Hairy sea-mat

Hairy sea-mat

Distribution in scandinavian waters

Maximum length: The colonies can be as large as several centimetres. Individuals, who grow inside a secreted case called a zooecium, can be as small as 0,5 mm.
Appearance: The thin, but hard chalky colonies of sea-mat are easily recognized when they have grown so large that they build a star-formed splat. They are usually silver-white in colour. The zooeciums are rounded and around the edges of these openings are hairs. Sometimes the anterior hairs can be as long as 1mm. On such occasions it seems as though the colony consists of a lot of bristles. Colonies that grow around cylindrical algae usually have the longest bristles.
    Compare the hairy sea-mat with the common sea-mat and other closely related sea-mats.
Depth: 0-70 m.
Environment: Hairy sea-mats are found on amongst other things algae, cliffs, rocks, and shells.
Misc: Hairy sea-mats catch and eat particles that are suspended in the water. There are very few creatures that prey on the sea-mats, but certain sea-spiders, sea urchins and nudibranchs do.
    The hairy sea-mat does not usually occur in areas with low salinity (brackish). In such areas they are usually replaced by the closely related Electra crustulenta, which is quite common even in the Gulf of Bothnia.
Classification: The hairy sea-mat is a member of the sea-mat group.

Hairy sea-mat     Other names

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Bo Johannesson | Martin Larsvik | Lars-Ove Loo | Helena Samuelsson