Heteropora pacifica Borg, 1933
Common name(s): Northern staghorn bryozoan
|Synonyms: Heteropora magna?|
Phylum Bryozoa (Ectoprocta)
|Heteropora pacifica from 20 m depth, Coffin Rocks|
|(Photo by: Dave Cowles, July 2005)|
How to Distinguish from Similar Species: Heteropora magna (considered by many to be another form of this species) is usually colored gray-purple and the branches rarely anastomose. The zooecia protrude slightly, if at all, above the colony. An Alaskan species, H. alaskensis (formerly H. pacifica var alaskensis), grows to only 1.6 cm high and has branches 2 mm in diameter.
Geographical Range: Alaska to Central CA
Depth Range: Very low intertidal to 27 m. Mostly subtidal.
Habitat: Attached to rocks, mainly in areas of brisk water action
Biology/Natural History: This bryozoan
could easily be mistaken for a coral or hydrocoral. Many consider
pacifica and H. magna to be simply different forms of the same
species. The tips of the branches evidently have live
and the green color elsewhere may be due to unicelluler algae.
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O'Clair and O'Clair, 1998
General Notes and Observations: Locations,
abundances, unusual behaviors:
This photo of a small colony shows some of the individual zooids
This closer view of the colony shows the live zooids at the tip of a branch extending their lophophores.
An underwater photo by Kirt Onthank, July 2007