Hydrocorella africana

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Hydrocorella africana
Hydrocorella africana9.jpg
shell-mimic hydroid on shell occupied by pink hermit crab
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Cnidaria
Class: Hydrozoa
Subclass: Leptolinae
Order: Anthomedusae
Family: Hydractiniidae
Genus: Hydrocorella
Species: H. africana
Binomial name
Hydrocorella africana
Stechow, 1921

Hydrocorella africana, the shell-mimic hydroid, is a small colonial encrusting hydroid in the family Hydractiniidae.[1]

Description[edit]

Shell-mimic hydroids grow as calcified colonies of 0.5-2cm thick on shells of living snails. The colony has a pale chalky skeleton and cream to orange hydranths (feeding individuals).[2]

Distribution[edit]

This colonial animal is found only off the South African coast from the west coast to Durban subtidally and to 500m under water.[2]

Ecology[edit]

After the death of the mollusc the colony may continue growing in an open spiral. The colony often develops into spines and outgrowths, growing to such an extent that the colonised shell becomes unrecognisable.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://marinespecies.org/aphia.php?p=taxdetails&id=290160 accessed 14 August 2013
  2. ^ a b c Millard, N.A.H. 1975. Monograph on the Hydroida of Southern Africa. Ann. S. Afr. Mus. 68:1-513