Broad sea fan

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Broad sea fan
Eunicella verrucosa.JPG
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Cnidaria
Class: Anthozoa
Order: Alcyonacea
Suborder: Holaxonia
Family: Gorgoniidae
Genus: Eunicella
Species: E. verrucosa
Binomial name
Eunicella verrucosa
(Pallas, 1766)[2]

Eunicella verrucosa, the broad sea fan, pink sea fan or warty gorgonian, is a species of colonial Gorgonian "soft coral" in the Gorgoniidae family. It is native to the northeastern Atlantic Ocean and the western Mediterranean Sea.

Description[edit]

Eunicella verrucosa has a densely branching, fan-like stem and usually grows in a single plane. It orientates itself at right angles to the direction of water movement and can grow to a height of 50 cm (20 in), although 25 cm (10 in) is a more usual size. Stems and branches are covered with wart-like growths from which the polyps protrude. The colour can vary from red, through pink to white.[3]

Distribution[edit]

Eunicella verrucosa is native to the northeastern Atlantic and the western Mediterranean Sea.[2] Its range extends from the southwestern coasts of Britain and Ireland to France, Spain, Italy, Algeria, Morocco, Western Sahara and Mauritania.[1] It is found growing on rock, timber, metal or concrete and its depth range is 4 to 50 metres (13 to 164 ft).[4] In British waters this sea fan has become scarcer, possibly being damaged by dredging or because of higher seawater temperatures.[5]

Biology[edit]

Eunicella verrucosa is usually orientated at right angles to the direction of water flow across the colony. The polyps expand and spread out their tentacles to feed. The nutrients are passed to other parts of the colony through the internal channels connecting the polyps.[6]

Reproduction in Eunicella verrucosa has been little studied. The planula larvae are likely to be lecithotrophic (sustained by a yolk-sac) and able to drift for a short time before settling on the seabed where they develop into polyps and found new colonies. The growth rate of colonies varies; in Lyme Bay in southern Britain, some colonies grew by 6 cm (2 in) in one year while in another year, did not grow at all.[7] The sea fan anemone (Amphianthus dohrnii) is often found living on Eunicella verrucosa.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b World Conservation Monitoring Centre (1996). "Eunicella verrucosa". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 2014-12-14. 
  2. ^ a b Eunicella verrucosa (Pallas, 1766).  Retrieved through: World Register of Marine Species.
  3. ^ Hiscock, Keith (2007). "Pink sea fan - Eunicella verrucosa - General information". MarLIN. Retrieved 2014-12-14. 
  4. ^ Hiscock, Keith (2007). "Pink sea fan - Eunicella verrucosa - Habitat preferences and distribution". MarLIN. Retrieved 2014-12-14. 
  5. ^ Hiscock, Keith; Southward, Alan; Tittley, Ian; Hawkins, Stephen (2004). "Effects of changing temperature on benthic marine life in Britain and Ireland". Aquatic conservation 14 (4): 333–362. doi:10.1002/aqc.628. 
  6. ^ Dumas, Jacques; Maran, Vincent; Ader, Denis; Huet, Sylvie (2014-04-30). "Eunicella verrucosa (Pallas, 1766)". DORIS (in French). Retrieved 2014-12-18. 
  7. ^ Hiscock, Keith (2007). "Pink sea fan - Eunicella verrucosa - Reproduction and longevity". MarLIN. Retrieved 2014-12-14. 
  8. ^ "Sea-fan anemone Amphianthus dohrnii". ARKive. Retrieved 2014-12-13. 

External links[edit]