Palmiskenea plana is an erect bryozoan that forms flat, thin, irregularly lobed or branched colonies composed of two layers of autozooids which are arranged “back-to-back. Typically, colonies have a narrow stalk, developing from an encrusting base, and may grow more than 20 mm high and 15 mm wide. Autozooids are rectangular to irregularly polygonal and convex. They are 0.7-0.9 by 0.4-0.5 mm.
Palmiskenea plana is essentially an Arctic species. It was originally described from the Gulf of St. Lawrence and has since been found in the Canadian Arctic, the coasts of Greenland and Iceland, and from the Barents and Kara Sea. It has not yet been reported from anywhere in British coastal waters, but is known from around the Faroe Isles and thought likely to occur in deep waters around Shetland.
The species is able to colonise hard substrates such as stones, shells and calcareous bryozoans in offshore deep waters.