Bryozoans in this family form erect, unilaminar branching colonies; the rami with autozooids in two or few series; attached by rhizoids issuing either from a septulum or from a vibracula chamber; jointed. Autozooids well calcified apart from the membranous frontal area. Cryptocyst usually not well developed. Marginal spines commonly present distally, and a modified spine (scutum) overarching and sometimes largely covering the frontal membrane. Small avicularia present on the autozooids of most species, and vibracula – in which the operculum/mandible has so elongated as to form a seta – may occur on the basal surface. Ooecia generally hyperstomial; the ectooecium calcified though often with a larger or smaller membranous part proximally which appears as a distinct area (fenestra).
Joints are a characteristic feature of the Candidae. Each joint traverses the two basal autozooids in the rami resulting from a bifurcation. It has the form of an uncalcified, chitinsed band, variously situated in the autozooids constituting the joint but always dividing them into proximal and distal parts. Genera, in many instances, may be characterised by the arrangement of autozooids at a bifurcation and the exact positioning of the joints in relation to these autozooids.
(Hayward and Ryland, 1998)
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