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Lagenischara lyrulata (Calvet, 1909)

provided by British Antarctic Survey

Description

Dark yellow to brown in colour. Like other bioconstructor species L. lyrulata changes from encrusting to erect foliaceous colonies, up to 1m in diameter. It is the only Antarctic species in its genus. It has a distinctive high collar around the tentacle hole, which gives the colony a dimpled impression.

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Species details

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Species distribution

25m to deep water, on hard substrates. It is widely distributed south of 60°S in the Southern Ocean.

L. lyrulata forms major structures which trap sediment such that as well as harbouring terebellid polychaetes and sea cucumbers, colonies also contain many burrowing species. It is a good competitor for space against other bryozoans. L. lyrulata (suspension) feeds on phytoplankton for just six months of the year (one of the shortest periods amongst bryozoans). It is probably eaten by the nudibranch mollusc Pseudotritonia gracilidens as well as by pycnogonans

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