Australian Biological Resources Study

Australian Faunal Directory


Regional Maps

Family BITECTIPORIDAE MacGillivray, 1895

Compiler and date details

July 2001 - Dr Philip Bock


The family was introduced by MacGillivray (1895) for the Victorian Tertiary genus Bitectipora. Gordon (1994) investigated the type species, B. lineata, and considered that the Bitectiporidae was a senior subjective synonym of the family Hippoporinidae Brown (1952).

The family is characterised by encrusting colonies, autozooids with frontal shields which have marginal septular pores, and usually numerous pseudopores. Orifices have a wide sinus, oral spines are absent. The ovicells are hyperstomial, not closed by the operculum and have large, sometimes irregular pores on the frontal surface. Avicularia are adventitious, suboral or latero-oral, and have a complete bar.

Gordon (1994) included the genera Metroperiella (which may be a synonym of Codonellina), Schizomavella and Schizosmittina in the family; all of which have Recent Australian representatives. The genus Parkermavella was introduced by Gordon & d'Hondt (1997); Hippomonavella and Hippoporina are also represented in Australian faunas.

Bitectipora includes Recent Victorian B. rostrata (MacGillivray), illustrated by Gordon (1984) as Hippoporina, from New Zealand colonies, which were brownish-black. Metroperiella mortoni (Haswell) is almost certainly M. lepralioides. M. mortoni was reported from Queensland (Gordon 1994). A species described as Lepralia bifrons by Hincks (1884) is closely related to Bitectipora, but has not been described since its introduction. In this species the avicularia do not have a complete bar.

Among several species of Schizomavella from Australia, S. inclusa (Thornely) was illustrated from the Great Barrier Reef by Ryland & Hayward (1992) and S. australis from Torres Strait and the Queensland coast by Harmer (1957). The relationships between the Australian species referred to Schizomavella and the European type species is an open question; some of this group are attributable to Parkermavella, including P. punctigera MacGillivray.

Schizosmittina vitrea (MacGillivray) was figured from southern Australia by Bock (1982) as Smittina maplestonei. Colonies encrusted algae. S. maplestonei is also found in the region, but is distinguished by having a narrow, rather than a broad sinus.

Hippomonavella is represented by the species H. formosa, distributed on the southern Australian shelf. In this genus the frontal shield lacks pseudopores.

Several species from southern Australia appear to be referrable to the genus Hippoporina, including H. elegans MacGillivray.

Hayward (1995) assigned the endemic Antarctic genus Kymella to the Hippoporinidae, but it differs considerably from the Bitectiporidae. The colonies are erect and flustrine, the autozooids have only marginal pores, and the ovicells, which are closed by the operculum, have a membranous ectooecium and imperforate entooecium.

Fossils identified as Hippoporina sp. are known from the Late Eocene of the Indian Ocean (Taylor 1993). Australian fossils from the Tertiary of Victoria include the type species of Bitectipora, B. lineata.



Colony encrusting or erect. Zooids with a lepralioid ascus. Frontal shield evenly pseudoporous with marginal areolae, or the pseudopores few to absent. Zooidal orifice with or without a lyrula. Articulated oral spines present or absent. Adventitious and vicarious avicularia present or lacking. Ovicell with endooecium and ectooecium calcified but unfused, the ectooecium with several relatively large pores.


General References

Bock, P.E. 1982. Bryozoans (Phylum Bryozoa). pp. 319-394 in Shepherd, S.A. & Thomas, I.M. (eds). Marine Invertebrates of Southern Australia. Handbook of the Flora and Fauna of South Australia Adelaide : Government Printer Part 1 491 pp.

Brown, D.A. 1952. The Tertiary cheilostomatous Polyzoa of New Zealand. London : Trustees of the British Museum (Natural History) 405 pp.

Gordon, D.P. 1994. Tertiary bryozoan genera in the present-day Australian fauna - Implications for classification and biogeography. Invertebrate Taxonomy 8: 283-298

Gordon, D.P., & d'Hondt, J.-L. 1997. Bryozoa: Lepraliomorpha and other Ascophorina from New Caledonian waters. (Résultats des Campagnes MUSORSTOM, Vol. 18, Crosnier, A., ). Mémoires du Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle, Paris [1936-1950] 176: 9-124

Harmer, S.F. 1957. The Polyzoa of the Siboga Expedition. Part 4. Cheilostomata Ascophora II. Siboga-Expéditie Report 28D: 641-1147

Hayward, P.J. 1995. Antarctic cheilostomatous Bryozoa. Oxford, New York, Tokyo : Oxford University Press 355 pp.

Hincks, T. 1884. Contributions towards a general history of the marine Polyzoa. XIII. Polyzoa from Victoria and Western Australia. Annals and Magazine of Natural History 5 13: 363-369; 14: 276-285

Macgillivray, P.H. 1895. A monograph of the Tertiary Polyzoa of Victoria. Transactions of the Royal Society of Victoria ns 4: 1-166

Ryland, J.S. & Hayward, P.J. 1992. Bryozoa from Heron Island, Great Barrier Reef. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 32(1): 223-301

Taylor, P.D. 1993. Bryozoa. pp. 465-489 in Benton, M.J. (ed.). The Fossil Record 2. London & New York : Chapman & Hall 845 pp.


History of changes

Note that this list may be incomplete for dates prior to September 2013.
Published As part of group Action Date Action Type Compiler(s)
25-Mar-2014 BRYOZOA Ehrenberg, 1831 25-Mar-2014 MODIFIED Dr Robin Wilson (NMV) Elizabeth Greaves (NMV)
12-Feb-2010 (import)