hydroid or sea spleenwort, is a branching colonial hydroid in the family Sertulariidae. [1]

Hydrozoa class of cnidarians

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 family of cnidarians

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. [2]


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. [2]

Vema Seamount A seamount in the South Atlantic east of Cape Town

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. [2]


The following species are considered synonyms of Thuiaria articulata: [1]

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  1. 1 2 accessed 16 August 2013
  2. 1 2 3 Branch, G.M., Branch, M.L, Griffiths, C.L. and Beckley, L.E. 2010. Two Oceans: a guide to the marine life of southern Africa ISBN   978-1-77007-772-0