No common name

Paracoryne huvei

ORDER Capitata

FAMILY

Paracorynidae

TAXONOMY

Paracoryne huvei Picard, 1957, Mediterranean coast of France.

OTHER COMMON NAMES None known.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Stolonal colonies with encrusting hydrorhizae composed of naked coenosarc, with gastrozooids, dactylozooids, and gono-zooids; gastrozooids with 12-26 tentacles irregularly distributed in four verticils at distal half; dactylozooids large, without tentacles or mouth; gonozooids without tentacles or mouth; gonophores as fixed sporosacs (cryptomedusoids), male and female in different colonies; male gonophores in number of 2-10 per gonozooid, ovoids, with a characteristic apical prolongation; female gonophores 2-4 per gonozooid, bigger and more spherical than males; young gonophores with an apical prolongation (as in the males), which is absent and replaced by an orifice at maturity.

DISTRIBUTION

Western Mediterranean. (Specific distribution map not available.)

HABITAT

The colonies live on rocks and mussels, from the intertidal to the very shallow subtidal. They form very evident pink patches on bare rocks.

BEHAVIOR Nothing is known.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Nothing is known.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

The dioecious colonies are present in the winter and disappear in the summer. After sexual reproduction, the planulae encyst and remain dormant until the onset of the following favorable season.

CONSERVATION STATUS

In spite of the great tradition of biodiversity exploration in the Mediterranean, this very distinctive species has been discovered in relatively recent times. It became very frequent and abundant in the 1970s and 1980s, but is now extremely rare again. The resting stages surely play an important part in these patterns of abundance.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS

Millepora are severe stingers and can cause violent, uncomfortable burning, even in dried state. ♦

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