Ectopleura crocea (Agassiz, 1862)
Ectopleura crocea, also commonly known as Pinauay or Tubularia crocea, is a hydrozoan which lacks a medusa stage. Its colonies grow from branching stolons, in tangled masses up to 100-120 mm in height, and consist of up to several hundred unbranched stems, with one hydranth per stalk. The perisarc is wrinkled, with a few annulations, but there are no joints in the stalk. The hydranth is vase-shaped, with a long hypostome. The tentacles are threadlike, in two whorls of 20-24 each. The proximal-whorl tentacles are larger and longer than those in the distal whorl. The female gonophores are carried on 12-16 blastostyles, hanging below the tentacles. The female gonophores produce eggs, which develop into planktonic actinula larvae, resembling miniature hydranths, usually with four tentacles. Production of these larvae may vary regionally - being rare (West Coast, Fraser 1937) or frequent (Chesapeake Bay, Calder 1971). The male gonophores are oval or spherical, without apical processes. The body of the hydranth is pink (description from: Fraser 1937; Calder 1971; Watson 1999; Schuchert 2010).
The correct genus name for this hydroid is disputed. Marques and Migotto (2000) published a cladistic analysis of the genus Ectopleura which supported the monophyly of the genus, but found that genus consisted of two subclades, and put several widespread species, including E. larynx, E. crocea and E. marina, into a new genus, Pinauay. Schuchert (2010) considers the split to be unjustified. Imazu et al. (2014) review the taxonomy and distribution of this hydroid, using the name E. crocea. They tentatively support the synonymy of Western Atlantic E. crocea, with E. ralphi, described from Australia, based on Brazilian specimens, but suggest that worldwide morphological and genetic comparisons are needed.
West Coast on open shores (Mills et al., in Carlton 2007)