dejayM's picture


Observed: 3rd November 2013 By: dejayM
Biological Recording In ScotlandHighland Biological Recording GroupOrkney Biodiversity Records Centre
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the whole
the aminal
Stolons & 2mm crustacean

This post is firmly attached to which should be viewed first.
Seen here are the skeletal remains of the Hydroid but with one clearly living animal shown filter-feeding in Picture 2.
Pictures 3&4 show Stola or Stolons
See comments

Species interactions

No interactions present.


dejayM's picture

Stolo, stolons or stola

One can easily get through life without reference to, or knowledge of, Marine Hydroids,, or without discovering that stolo might be the plural of stolon. But for a richer life one needs to get beyond seastars, crabs and shrimps in rock pools and, maybe one time at least, stand inquisitively in a kelp bed at low water Springs.
My life has been enriched recently by the purchase of a low-magnifcation Binoscope x10 to x80. Whilst iSpot may not be the place to admit to such things, I am very much in the beginner stages of Marine Biology.
Today then, I was browsing the micro-scape of the red algae Cock's Comb (seaweed). Attached, within the stems and combs, were these stiff and upright structures called Dynamena pumila. Looking closer I saw its root structure wandering along and encircling some stems. As is the way when one is so inexperienced, I was forced to look elsewhere for information. I do have a lot of books (only two mentioning the roots of Hydroids) But I found this in the World digital equivalent of the Encylopedia Britanica (the Web!). >>HERE<<
It is rare to find reference to the Stolo of Dynamena pumila anwhere else. One tiny mention in the 800 pages of the essential, but advanced, Handbook of the Marine Fauna of North-West Europe (Hayward & Ryland) and in the equally essential Student's Guide to the Seashore (Fish&Fish) there is a tiny bit more satisfaction.

The big, partially obscured, vessel in Pictures 1&2 is a Gonotheca**

**"A capsule developed on certain hydroids (Thecaphora), inclosing the blastostyle upon which the medusoid buds or gonophores are developed; - called also Gonotheca, and teleophore" (online dictionary)
Small edit 7 Nov.

Joe Botting's picture


The investment is paying off handsomely already, Derek - it's wonderful to see the zooids feeding in the images. Did you take the images in situ, or back home?

I've always looked at hydroids at something that I'd like to have a go at one day... another time. I've worked on some fossil ones a bit, so a better knowledge of the living ones would certainly be a benefit. You've inspired me to have a closer look when I next get a chance.

Nice writing too. :o)

JoC's picture

Life without hydroids? Impossible.

Dynamena pumila. What an interesting paper you cite which makes comparisons between the growth of D. pumila and the shoot apical meristem of higher plants. The stolo, or stolons as I have previously known them, are as you say, not oft mentioned in texts nor captured in photos; I know I have not noticed them before. As Joe says, wonderful. I learn something new every visit to iSpot.

p.s An edit might be appropriate if your ref is to H & R's Handbook of the Marine Fauna of North-West Europe.


dejayM's picture


  • Thanks Joe
  • Thanks Jo.
  • So I have taken a few moments to fine-tune the post and make much needed corrections.
    I took the opportunity to add a photo of my gear.
    This is at a north-facing window (sunlight would be difficult) on the sill, so I stand to view. The larger poly box goes with me everywhere nowadays. These clip-versions fully seal the contents, so the box can be rucsacked. Always plenty of tissues to hand because I transfer seawater and samples to the small one for viewing.
    The camera is the Lumix LX7 - a slightly difficult camera but with fully manual settings, including focus (as well as a plethora of auto and 'party' ones).
    The Bino-scope is not an expensive one, is battery and mains but is yet to be used in the field (it could be).
    Joe - I have only JUST made the association with Graptolites and Hydroids - I've found many of the former in a previous life. Thanks.

    Joe Botting's picture


    Ah yes, the infamous graptolites... look in books that are old enough, and they probably will be classified as hydroids. Nowadays, of course, they're in the hemichordates, very convincingly assigned to the pterobranchs. It took SEM it sort that one out properly, though. The hydroids I've been working on really are hydroids - solitary ones:

    Good to see the set-up you're using - it's often tricky to combine a camera with microscope, but this obviously works. :o)

    JoC's picture

    stolo: stolones

    is it too pedantic to point out (since I just checked it out) that stolo is a 3rd declension latin noun and the nominative plural is stolones? But I am sticking with stolon(s) stolons(p) because I speak English.


    dejayM's picture


    No it's not Jo., As I said (wrote) one can get through life without correct reference to them.
    I love these stolons, they were invisible before yesterday and now I can see them; yet, where they appear to be hiding I can imagine them.
    Where man has not been to
    give them names
    objects on desert islands
    do not know what they are.
    Taking no chances they stand still
    and wait quietly excited
    for hundreds and thousands
    of years.

    Ivor Cutler

    dejayM's picture


    Lucy (lulu0705) it's nice to see you racing through the Marines. I do hope you are reading the comment trails and that you might add something occasionally to help us few get a better feel for detail.