No common name

Fritillaria borealis

ORDER Copelata

FAMILY Fritillaridae

TAXONOMY

Fritillaria borealis (Lohmann, 1896), Irminger Sea.

OTHER COMMON NAMES None known.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Body length to 0.2 in (4.5 mm) (trunk, 0.06 in [1.5 mm]; tail, 0.1 in [3 mm]). Distinguished from other appendicularians by connection of the tail at the midpoint of the trunk. The tail is the only part that is entirely inside the very small house.

DISTRIBUTION

Cosmopolitan in epipelagic zone (less than 656 ft [200 m]). (Specific distribution map not available.)

HABITAT

One of the most common appendicularians worldwide. BEHAVIOR

The house is small and encloses only the tail and part of the trunk. When the tail stops moving, the house collapses on the body. Once the animal floats away, the tail starts moving again, inflating the house. Filter feeding continues in a new area.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Filters only the smallest particles out of the water (less than 0.0004 in [1 pm]).

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

These hermaphrodites release sperm first then release eggs by rupturing their body wall, a process that results in the death of the animal.

CONSERVATION STATUS Not listed by the IUCN.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

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