IUCN threat status:

Not evaluated

Comprehensive Description

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Biology/Natural History: The zooids of this species are more closely attached to other zooids when young but may be mostly separate (though still usually clustered) as adults. This species is annual, is most abundant in summer and early fall, and disintegrates in late fall. A few zooids (usually stolon tips from the colony) may be found in the winter. Bright orange larvae are brooded in the atrial siphon during the summer.

This shape, large size, and clarity of the tunic make this species a good one for studying tunicate structure and feeding. The pharyngeal basket fills the upper, expanded portion and the stomach, intestine, heart, and gonads are in the narrow stalk. The species is hermaphroditic: Usually an orange ovary surrounded by white testes can be seen in the stalk.

Look along the edges of the cluster for transparent stolons creeping outward. This is where new buds are being formed.

The amphipod Polycheria osborni may be found within the tunic.


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© Rosario Beach Marine Laboratory

Source: Invertebrates of the Salish Sea

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