Electra crustulenta   (Pallas,  1766) (Bryozoan)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Gymnolaemata

Image copyrights: Hans Kleef and Peter Tydeman

Clump of Electra crustulenta from brackish pools.

Size (Zooecium): Length 480 µ; breadth 230 µ

Encrusting. Colonies appear as light brownish patches with numerous pinkish spots. Zoarium shows a definite pattern of growth even though the regularity is lost as growth proceeds. Zooecia arranged in regular rows, but the normal arrangement may be upset as a result of crowding. Mural rim finely granulated. Gymnocyst present, slightly developed. Cryptocyst granulated with internally directed small tubercles, the shape of which varies from blunt when young to slightly pointed as zooids attain age. The distal region of the zooecia raised so as to over arch the proximal part of the succeeding one. Opesia elongated oval. Operculum chitinized, the marginal sclerite brownish in hue. The pharyngeal region with a pink colored area, which gives the colony a characteristic, spotted appearance. Cyphonautes seems to be present.

Electra crustulenta is a species which shows variations in most of its important characters such as the mode of spreading, the dimensions of the zooecia, the nature of the operculum and the cryptocyst. A close study of Borg’s work (1931) showed that most of these variations were based or dependent on the habitat of this species. Borg had come to the conclusion that the brackish water form in comparison with the marine forms shows “a) distinctly shorter cystids, b) a rather less degree of calcification, c) a very slightly developed cryptocyst, d) an operculum, the calcification of which becomes gradually thinner, above all in its distal part, or is lacking, the operculum instead being chitinized.”

Hermaphroditic. Reproduction may be sexual and asexual; bryozoan colonies consist of replicated series of zooids, each budded asexually from a predecessor. The founding zooid metamorphoses from the sexually produced larva.

Synonym (s)
Eschara crustulenta Pallas, 1766
Electra crustulenta Borg, 1931
Electra crustulenta Osburn, 1950
Electra crustulenta Menon and Nair, 1967
Electra crustulenta Menon and Nair, 1975
Electra crustulenta (Pallas, 1776)
(Senior synonym)
Eschara crustulenta Pallas, 1776
(Senior synonym)
Membranipora crustulenta (Pallas, 1776)
(Senior synonym)

Common Name (s)
Economic Importance and Threats

Habitat:  Benthic, Estuarine
Trophic Level:  Consumer
Prey:  Small microorganisms, including diatoms and other unicellualr algae
Predator:  Grazing organisms such as sea urchins and fish


• Kerala, Kochi Harbour (Lat: 9.96) (Long: 76.24) INDIA (Record: 1963, 1964, 1965)

Literature Source(s)
  • Menon, NR and Menon, NN (2006) Taxonomy of Bryozoa from the Indian EEZ. A monograph Ocean Science and Technology Cell on Marine Benthos, Kochi and Centre for Marine Living resources and Ecology, Kochi 263 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at - http://www.marinespecies.org
  • MarLIN: Marine life information network Biology and sensitivity key information sub-programme [on-line] Available at - http://www.marlin.ac.uk/
  • Menon, NR and Nair, NB (1967) The ectoproctous bryozoans of the Indian waters Journal of the marine biological association of India The marine biological association of India 9(2) 430-432 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Menon, NR and Nair, NB (1975) Indian species of malacostega (polyzoa, ectoproacta) Journal of the marine biological association of India The marine biological association of India 17(3) 553-579 Available at - NIO, Goa

Page last updated on:2013-04-11

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