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The main stems of the colony are bright yellow and relatively thick, being a composite of several fibres, adhering to each other. The side branches are approximately alternate and support the hydrothecae. The hydrothecae are regularly alternate, one to each internode. As in Sertularella polyzonias they are bulbous in the basal region, and the margin is quadridentate. The operculum consists of four triangular flaps. The gonothecae are oval shaped, and the upper portion has transverse ridges whilst the lower portion is smooth. The aperture is bidentate. Sertularella gayi is sometimes confused with Sertularella polyzonias, but is much more robust in its overall appearance. The gonothecae are also quite different, in S. gayi they are much smaller, they lack a tubular aperture, and the aperture usually has only two denticles whilst four are present in S. polyzonias. Another species to consider is Abietinaria abietina.


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© National Museums Northern Ireland and its licensors

Source: Encyclopedia of Marine Life of Britain and Ireland

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