False Coral - Myriapora truncata
Habitat and distribution
Can be found in the Mediterranean Sea. The colonies are anchored to rocky substrates, often characterized by coralligenous, in shaded areas from 1-2 meters and up to 100 meters deep.
The colony, up to 10 cm wide, has dichotomous ramifications, short and squat, porous, of intense red-orange color, with a cylindrical section, which appear truncated at the ends. Unlike the true coral polyps, which are white, the polyps of this species have the same color as the ramifications.
The study of the diameter of the branches and the size of the polypoid, variable according to the environmental conditions, led to consider M. truncata as an environmental indicator of the changes that occurred between the Cenozoic and the modern era in the Mediterranean Sea.
Reproduction takes place between February and March.
Briozoons are generally hermaphrodites. Most marine species belonging to this phylum retain the embryo in an incubator chamber attached to the zoo, feeding it through a placental tissue. From the embryo develops a trocar-like ciliary lizard called the typhoon, which has the appearance of a flattened cone with apex limb. The larvae, after hatching, descend to the seabed and, with the tip pointing downward, fasten on a substrate by founding a new colony for cramping.