Barentsia benedeni (Foettinger, 1887)
This colonial kamptozoan consists of numerous individual zooids that are connected basally by stolons. Each zooid is made up of a calyx and a stalk, measuring approximately 2 mm in total height. The cuplike calyx is ringed with ciliated tentacles; these tentacles roll inward when disturbed. Typically, each calyx is oriented obliquely relative to the stalk. Each stalk is composed of long, narrow rigid rods interspaced by one or more short, wide muscular nodes, allowing each zooid to bend. Stalk rods are distinguished by a lack of conspicuous pores. Basal stolons are thin and narrow, measuring 50 μm in diameter, and attach to a variety of substrates or other organisms.
In the Northeast Pacific, Barentsia benedeni is most similar to B. parva (O'Donoghue & O'Donoghue, 1923).
Ecology and Distribution
Barentsia benedeni is a cosmopolitan species. In the Northeast Pacific, the species has been recorded at several sites in California and Oregon, including the Salton Sea, Elkhorn Slough, San Francisco Bay, Lake Merritt, and Coos Bay. This species also has been collected from numerous locations around the world, including Europe, Japan, and Australia (Wasson 1997). Its native geographical range remains uncertain, but the species may have originated in Europe (Carlton 1978).
Primarily found in bays and harbours.