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Monday, April 28, 2008

Andover Lake sighting of Connecticut River Bryozoans

Andover Lake sighting of Connecticut River Bryozoans: Pectinatella magnifica

Come summertime lake users start seeing large gelatinous masses of what many believe to be some sort of aquatic animals eggs that are clinging to logs and other underwater structures. But actually these are not egg masses but Pectinatella magnifica; a member of the animal phylum Ectoprocta (common names: bryozoans, moss animals).





The colony is gelatinous, firm and slimy to the touch. The inner gelatinous mass is 99% water. The surface appears divided into rosettes, each with 12-18 zooids. Massive colonies may exceed 2 feet (60 cm) in diameter, although more typical sizes are 1 foot or less. The colonies form on submerged logs, twigs, even wooden docks.

The DEP Eastern Headquarters (Neal.Hagstrom@po.state.ct.us) says about these:

“We periodically get calls when these guys show up. They are do not indicate water quality problems nor am I aware of them causing any problems for water quality or for other animals.”

For more information check out: http://www.bio.umass.edu/biology/conn.river/bryozoa.html