Typical growth pattern is to form small, encrusting groups of 1/2 inch polyps
which often do not appear to be connected. Algae, sponges and other
organisms overgrow colonies, making polyps somewhat inconspicuous. This
species is often found in dark recesses. Color ranges from red-brown to
yellow-brown. Grows to depths of 100 feet; however, it is most
commonly found in water less than 60 feet deep.
II. HABITAT AND
P. americana occurs along the
Florida coast and throughout the West Indies. It may also occur to North
Carolina, but this extent of its range is questionable.
P. americana is typically found on nearshore reefs off coastal Florida,
and around inlet areas throughout the Indian River Lagoon.
III. LIFE HISTORY AND POPULATION BIOLOGY
Age, Size, Lifespan:
Typical cup diameter size for Phyllangia
americana is 10 mm (1/2 inch).
Phyllangia americana is considered common on ledges in Indian River
Lagoon Inlets and the Intracoastal Waterway.
IV. PHYSICAL TOLERANCES
Temperatures recorded for Phyllangia
americana occurring in nearshore reefs off Fort Pierce, FL ranged from 13 -
31 °C and averaged 24.6 °C.
Salinites at in nearshore reefs off coastal Florida ranged from 26 - 36.4
ppt. In the Indian River Lagoon, minimum salinity recorded for P.
americana was 15 ppt.
V. COMMUNITY ECOLOGY
Phyllangia americana occurs on rock ledges as well as bases of dead Oculina
reefs. It can occur at depths from 2 - 3 m to more than 80 m, and can withstand
moderate wave exposure in shallow locations.
VI. SPECIAL STATUS
Report by: J. Dineen,
Smithsonian Marine Station
with thanks to J. Reed, HBOI
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Page last updated: July 25, 2001