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Image from Indexes to Bryozoan Taxa.
Phylum Bryozoa (moss animals)

The Phylum Bryozoa (“moss animals”) is a group of minute (μm-mm) colonial tentacle-feeders found predominantly in marine habitats, but the taxon is also found in fresh waters. Of the c. 4000 global species, about 90 are found in inland habitats. The majority of these belong to the Phylactolaemata, a strictly freshwater class (Massard & Geimer, 2008). Thirty two species are known from North America.

Bryozoans, also known as ectoprocts, are zoologically significant for their phylogenetic affinities. The phylum belongs to a larger group diagnosed by the possession of a lophophore -- a distinctive, U-shaped arrangement of anterior tentacles. Lophophorates also have a U-shaped gut, with the mouth surrounded by the lophophore and the anus outside the tentacles. (There are no other U-shaped organs.) The lophophorate phyla had traditionally been regarded as deuterostomes (the only freshwater invertebrate representatives) based on their patterns of early development. However, modern phylogenetic work places these taxa, including the bryozoans, among the protostomes.

In fresh waters, phylactolaemate bryozoans are distinctive for their large gelatinous colonies and the asexual production of over-wintering stages called statoblasts.

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Bibliography

  • Bock, P.E. & D.P. Gordon. 2013. Phylum Bryozoa Ehrenberg, 1831. In: Zhang, Z.-Q. (Ed.) Animal Biodiversity: An Outline of Higher-level Classification and Survey of Taxonomic Richness (Addenda 2013) . Zootaxa 3703(1): 067–074. [Available online]
  • Zhang, Z.-Q. 2011. Animal biodiversity: An introduction to higher-level classification and taxonomic richness. Zootaxa 3148: 7-12. [Available online]
  • Wood, T.S. 2010. Bryozoans. [in] J.H. Thorp & A.P. Covich (eds.). Ecology and Classification of North American Freshwater Invertebrates, 3rd edition: 437-454.
  • Massard, J.A. & G. Geimer. 2008. Global diversity of bryozoans (Bryozoa or Ectoprocta) in freshwater. Hydrobiologia 595: 93-99. [Available online]
  • Smith, D.G. 2001. Ectoprocta (Moss animals). Pennak's Freshwater Invertebrates of the United States, 4th edition: 249-268.
  • Underhill, J.C., W.D. Schmid & D.E. Gilbertson. 1982. Taxonomic Keys to the Common Animals of the North Central States, exclusive of the parasitic worms, terrestrial insects, and birds, 4th edition. 205 pp.
  • Rogick, M.D. 1959. Bryozoa. [in] W.T. Edmondson (ed.). Ward & Whipple Fresh-Water Biology, 2nd edition: 495-507.

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Classification of Freshwater Taxa

Only taxa found in North America are listed. Formatting indicates if they are known (to us) from North America, the midwestern states or Wisconsin.

Kingdom Animalia [details]
Subkingdom Eumetazoa [details]
clade Bilateria [details]
clade Protostomia [details]
clade Spiralia [details]
Superphylum Lophotrochozoa [details]
Phylum Bryozoa (+ Ectoprocta) (moss animals) [details]
  .   Class Gymnolaemata [details]
  .    .   Order Ctenostomata [details]
  .    .    .   Suborder Paludicellina [details]
  .    .    .    .   Family Paludicellidae [details]
  .    .    .    .    .   Genus Paludicella [details]
  .    .    .    .    .    .   Species P. articulata [detail]
  .    .    .   Suborder Victorellina [details]
  .    .    .    .   Family Victorellidae [details]
  .    .    .    .    .   Genus Sineportella [details]
  .    .    .    .    .    .   Species S. forbesi [detail]
  .    .    .    .    .   Genus Victorella [details]
  .    .    .    .    .    .   Species V. pavida [detail]
  .    .    .    .   Family Pottsiellidae [details]
  .    .    .    .    .   Genus Pottsiella [details]
  .    .    .    .    .    .   Species P. erecta [detail]
  .   Class Phylactolaemata [details]
  .    .   Order Plumatellida [details]
  .    .    .   Family Cristatellidae [details]
  .    .    .    .   Genus Cristatella [details]
  .    .    .    .    .   Species C. mucedo [detail]
  .    .    .   Family Fredericellidae [details]
  .    .    .    .   Genus Fredericella [details]
  .    .    .    .    .   Species F. sultana, F. australiensis (+ F. browni), F. indica
  .    .    .   Family Hyalinellidae [details]
  .    .    .    .   Genus Hyalinella [details]
  .    .    .    .    .   Species H. punctata, H. vaihiriae
  .    .    .   Family Lophopodidae [details]
  .    .    .    .   Genus Lophopodella [details]
  .    .    .    .    .   Species L. carteri [detail]
  .    .    .    .   Genus Lophopus [details]
  .    .    .    .    .   Species L. crystallinus [detail]
  .    .    .   Family Pectinatellidae [details]
  .    .    .    .   Genus Pectinatella [details]
  .    .    .    .    .   Species P. magnifica [detail]
  .    .    .   Family Plumatellidae [details]
  .    .    .    .   Genus Plumatella [details]
  .    .    .    .    .   Species P. casmiana, P. emarginata, P. fruticosa, P. repens, P. similirepens, ..., etc.
  .    .    .    .   Genus Stolella [details]
  .    .    .    .    .   Species S. evelinae [detail]
  .    .    .   Family Stephanellidae [details]
  .    .    .    .   Genus Stephanella [details]
  .    .    .    .    .   Species S. hina [detail]

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