General description: 

The genus Puellina contains ten British species within three sub-genera. Globally, the genus contains 57 described species. Colonies are encrusting and composed of a single layer of autozooids. Autozooids are small and may appear similar across species.

Superficially the species are very similar, but size and shape of secondary orifice; number of orals spines; presence and form of suboral lacuna; number of frontal costae; avicularia morphology; and attributes of ovicells are important in species identification

The frontal shield is formed of fused, but discernible spines (= costae) in a more or less pinnate or radiating pattern.  Each costa generally has one or more small pseudopores. The fusion of successive costae is separated by a few to many small intercostal pores. The orifice is bordered proximally by an apertural bar formed from the distal-most pair of costae. Oral spines are present. Avicularia are interzooidal where present. Ovicells are hyperstomial, globular, punctuate or non-punctate ovicells.

Puellina species mostly inhabit deep-water hard substrates and cryptic habitats in shallower water which may be either large (e.g. underwater caves) or small (e.g. rock cracks, crevices, the underfaces of stones and shells.

Taxonomic name: 
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith