Medusiform sea daisy

Xyloplax medusiformis

ORDER Peripodida

FAMILY Xyloplacidae

TAXONOMY

Xyloplax medusiformis Baker, Rowe, and Clark, 1986.

OTHER COMMON NAMES None known.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Body is disc-like, slightly inflated, up to 0.31 in (7.8 mm) body diameter or 0.35 in (9 mm) including peripheral spines. Abacti-nal (dorsal) plates imbricate outwards towards the margin of the body. The peripheral spines are of one size group—length 40-75 pm; 10-30 mouth frame ossicles present; no stomach, instead an oral velum is supported by the mouth frame ossicles.

DISTRIBUTION

East and west coasts of New Zealand.

HABITAT

Found only on sunken wood in deep water (below 3,470 ft [1,057 m]).

BEHAVIOR Nothing is known.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Food (dissolved organic material) absorbed through velum. Bacteria may be held associated with ventral surface and may release radicals that would dissolve through the velum. Organic materials would be released by decomposing sunken wood which also would be subject to boring organisms (i.e., mol-lusks), resulting in detritus being made available to the sea daisies.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Dioecious and sexually dimorphic, reproduction is non-placental, viviparous, and intra-ovarian.

CONSERVATION STATUS Not listed by the IUCN.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

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