Membranipora membranacea

Membranipora membranacea

Size: Colony to 20+ cm

Distribution: Unknown. One known record in SA; Port Noarlunga

Habitat: On macroalgae, particularly Ecklonia fronds

Depth: Mid intertidal to shallow subtidal

Membranipora membranacea

This globally occurring species is now thought to be a species complex, present in most non-tropical regions. In South Australia, it encrusts Ecklonia radiata kelp and other similar species, where it radiates out in a circular growth pattern. Although thinly encrusting, colonies can become quite extensive. Its zooids are roughly rectangular, and extend all the way to the edge of the colony, with no real growth margin present. Of all the bryozoans that encrust kelp, it has a distinctive appearance and is unlikely to be mistaken for another species.