Back to 
Animals 
Back to
Ectoprocta
Back to Alphabetized
Species List

Back to Completed Reports List

 

Species Name:    Amathia vidovici
Common Name:                  (None)

 

I.  TAXONOMY

Kingdom Phylum/Division: Class: Order: Family: Genus:
Animalia Ectoprocta Gymnolaemata Ctenostomata Vesiculariidae Amathia

    
Growth pattern of Amathia vidovici.  Drawing by J. Winston, courtesy of American Museum of Natural History.  
Used with permission.

Species Name:

Amathia vidovici (Heller), 1867

Common Name:
None

Species Description:
A. vidovici is an arborescent bryozoan that forms branching, semi-erect colonies. Stolons in this species are wider than in A. distans and measure approximately 0.13 - 0.20 mm. Zooids measure approximately 0.4 mm in height, and are connected to the stolon for only part of their length.

 
They are arranged in small clumps of 4 - 8 pairs and turn partially around the axis of the stolon at the distal (far) end. The proximal (near) end of the stolon often remains bare. Color is from white to tan, with light chitinization apparent.

Synonymy:
None

Other Taxonomic Groupings:
Suborder: Carnosa
Superfamily: Vesicularioidea

Potentially Misidentified Species:
Superficially resembles Amathia distans, but has a wider stolon with somewhat stiffer branches.


II.  HABITAT AND DISTRIBUTION 
Regional Occurrence:
A. vidovici is highly cosmopolitan and occurs in the western Atlantic from Massachusetts south to the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. In the Pacific Ocean, it occurs from California to the Galapagos Islands. It is also found in the Mediterranean, the eastern Atlantic, and the Indian Ocean.

IRL Distribution:
A. vidovici is found year-round in the Indian River Lagoon between Sebastian and Ft. Pierce Inlets. Coastally it has been collected at Seminole Shores and other sites. It is also commonly observed in the spring attached to the Rhodophyte Solieria tenera in the Sebastian seagrass flats.


III.  LIFE HISTORY AND POPULATION BIOLOGY
Age, Size, Lifespan:
Individual zooids measure approximately 0.4 mm in height. Stolons are wider than those of A. distans and measure 0.3 - 0.20 mm.

Abundance:
A. vidovici is one of the most abundant bryozoans in the Indian River Lagoon (Winston 1995). It is most common in the winter months.

Locomotion:
Sessile

Embryology:
The embryology of A. alternata is unknown.


IV.  PHYSICAL TOLERANCES
Temperature:
As a highly cosmopolitan species, A. vidovici is considered to be eurythermal.

Salinity:
A. vidovici was typically collected in areas where salinity exceeded 30 (Winston 1995).


V.  COMMUNITY ECOLOGY
Trophic Mode:
A. vidovici, like all bryozoans, is a suspension feeder. Each individual zooid in a colony has ciliated tentacles that are extended to filter phytoplankton less than 0.045 mm in size (about 1/1800 of an inch) from the water column. Bullivant (1967; 1968) showed that the average individual zooid in a colony can clear 8.8 ml of water per day.

Habitats:
Typical habitat for ectoprocts in the Indian River Lagoon include seagrasses, drift algae, oyster reef, dock, pilings, breakwaters, and man-made debris (Winston 1995). A. vidovici occurring in the IRL were collected from rocks, seagrasses and algae.

Associated Species:
Seagrasses as well as floating macroalgae, provide support for bryozoan colonies. In turn, bryozoans provide habitat for many species of juvenile fishes and their invertebrate prey such as polychaete worms, amphipods and copepods. (Winston 1995).

Bryozoans are also found in association with other species that act as support structures: mangrove roots, oyster beds, mussels, etc.


VI.  SPECIAL STATUS
Special Status:
None.

Benefit in IRL:
Bryozoans are ecologically important in the Indian River Lagoon due to their feeding method. As suspension feeders, they act as living filters in the marine environment. For example, Winston (1995) reported that bryozoan colonies located in 1 square meter of seagrass bed could potentially filter and recirculate an average of 48,000 gallons of seawater per day.

Economic Importance:
None.

 

Report by:  K. Hill, Smithsonian Marine Station
Submit additional information, photos or comments to:
irl_webmaster@si.edu
Page last updated: July 25,  2001