Overview

Brief Summary

The tunicates known as larvaceans (or appendicularians, Appendicularia=Larvacea) are solitary, luminescent zooplankton, rarely exceeding 5 mm. The name “larvacean” is a reference to their resemblance to the larval stages of some other tunicates. Larvaceans live in a gelatinous casing, or “house”, that is secreted around the body and is involved in their complex feeding. Larvaceans feed mainly on tiny phytoplankton and bacteria—as small as 0.1 µm. The anus of larvaceans opens directly to the outside into the path of water flowing out of the excurrent siphon.

(Brusca and Brusca 2003)

  • Brusca, R. C. and G.J. Brusca. 2003. Invertebrates, 2nd edition. Sinauer, Sunderland, Massachusetts.
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Ecology

Associations

Known predators

Appendicularia (small-size Appendicularia) is prey of:
Cyclopoidea
Cnidaria
Calanoida
Tomopteridae
Chaetognatha
Polychaeta
Engraulidae
Infusoria
Acartia
Calanus
Euchaeta
Centropages
Euphausia

Based on studies in:
Pacific (Marine)

This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.
  • M. E. Vinogradov and E. A. Shushkina, Some development patterns of plankton communities in the upwelling areas of the Pacific Ocean. Mar. Biol. 48:357-366, from p. 359 (1978).
  • T. S. Petipa, Trophic relationships in communities and the functioning of marine ecosystems: I. Studies in trophic relationships in pelagic communities of the southern seas of the USSR and in the tropical Pacific. In: Marine Production Mechanisms, M. J. D
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Known prey organisms

Appendicularia (small-size Appendicularia) preys on:
phytoplankton
bacteria
zooflagellates
ciliates
detritus
Copepoda

Based on studies in:
Pacific (Marine)

This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.
  • M. E. Vinogradov and E. A. Shushkina, Some development patterns of plankton communities in the upwelling areas of the Pacific Ocean. Mar. Biol. 48:357-366, from p. 359 (1978).
  • T. S. Petipa, Trophic relationships in communities and the functioning of marine ecosystems: I. Studies in trophic relationships in pelagic communities of the southern seas of the USSR and in the tropical Pacific. In: Marine Production Mechanisms, M. J. D
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© SPIRE project

Source: SPIRE

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD) Stats
                                        
Specimen Records:96Public Records:0
Specimens with Sequences:8Public Species:0
Specimens with Barcodes:7Public BINs:0
Species:5         
Species With Barcodes:0         
          
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Locations of barcode samples

Collection Sites: world map showing specimen collection locations for Appendicularia

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