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Sycozoa sigillinoides Lesson, 1830

provided by British Antarctic Survey

Description

Usually white-brown in colour. This clearly stalked animal varies from a few to about 10cm long – the stalk is about 5mm diameter. The species is quite flexible and soft to touch, though the lower stalk is more firm and ‘plasticy’. The near transparent zooids can clearly be seen arranged around the common terminal cloaca. Similar species include Sycozoa gaimardi which is known from the magellanic and northern Antarctic Peninsula regions.

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Species details

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Species distribution

15m to deep water, on hard substrates from Tierra del Fuego and the Falkland Islands to Subantarctic, Scotia Arc, Antarctic Peninsula and probably Continental Antarctic coasts.

There are probably other Antarctic species in this genus, or this species may really be several cryptic species. Colonies are usually found attached to other animals, such as sponges, erect bryozoans, large ascidians, brachiopod shells but they do also occur on rock. They are suspension feeders and eat phytoplankton.
A number of stalks can be seen with the heads chewed off though their predators are not known.

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