PORT PHILLIP BAY


Hydroid 

Halicornopsis elegans (Lamarck, 1816)

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Family level detail.
Colony creeping (stolonal), branched or unbranched, hydrocladia alternate, hydrothecae only on hydrocladia (branches), small, without lateral nematothecae, gonophores with eggs, gonothecae large.

Species identification.
Large multibranched colonies, prolifically and irregularly branched from a main stem, branches up to 2 cm long forming a feathery plumose canopy. Hydrocladia moderately long, bearing a row of hydrothecae. Hydrothecae facing forward along hydrocladium, shallow cup-shaped, margin wide with a large outwardly pointing cusp at each side and a very long, large pointed median cusp over the margin; a septum passing down into the hydrotheca from the margin. Median nematotheca short and blunt, fused to the hydrotheca, orifice wide, level with rim of hydrotheca. Gonothecae small ovate capsules borne in a row along the main stem. Colour: flesh-coloured, sometimes with a tinge of pale green, gonothecae cream. Up to 20 cm high.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Cnidaria
Class:
Hydrozoa
Subclass:
Leptothecatae
Order:
Conica
Family:
Kirchenpaueriidae
Genus:
Halicornopsis
Species:
elegans

General Description

Colony of individual polyps (hydranths) joined by root-like network of tubular stolons at the base. Colony shape is tree-like or bushy (arborescent). Colour: flesh-coloured, sometimes with a tinge of pale green, gonothecae cream. Up to 20 cm high.

Biology

Colonies of this species live for several seasons and are fertile in summer and autumn.

Habitat

Ledges among reefs in strong current flow

Reefs

Distribution guide

Questionably reported from Indian Ocean and New Zealand. Southern Australia.

Species Group

Hydroids

Depth

Shallow (1-30 m)

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

20 cm

Diet

Plankton or Particles

Harmful

Generally not harmful but still able to sting bare skin.

Commercial Species

No

Identify

Conservation Status

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

Author

article author Watson, J.

Jan Watson is a consultant with expertise in hydroid taxonomy.

citation

Cite this page as:
Watson, J., 2011, Hydroid, Halicornopsis elegans, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 27 Apr 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/7128

Text: creative commons cc by licence