Biflustra falsitenuis


Scientific Name: Biflustra falsitenuis

Phylum: Bryozoa

Class: Gymnolaemata

Order: Cheilostomatida

Family: Membraniporidae

Genus: Biflustra [Updated to the synonymised name Acanthodesia after database completed; entries refer to Biflustra unless otherwise noted]


falsitenuis (also known as Membranipora falsitenuis (Bock 2015; The Biodiversity Committee of Chinese Academy of Sciences 2015)* and Acanthodesia falsitenuis (Taylor and Tan 2015) *accepted as M. falsitenuis on WoRMS [Describe here as A. iricolor]

Native Distribution

Origin Realm:

Temperate Northern Pacific, Central Indo-Pacific

Native Region:

Origin Location:

Temperate Northern Pacific [China] East China Sea (The Biodiversity Committee of Chinese Academy of Sciences 2015; Liu 1992) STATUS STATED Central Indo-Pacific [China] South China Sea (The Biodiversity Committee of Chinese Academy of Sciences 2015; Liu 1992) STATUS STATED [Acanthodesia falsitenuis/Membranipora falsitenuis (synonymised species)] [Malaysia] Kampung Kuala Temoyong (Taylor and Tan 2015)* STATUS NOT STATED

Geographic Range:

[Western Pacific] The continental shelf of the East China Sea (31°30'N, 125°00'E); waters off Guangdong Province (21°30'N, 113°45'E); Northern Hainan Island (20°00'N, 111°15'E) (Liu 1992) [Membranipora falsitenuis (Synonymized taxon)] [South China Sea] Off Guandong Province: 21°30', 113°45'E; Off northern Hainan Island: 20°00'N, 111°15'E (Liu 1992) [East China Sea] Shelf of the East China Sea. (31°30'N, 125°00'E) (Liu 1992)

General Diversity:


Non-native Distribution

Invasion History:


Non-native Region:

Not applicable

Invasion Propens:

Not applicable

Status Date Non-native:

[Acanthodesia cf. falsitenuis (Synomimized taxon)] Kampung Kuala Temoyong, Langkawi, Malaysia: October 2013. (Taylor & Tan 2015)

Vectors and Spread

Initial Vector:


Second Vector:


Vector Details:


Spread Rate:


Date First Observed in Japan:

NF See notes

Date First Observed on West coast North America:



Impact in Japan:


Global Impact:



Native Temperature Regime:

Warm temperate, Tropical

Native Temperature Range:

South China Sea (21º30'N, 113º45'E) (substituted water temperature in that of Hong Kong): max 28.5ºC in summer and min 18.1ºC in winter. (Clark et al. 2003) Warm temperate, Tropical (M. Otani, pers. comm.)

Non-native Temperature Regime:


Non-native Temperature Range:

Langkwai (substituted water temperature in that of Penang): max 31ºC in summer and min 27ºC in winter. (Clark et al. 2003) Tropical (M. Otani, pers. comm.)

Native Salinity Regime:

Mesohaline, Polyhaline, Euhaline

Native Salinity Range:

South China Sea (21º30'N, 113º45'E) (substituted salinity in that of Hong Kong): max 34.0psu in dry period and min 10.0psu in wet period. (Clark et al. 2003)

Non-native Salinity Regime:

Mesohaline, Polyhaline

Temperature Regime Survival:

See details

Temperature Range Survival:

RELATED: [Acanthodesia spp.] 7.967 - 26.626 ºC (OBIS 2016) [Biflustra spp.] 7.967 - 24.203ºC (OBIS 2016)

Temperature Regime Reproduction:


Temperature Range Reproduction:


Salinity Regime Survival:

See details

Salinity Range Survival:

RELATED: [Acanthodesia spp.] 32.397 - 35.563 PPS (OBIS 2016) [Biflustra spp.] 32.397 - 36.289 PPS (OBIS 2016)

Salintiy Regime Reproduction:

Polyhaline, Euhaline

Salinity Range Reproduction:


Depth Regime:

Deep subtidal

Depth Range:

[China] South China Sea: Collected at 45m; East China Sea: Collected at 47m; Other specimens: 52m. 45-52m at South China Sea and 42m at East China Sea. (Liu 1992)

Non-native Salinity Range:

Native Abundance:



Fertilization Mode:


Reproduction Mode:


Spawning Type:


Development Mode:

Planktotrophic planktonic larva (feeding)

Asexual Reproduction:

Budding/fragmentation (Splitting into unequal parts. Buds may form on the body of the “parent”)

Reproduction Details:

RELATED: [Membranipora] Studies on Membranipora membranacea shows that it has planktotrophic developmental pattern (Temkin 1991) [Membraniporidea] Shed numerous small eggs directly to the sea (Hayward & Ryland 1998) and fertilize in the sea. (Mawatari 1976) These develop into shelled, planktorophic larvae, termed cyphonautes, which feed and grow during several weeks or months spent in the plankton. (Hayward & Ryland 1998) [Cheilostomata] Free spawning species produce the characteristic triangular cyphonautes larva. These larvae are long-lived and planktotrophic. The larval body is enclosed in a membranous shell; the size can be up to little over 1 mm. Cyphonautes larvae are not keyed out - if possible at all. (van Couwelaar 2003) [Gymnolaemates] Internal fertilization, whether intracoelomic or intraovarian, is obligatory (Temkin 1994 and 1996, cited in Ostrovsky 2013) [Gymnolaemates] Differ from most organisms in that sperm-egg fusion does not stimulate egg activation. Egg activation may not occur until "spawned" outside of maternal zooid (Temkin 1991) [Bryozoans] While sperm is spawned through pores in lophophore tentacles, eggs are usually harbored inside the body wall, and are internally fertilized by sperm, coming in on lophophore feeding currents (Brusca and Brusca 2003, cited in Rouse 2011; Kozloff 1990, cited in Rouse 2011) [Bryozoans] Colonial hermaphrodites, with testes (spermatogenic tissue) and ovaries developing either within the same zooid (zooidal hermaphroditism) or in different zooids within the same colony (zooidal gonochorism) (Ostrovsky 2013) [Bryozoans] Members of the phylum Bryozoa are hermaphroditic. Both fertilization and egg brooding may either be internal or external (Ruppert et al. 2004) [Bryozoans] The first zooid in a colony is called the ancestrula. It is from this individual that the rest of the colony will grow asexually from the budding (Hill 2001) [Bryozoa] All bryozoan colonies are hermaphroditic. Autozooids may be dioecious; or monoecious, and protandrous or protogynous. (Hayward & Ryland 1998) [Bryozoa] Reproduces asexually by budding. (Mawatari 1976)

Adult Mobility:


Adult Mobility Details:

Colony on shell (Liu 1992) RELATED: [Bryozoa] The abundance and taxonomic diversity of benthic bryozoan faunas are directly related to substratum. (Hayward & Ryland 1998)

Maturity Size:

Autozooids: 0.53 - 0.73 mm long by 0.30 - 0.40 mm wide...cryptocyst occupying one-third to almost one-half of proximal end of zooid (Taylor and Tan 2015)

Maturity Age:


Reproduction Lifespan:




Broods per Year:


Reproduction Cues:

RELATED: [Bryozoans] Experiments often used light as a cue to collect embryos/larvae (Woollacott and Zimmer 1977) [Bryozoa] In coastal species light is an important stimulus to larval release, and many cheilostomates shed larvae during the first few hours of daylight. (Hayward & Ryland 1998) [Bryozoa] In various degrees of intensity according to the species temperature also stimulates sexual reproduction. (Winston 1977)

Reproduction Time:




Egg Size:

RELATED: [Gymnolaemata] About 200µm (Woollacott and Zimmer 1977)

Egg Duration:


Early Life Growth Rate:

RELATED: [Gymnolaemata] Two phases of larvae metamorphosis: first stage about 20mins; second stage 1-6 days (Woollacott and Zimmer 1977)

Adult Growth Rate:


Population Growth Rate:


Population Variablity:




Oyster reef, Sediment subtidal

Habitat Type:

Epibenthic, Epizoic


Mixed fine sediment, Biogenic


Exposed, Protected

Habitat Expansion:


Habitat Details:

[Malaysia] Collected encrusting an oyster found among fishing debris (Taylor and Tan 2015) [China] Found on the shell at sandy-muddy with shell or coral at South China Sea or mud-sandy bottom with shell at East China Sea. (Liu 1992) Encrusting on oyster shells found among fishing debris. (Taylor & Tan 2015) Exposed, Protected (M. Otani, pers. comm.)

Trophic Level:

Suspension feeder

Trophic Details:

RELATED: [Bryozoans] Suspension feeder...filter phytoplankton less than 0.045mm in size from the water column. (Hill 2001) [Bryozoa] Many phytoplankton species are cleary unsuitable as food for bryozoans. (Hayward & Ryland 1998) [Cheilostomata] Main food is diatom, protozoans and etc. and unappropriate sized particles are ejected (Mawatari 1976)

Forage Mode:


Forage Details:

RELATED: [Bryozoans] Suspension feeder...filter phytoplankton less than 0.045mm in size from the water column. (Hill 2001) [Bryozoa] Many phytoplankton species are cleary unsuitable as food for bryozoans. (Hayward & Ryland 1998) [Cheilostomata] Main food is diatom, protozoans and etc. and unappropriate sized particles are ejected (Mawatari 1976)

Natural Control:

RELATED: PREDATION [Predation] [Bryozoa] Browsers and grazers, including sea urchins, fish, crabs and some prosobranchs, are known to include bryozoans in their diet. (Hayward & Ryland 1998) [Predation] [Bryozoa] Bryozoans are also the prey of very many small, selective predators, some of which may be adapted to a very narrow spectrum of prey species. Among them opisthobranch predators of bryozoans are well known. (Hayward & Ryland 1998) [Predation] [Bryozoa] Other than opisthobranchs as a predator, amphipods, isopods, mites and pycnogonids have all been recorded preying on bryozoan colonies. (Hayward & Ryland 1998) EPIBIONTS [Epibionts] [Cheilostomata] It is frequently observed in Japan that several species of hydroids flourish on Cheilostomata cause damages to them. (Mawatari 1976)

Associated Species:


References and Notes


Bock, P. (2015). Membranipora falsitenuis Liu, 1992. In: P. Bock & D. Gordon (Eds.). World List of Bryozoa. Retrieved from Clarke C, Hillard R, Junqueira AOR, Neto ACL, Polglaze J, Raaymakers S (2003) Ballast water risk assessment, Port of Sepetiba, Fedral Republic of Brazil. GloBallast Monograph Series 14: 1-63 + 7 Appendices. Hayward PF & Ryland JS (1998) Cheilostomatous Bryozoa part I. Aeteoidea - Cribrilinoidea. Synopses of the British Fauna (New Series). Barnes RSK & Crothers JH (eds.) No. 10 (Second Edition). The Linnean Society of London and The Estuarine and Coastal Sciences Association by Field Studies Council: 366pp. Hill, K. (2001) Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce, Retrieved from Liu, X. (1992). On the genus Membranipora (Anasca: Cheilostomata: Bryozoa) from south Chinese seas. Raffles Bull. Zool, 40(1), 103-144. Mawatari S (1976) Bryozoa (Ectoprocta). In: Animal systematics. Uchida T (ed.) Nakayama-shoten Co. Ltd., Tokyo: 35-229. (in Japanese) OBIS. Ocean Biogeographic Information System. Access date: 13-09-2016 *Note: genus level data Ostrovsky, A. N. (2013). Evolution of Sexual Reproduction in Marine Invertebrates – Example of gymnolaemate bryozoans. Dordrectht: Springer Netherlands. Doi: 10.1007/978-94-007-7146-8 Rouse, S. (2011). Aetea anguina. Bryozoa of the British Isles. Retrieved from Ruppert, E.E., Fox, R. S., & Barnes, R. D. (2004). Invertebrate Zoology. A functional evolutionary approach. Ann Arbor, MN: Thomson Brooks/Cole. Taylor PD & Tan SHA (2015) Cheilostome Bryozoa from Penang and Langkawi, Malaysia. European Journal of Taxonomy 149: 1-34. Doi: 10.5852/ejt.2015.149. Temkin, M. H. (1991). Fertilization in the Gymnolaemate Bryozoa (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database. (DP23819). The Biodiversity Committee of Chinese Academy of Sciences. (2015). Catalogue of Life China: 2015 Annual Checklist. Retrieved from Van Couwelaar, M. (2003). Zooplankton and Micronekton of the North Sea. Retrieved from Winston JE (1977). Distribution and ecology of estuarine ectoprocts: A critical review. Chesapeake Science, 18:, 34‐57. doi:10.2307/1350363. Woollacott, R. M., & Zimmer, R. L. (Eds.). (1977). Biology of Bryozoans. New York, NY: Academic Press


Little or no information; expert opinion based on general knowledge


There is very limited information on this species. It has been described as Membranipora falsitenuisa as well as Acanthodesia falsitenuis. WoRMS recognized it as Membranipora falsitenuis.