Epizoic Bryozoans, Sea Snakes, and Other Nektonic Substrates
Abstract:A total of 1,364 sea snakes were collected from the seas adjacent to peninsular Malaysia to study the fouling rates of epizoic bryozoans and the spatial distribution of the epizoans on the hosts. Only a single bryozoan species, the cheilostome Electra angulata (Levinsen), was found encrusting two species of hydrophid sea snakes: Lapemis hardwickii Gray and Enhydrina schistosa Daudin. Eight tenths percent of the sea snakes examined were infested. The epizoic bryozoan colonies on L. hardwickii were significantly smaller than those on En. schistosa. Other than a preference for the dorsal surface, the epizoic bryozoan colonies did not show a lateral or a head-tail preference for settlement. Evidence is presented that suggests the colonies were not sexually reproductive and that the fouler-host relationship is "accidental." The costs and benefits to the host and fouler are also discussed.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: March 1, 1995
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