Red-Rust Bryozoan

Watersipora subtorquata

a mass of ruffly red flaps covered in raised dots

Common Name: Red-Rust Bryozoan

Scientific Name: Watersipora subtorquata

Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family: Animalia Bryozoa Gymnolaemata Cheilostomata Watersiporidae

Diet: Filter feeds using oral tentacles that sway in the water to catch micro-organic particles

Habitat: Encrusts on floats, pilings in estuaries and harbors

Range: Found globally in warm seas . Invasive species in Morro Bay

Identification: Red/Orange/black coloration of plate/leaf like structures, large sized pores can be seen on surface of plates, no spines, Juveniles metamorphose

Reproduction: Hermaphrodite (has both female and male reproductive organs), males release sperm into water where it fertilizes other individuals

Fact: The individuals, called “Zooids” live as a colony; on the leafy plates each pore contains a zooid. Watersipora is not native to California and it covers spaces that could otherwise be used by native species. It is common in estuaries on docks and pier pilings

Citations:Osburn, Raymond C. 1952.Cohen, Andrew N. 2011.