Australian Biological Resources Study

Australian Faunal Directory


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Family LACERNIDAE Jullien, 1888

Compiler and date details

July 2001 - Dr Philip Bock


The family Lacernidae was introduced by Jullien (1888) for two genera, Lacerna and Phonicosia. It has since been neglected, and usually placed in the synonymy of the Schizoporellidae, until resurrected by Parker & Gordon (1992). They distinguished the Lacernidae by its two-layered ovicells with a membranous ectooecium, and its frontal shield which frequently has complex, stellate pseudopores. Lacerna, Phonicosia, Arthropoma, Cribellopora, and a new genus, Vitrius, were included in the family by Parker & Gordon (1992). Species referable to all five genera occur from Australia and Antarctica.

Colonies are encrusting, the autozooid frontal shield is usually thinly calcified and transparent, imperforate centrally, but is variously perforate marginally and submarginally. The orifice is straight proximally, with a small but distinct sinus, sometimes flanked by complex condyles. The ovicell is prominent and hyperstomial, the ectooecium membranous, and the entooecium having a margin of pores at its junction with the ectooecium. Avicularia are absent; oral spines are present in Lacerna and Phonicosia, but absent in Arthropoma, and rare in Cribellopora. Lacerna is represented in Australia by L. arachnoides (MacGillivray 1883), from Victoria. Three species are known from Antarctica; these include the subAntarctic type species, L. eatoni and L. hosteensis, together with the Antarctic endemic L. watersi (Hayward 1995). Phonicosia circinata (MacGillivray) occurs on algae from southern Australia (Wass & Yoo 1983) and the Great Barrier Reef (Ryland & Hayward 1992); it is a widespread form from the Indo-West Pacific and the southern oceans, and has been reported from the Kerguelen and Marion Islands. The species shows considerable variation in the extent of secondary calcification of the zooidal surface, but at present it is considered to be a single species only. The type species of Vitrius, V. insignis, (Hincks) occurs from western and southern Australia, on Posidonia and Sargassum, and was fully described by Parker & Gordon (1992). Arthropoma cecilii has a circum-tropical and subtropical distribution, and was described by Bock (1982) (although, by error, the illustration over that name was of Stylopoma schizostoma). It was also illustrated by Gordon (1984) and by Ryland & Hayward (1992). Cribellopora was figured from southern Australia by Wass and Yoo (1983); it appears that the Australian species has not been identified.

Fossil species occur in the Tertiary of Europe, North America and New Zealand (Cook, 1985; Parker & Gordon, 1992). These authors noted that the microporellid genus Fenestrulina (Fam. Microporellidae) was probably closely related (cf. Chiastosella and Calloporina, Schzoporellidae and Microporellidae respectively). The earliest fossil record is of a species of Cribellopora from the Late Eocene of New Zealand (Taylor 1993).



Colony encrusting, weakly calcified. Zooids with a lepralioid frontal shield which is imperforate centrally, but has marginal septular pores and complex, submarginal, stellate pseudopores. The orifice is straight proximally, with a narrow median sinus. Avicularia absent. Ovicell prominent and hyperstomial, with a membranous ectooecium and entooecium with marginal 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.

Cook, P.L. 1985. Bryozoa from Ghana. A preliminary survey.Bryozoa from Ghana. A preliminary survey. Annales du Musée Royal de l'Afrique Centrale. Série in Octavo. Sciences Zoologiques 238: 1-315

Gordon, D.P. 1984. The marine fauna of New Zealand: Bryozoa: Gymnolaemata from the Kermadec Ridge. New Zealand Oceanographic Institute Memoir 91: 1-198

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

Jullien, J. 1888. Bryozoaires. Mission Scientifique du Cap Horn 1882-1883 6: 1-92

Macgillivray, P.H. 1883. Descriptions of new or little-known Polyzoa. Part 3. Transactions and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Victoria 19: 191-195

Parker, S.A., & Gordon, D.P. 1992. A new genus of the bryozoan superfamily Schizoporelloidea, with remarks on the validity of the family Lacernidae Jullien, 1888. Records of the South Australian Museum (Adelaide) 26: 67-71

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.

Wass, R.E. & Yoo, J.J. 1983. Cheilostome Bryozoa from the Southern Australian Continental Shelf. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 34: 303-354


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)