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(Savigny, 1816)


External appearance
Colonial, with zooids immersed. Colonies forming hard, thin, encrusting sheets. Test white, yellow, grey or violet, densely packed with calcareous stellate spicules (D. maculosum spicules).

Zooids about 1 mm in length; body divided into thorax and abdomen. Oral siphon 6-lobed and large; atrial opening without a siphon. Branchial sac bearing 4 rows of straight stigmata; no longitudinal bars. Lateral thoracic organ (LTO) near the atrial opening, between the third and fourth row of stigmata. Retractor muscle long, extending from the posterior end of thorax. Gut abdominal; stomach smooth. Gonads located in the gut loop. Testis single; sperm duct coiled (D. maculosum zooid).

Attached to hard substrata; from shallow water to depths of about 300 metres.

Arctic-Boreal distribution, including Sogn, Helgoland, Faeroes, S & W Britain and Bretagne.

Didemnum maculosum