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Overview

Brief Summary

The leathery sea squirt is an immigrant from Asia. It was brought to Europe via ships in the 1970s. It is a robust sea squirt erected on a narrowed stem. This sea squirt is eaten in Korea.
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Comprehensive Description

The ascidean tunicate Styela clava is a fast-growing, subtidal fouling species ("fouling" in this context is a somewhat anthropocentric term used to describe marine organisms that settle and develop on submerged structures, including structures on which humans would rather they didn't settle, such as ship hulls and underwater pipes and shellfish being grown in aquaculture). It is a prolific breeder and a highly efficient suspension feeder. It is native to the northwest Pacific from the Sea of Okhotsk through southern Siberia, Japan, Korea, and northern China south to Shanghai. However, it was discovered in western North America, on the coast of California, in 1932 and is now found from Baja California (Mexico) north to Washington State (U.S.A.) and into southern British Columbia (Canada). It was found in the Atlantic, off southern England, in 1953. In the northeast Atlantic, it is now found from northern Denmark to Portugal. It is present in the northeastern United States and on both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of Canada, although it has not been detected in Arctic waters. It is widespread and well established in New Zealand. The geographic spread of this invasive species in both the northern and southern hemispheres is reviewed by Clarke and Therriault (2007) [available here], who also review its general biology and economic significance to humans. (Clarke and Therriault 2007 and references therein; Dupont et al. 2009; Goldstien et al. 2010)

The population structure of introduced populations as inferred from genetic studies, as well as the speed with which it has spread, suggest a major role for human-mediated dispersal in the spread of this species, e.g., by adults attached to the hulls (or other areas with less water flow) of commercial ships or pleasure boats or juveniles inadvertently transferred with oysters in the course of aquaculture operations (Clarke and Therriault 2007; Dupont et al. 2009; Goldstien et al. 2010).

Styla clava are oviparous (egg-laying) hermaphrodites. A mature adult is around 70 to 200 mm in length and produces about 5000 eggs, which hatch after 12 to 15 hours. The larvae, which are around 0.85 mm long, are lecithotrophic (i.e., they do not feed until after they settle to the bottom and become non-planktonic juveniles). Larvae are able to swim just a few millimetres in short bursts of activity. After approximately 12 hours, they settle on hard substrata to develop into sessile juveniles. Since S. clava eggs hatch 12 to 15 hours after spawning/fertilization, the total pelagic dispersal time for the developing egg/embryo and larva is on the order of 24 hours. (Davis and Davis 2007)

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Description

This species is a simple, solitary ascidian, with a tough outer covering or tunic. The body is elongated and club-shaped, and attaches to the substrate by a distinct stalk. The stalk is shorter than or equal to the body length; total length measures 5-15 cm. The oral and atrial siphons are positioned anteriorly, smooth in texture, and ringed in alternating light and dark bands. The tunic is opaque, thick, and leathery, with distinct tubercles near the siphons and wrinkled pleats that run longitudinally. Overall colour ranges from brown to reddish-brown.

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Description

 A solitary sea squirt with a long club-shaped body, tapering to a slender and tough stalk. The overall height of the sea squirt can reach 12cm and the stalk can be a 1/3 of the total length. The surface of the sea squirt can be leathery with folds and swellings. The siphons at the top (anterior) end are close together.Styela clava is a non native marine species originally from the north western Pacific. It was found in Plymouth Devon in 1953 (Carlisle, 1954) and was possibly introduced on the hulls of war ships following the end of the Korean war in 1951. Styela clava is a fouling pest on ships hulls and oyster beds, and the transport of oysters and any movement of ships probably aided its rapid dispersal (Eno et al., 1997). The distribution of Styela clava was examined recently by Davis & Davis (2004). They reported another 40 new records of this species in European harbours, including new records in the Channel Isles, France and Spain. A similar sea squirt, Styela gelatinosa has only been found in one location and is easily separated from Styela clava by its narrow base or slight stalk.
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Description

This solitary sea squirt is unique amongst the British ascidians in having a basal stalk. The test is covered with detritus and algae, giving a dirty brown appearance. The siphons are at one end of the elongate body. They are marked with purple and cream longitudinal stripes. Grows to 120mm long x 15mm wide. Small specimens which have not grown a stalk could be confused with Pyura microcosmus.
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Distribution

An introduced species in the British Isles, common in Southampton harbour, Portsmouth harbour, Milford Haven, etc.
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accidently introduced in England (around Plymouth) through Japonese oysters during the early fifties. At that time erroneously identified as Styela mammiculata (Carlisle, 1954)
  • Davoult, D.; Dewarumez, J.-M.; Glaçon, R. (1993). Nouvelles signalisations d'espèces macrobenthiques sur les côtes françaises de la Manche orientale et de la Mer du Nord: 4. Groupes divers [New macrobenthic species in the French part of the eastern Channel and of the North Sea: 4. Miscellaneous groups]. Cah. Biol. Mar. 34(1): 55-64
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National Distribution

United States

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Year-round

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Styela clava has been introduced to the Northeast Pacific, with confirmed records ranging from British Columbia to Baja California, Mexico. In addition, this species has been reported from several other locations around the world, including the Atlantic coasts of Canada and the United States, Great Britain, Europe, and New Zealand. It is native to the Northwest Pacific, with a geographical range from southern Siberia and Japan to northern China.

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Physical Description

Look Alikes

In the Northeast Pacific, Styela clava is most similar to to other styelid tunicates, including S. coriacea (Alder and Hancock, 1848), S. gibbsii (Stimpson, 1864), S. montereyensis (Dall, 1872), S. truncata Ritter, 1901, S. yakutatensis Ritter, 1901, and two other non-native species found in the region, S. canopus (Savigny, 1816) and S. plicata (Lesueur, 1823).

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Ecology

Habitat

Depth range based on 190 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 5 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 1 - 4850
  Temperature range (°C): 1.690 - 14.694
  Nitrate (umol/L): 1.004 - 24.841
  Salinity (PPS): 33.239 - 34.828
  Oxygen (ml/l): 5.588 - 5.913
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.445 - 1.640
  Silicate (umol/l): 3.108 - 65.549

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 1 - 4850

Temperature range (°C): 1.690 - 14.694

Nitrate (umol/L): 1.004 - 24.841

Salinity (PPS): 33.239 - 34.828

Oxygen (ml/l): 5.588 - 5.913

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.445 - 1.640

Silicate (umol/l): 3.108 - 65.549
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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 Styela clava is found in shallow water on hard surfaces and occurs abundantly in sheltered warm water docks and harbour installations.
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In sheltered areas attached to man-made surfaces, harbour walls etc.
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Migration

Alien species

Oorspronkelijk leefde de knotszakpijp Styela clava enkel langs Aziatische kusten. Transport via vasthechting op oorlogsschepen bracht de soort naar Europa, waar hij voor het eerst opgemerkt werd in Engeland omstreeks 1953. In 1986 werd een eerste exemplaar gevonden aan onze kust, op een strandhoofd in Knokke-Heist. Nu is de soort gekend in de Spuikom van Oostende en in alle (jacht)havens van onze kust, behalve in Nieuwpoort. De knotszakpijp komt meestal voor langs beschutte kusten, tot op een diepte van 40 meter. De soort heeft een groot aanpassingsvermogen en kan sterke wijzigingen in temperatuur en zoutgehalte verdragen.
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Alien species

The folded sea squirt Styela clava originates from the Asian coasts. Transport through attachment on war ships brought the species to Europe, where it was first noticed in England around 1953. In 1986 the first specimen was found on the Belgian coast, on a groyne at Knokke-Heist. Now, the species is found in the Sluice dock in Ostend and all ports and marinas in Belgium, except in Nieuwpoort. The folded sea squirt is mostly found along sheltered coasts, to a depth of 40 meters. The species has a great adaptability, and can tolerate large changes in temperature and salinity.
  • VLIZ Alien Species Consortium
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Styela clava

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


There are 32 barcode sequences available from BOLD and GenBank.  Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.  See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.

GATATTGGGACATTGTATTTTATTTTTAGAATTTTTTCTGGGTTTATTAGGTCAAGAATA---AGTGTTCTTATTCGGACGGAGCTGTCCCAAGTCGGACAAGTTATTGGTGAC---AGGCAGTTATATAATGTAATTGTTACGGCCCATGCCTTCGTAATGATTTTTTTTTTTGTTATGCCGGTAATAATTAGAAGATTTAGGAATTGATTGTTACCTTTGATG---TTGGGAAGTCCGGACATAGCTTTTCCACGTCTAAATAATATGAGTTTTTGGTTATTGCCTCCGGCGGTAGTCCTTTTATTAGTAAGCTCCTTTATTGAGAGTGGAGTAGGAACTAGGTGGACTGTGTACCCTCCTTTAGCTAGGAACTTGGCCCATTCAAGAGGTGCTCTTGAT---TGTGCTATTTTTTCTTTACATTTGGCGGGGATCTCCAGTATTTTAAGATCTCTTAATTTTATAACTACTATATTTAATATAAAGACAAAAAGATGAGTAATATTTTCTATGCCATTATTTTGTTGGACTGTATTAGTGACTACATTATTGTTATTACTTAGTTTGCCGGTATTGGCTGCA---GCTATTACTATGCTATTATTTGATCGTAATTTAAATACTTCTTTTTTTGATCCGGCCGGAGGGGGTGACCCCGTTTTGTATCAACATTTATTTTGATTTTTTGG
-- end --

Download FASTA File
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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Styela clava

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 33
Specimens with Barcodes: 35
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Genomic DNA is available from 2 specimens with morphological vouchers housed at British Antarctic Survey
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: GNR - Not Yet Ranked

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Wikipedia

Styela clava

The Stalked Sea Squirt, Styela clava, is a solitary, hermaphroditic, ascidian tunicate that is found off Australia[2] and New Zealand,[3] both coasts of North America,[4] and Europe.[5]

These sea squirts are characterized by their brown or yellow, rough and wrinkled surface. They can grow to be about 6 in (15 cm) tall and can be found on lobster pots, pilings, and fishing nets. This species of sea squirts is native to Japan. It may have been carried to New England waters from Europe (where it arrived in the early 1950s) in ballast water or ship fouling.[6]


Other names[edit]

  • Club or Clubbed Tunicate
  • Solitary Sea Squirt
  • Rough Sea Squirt
  • Leathery Sea Squirt
  • Asian Sea Squirt

Behavior[edit]

Populations around Los Angeles, CA grow 1-1.5 cm/month for 6 months, reaching maturity and slowing growth at about 9 cm in size. Broadcast spawning occurs late spring to early fall. They occur to at least 25 m deep, and filter approximately 150 mL of water / minute / gram body weight.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Styela clava". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved February 17, 2007. 
  2. ^ Hewitt, C., et al. (1999). "Marine biological invasions of Port Phillip Bay, Victoria.". Centre for Research on Introduced Marine Pests CSIRO Technical Report (20): 344. 
  3. ^ Davis MH and Davis ME (2006). "Styela clava (Tunicata: Ascidacea) a new edition to the fauna of New Zealand.". Porcupine Marine Natural History Society Newsletter 20: 23–28. 
  4. ^ Wonham MJ and Carlton JT (2005). "Trends in marine biological invasions at local and regional scales: the Northeast Pacific Ocean as a model system.". Biological Invasions 7 (3): 369–392. doi:10.1007/s10530-004-2581-7. 
  5. ^ Davis MH and Davis ME (2005). "Styela clava (Tunicata: Ascidacea) a new edition to the fauna of the Portuguese coast". Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 85 (2): 403–404. doi:10.1017/S002531540501132Xh. 
  6. ^ RH Morris, DP Abbott & EC Haderlie. 1980. Intertidal Invertebrates of California. Stanford University Press: Stanford, CA. p. 207-208.


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