PORT PHILLIP BAY


Lace Coral 

Mucropetraliella ellerii (MacGillivray, 1869)

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

A microscope is usually required to identify bryozoans to species level.

Source:
Wilson, R., Norman, M. and Syme, A. (2007) An introduction to marine life. Museum Victoria, Melbourne.
Museum Victoria (2006) Melbourne's wildlife: a guide to the fauna of Greater Melbourne. CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Bryozoa
Class:
Gymnolaemata
Order:
Cheilostomata
Suborder:
Ascophorina
Infraorder:
Lepraliomorpha
Superfamily:
Schizoporelloidea
Family:
Petraliellidae
Genus:
Mucropetraliella
Species:
ellerii

General Description

A flat encrusting sheet-like colony of tiny individual animals (zooids). Bright red to orange. Colony up to about 2 cm wide.

Biology

Madrella sanguinea, a small nudibranch, feeds on these colonies and is often found nearby. Bryozoan colonies like this species feed using a circlet of tentacles (lophophore) which filters the water. Most bryozoans are hermaphrodites, either containing separate female and male zooids in the colony, or containing both sexes within the one zooid. Colonies can grow quickly and thus some species can be a pest if they foul hulls of ships or the wooden structures of piers.

Habitat

Tidal pools and shallow subtidal waters. commonly attached to algae stems or reef, to depth of 5 m.

Reefs

Coastal shores

Seagrass meadows

Species Group

Lace corals

Depth

Shore (0-1 m)
Shallow (1-30 m)

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

2 cm

Diet

Plankton or particles

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Recorded in Australia

Conservation Status

  • DSE Advisory List : Not listed
  • EPBC Act 1999 : Not listed
  • IUCN Red List : Not listed

Author

article author Patullo, B.

Blair Patullo is Online Producer for marine projects at Museum Victoria.

citation

Cite this page as:
Patullo, B., 2011, Lace Coral, Mucropetraliella ellerii, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 25 Mar 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/6095

Text: creative commons cc by licence