Aglaophenia sp is
a large benthic,
with a distinctive pinnate
growth form. Its polyps
have a hydrotheca
into which they can withdraw. The perisarc
margins on the hydrotheca
are toothed and the hydrotheca
is deeper than wide and attached directly to the main hydroid
has no operculum.
are within corbulae,
which occur in series on some branches of the hydroid and can readily
seen without magnification (they look like small clusters of eggs
on the hydroid (photo).
Plumes may be up to
15 cm long.
Aglaophenia sp. (probably latirostris
Common name(s): Ostrich plume hydroid
|Aglaophenia sp. colony collected at
5 m depth off Sares Head.
|(Photo by: Dave Cowles,
How to Distinguish from
There are several species of Aglaophenia, which
need more systematic
work. Cladocarpus has gonophores
which are on slender branches instead of within corbulae.
The genus Aglaophenia has hydroids with sessile nematophores,
with toothed margins, and gonophores
enclosed in basketlike corbulae
made of overlapping leaf-like structures.
Canada to San Diego, CA.
Rocky subtidal habitats,
especially where exposed to current.
This hydroid retains
containing male and female gonophores
look slightly different. The medusae,
which are highly modified, release eggs and sperm (the eggs are
in the female medusae
until fertilization, and it is the planula
that is released). The planula
larva settles to the bottom, crawls for awhile, and grows into a new
Caprellid "skeleton shrimp" and pycnogonids can often be found climbing
on hydroids such as this species.
and Fairbanks, 1966
and Carlton, 1975
and Laurent, 1979
and Snook, 1955
et al., 1980
et al., 1985
General Notes and
Observations: Locations, abundances,
A closer view of two Aglaophenia plumes.
The upper plume
has corbulae with the reproductive gonophores.
This closeup of a plume shows the individual polyps
in their hydrothecae
(note some polyps are open and actively feeding while others are
The large structures are a string of corbulae
with the reproductive gonophores
(and captive medusae) inside.
Authors and Editors of Page:
Dave Cowles (2006): Created original page