PORT PHILLIP BAY


Hydroid 

Plumularia procumbens Keable, 1891

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Family level detail.
Hydroids branched or unbranched, pinnate, usually with alternate hydrocladia, hydrotheca cup-shaped, one nematotheca in front of hydrotheca and one on each side behind hydrotheca. Gonophores protected by a gonotheca female gonophore producing eggs. The family Plumulariidae encompasses many genera and species world-wide, from shallow to deep water. Species range from very small fast growing colonies to large colonies that may live for many years.

Genus level detail.
Colonies pinnate, hydrocladia alternate on stem internodes, each hydrocladium bearing several hydrothecae and divided into segments (Internodes) alternately with and without hydrothecae. Hydrotheca on thecate segment, cup-shaped, with one wine-glass-shaped median nematotheca in front and two (twin laterals) at margin of hydrotheca. Athecate segment Internode with one or more median nematothecae. Gonothecae borne on stem and branches.

Species identification.
Colonies large, arborescent, fan-shaped. Main stem thick, polysiphonic, arising from a fibrous hydrorhiza, stem irregularly branched and rebranched. Hydrocladia very short, about 0.5 mm long, each bearing two or three hydrothecae. Hydrotheca minute, cup-shaped, facing forward, one side fixed to the hydrocladium. Nematothecae wine-glass shaped, one in front of hydrotheca and two (twin laterals), one on each side of the hydrotheca. Gonotheca oval, with a flat summit, borne thickly along the branches. Colour: stem and branches dark greyish brown, gonothecae white. Up to 30 cm high.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Cnidaria
Class:
Hydrozoa
Subclass:
Leptothecatae
Order:
Conica
Family:
Plumulariidae
Genus:
Plumularia
Species:
procumbens

General Description

Colony of individual polyps (hydranths) joined by root-like network of tubular stolons at the base. Colony shaped like a fan. Colour: stem and branches dark greyish brown, gonothecae white. Up to 30 cm high.

Biology

Colonies of this species live for several years. They are fertile in winter. They may also occur in New Zealand but this is yet to be confirmed.

Habitat

Deep reefs in flowing current.

Reefs

Distribution guide

Southern Australia.

Species Group

Hydroids

Depth

Shallow (1-30 m)
Deep ( > 30 m)

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

30 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, Plumularia procumbens, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 18 Dec 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/7134

Text: creative commons cc by licence