Daily Invader

Chesapeake Bay Bryozoans

 
Bryozoan Bugula 'neritina'

 

Bugula 'neritina' is a widespread fouling species complex discovered in the Bay in 2000. 

 

 

 

 

Bryozoa are filter feeders that collect food using a crown of tentacles. Bugula ‘neritina’ are colonial bryozoan whose individuals, called zooids, all work together to make the colony function as a single organism. Some zooids are responsible to collecting food while others are tasked with defense or reproduction. The name currently applies to a group of similar species, which are nearly identical in appearance but different genetically. Bugula ‘neritina’ are often transported on the hulls of ships, which is a likely reason for their wide distribution. They were first discovered in Chesapeake Bay during fouling surveys conducted in 2000 and 2001 in Kiptopeke, VA on the Eastern shore at the mouth of the Bay. We don’t know when they arrived or from where but they weren’t seen in early surveys conducted at the mouth of the Bay in the 1930s and 1940s. In addition to the Chesapeake, this group was recently found in many locations along the East Coast including Delaware Bay, Long Island Sound, Narragansett Bay, and the Gulf of Maine, as well as temperate waters of Europe, the West Coast, Australia, and New Zealand. Complete Record  

 

Bryozoan Hippoporina indica

 

This is a microscopic view of Hippoporina indica, a colonial encrusting bryozoan transported on the bottom of boats.

 

 

 

Hippoporina indica is an encrusting bryozoan, filter feeders that collect food using a crown of tentacles. This bryozoan, like most, is colonial, meaning it is made up of individuals, called zooids (each 'shoe' in the image is a zooid), that work together to make the colony function as a single organism. Each zooid in the colony has a distinct role; some are responsible for collecting food, others are responsible for defense or reproduction. They are called encrusting bryozoans because they form a hard crust that grows on hard substrates such as docks or the bottoms of boats. The species H.indica was described in two different countries about the same time, Bombay, India (1978) and Hong Kong, China (1968). Outside the Indo-West-Pacific region it was seen for the first time in 2001 at 3 sites in lower Chesapeake Bay (Norfolk, Willoughby Bay and Virginia Beach, VA). In Chesapeake Bay it appears to be rare but in other areas including Florida and Texas, it is more abundant and may contribute to fouling of ships, docks, and power plants. Complete Record

 

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