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Membraniporopsis tubigerum
Image courtesy of Dennis Gordon, National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research (NIWA), New Zealand. Image is from Gordon et al. (2006) and shows a whole erect frond of M. tubigerum with the tapering attachment point indicated.
Membraniporopsis tubigerum
Taxonomic Group: Bryozoans


Membraniporopsis tubigerum initially forms encrusting, circular colonies, but as it grows it produces erect, lightly calcified two-layered fronds. It was first described from Florida, Texas and Puerto Rico, but as suggested by other authors, we suspect that it may be native to the Northwest Pacific where it was reported from the Sea of Japan, Russia. Introduced populations have been reported in Uruguay, Brazil, Australia and New Zealand. The preferred habitat of M. tubigerum is unclear – it has been found on fouling plates and on algal fronds, but is most often seen in immense drifts washing ashore on sandy beaches. In New Zealand and South America, this species can clog fishing nets and disturb the aesthetic of recreational beaches when it washes up in large, smelly masses.

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Fofonoff PW, Ruiz GM, Steves B, Simkanin C, & Carlton JT (2018)
National Exotic Marine and Estuarine Species Information System.
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Marine Invasions Lab
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