Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description

 Clavelina lepadiformis is a colonial sea squirt that grows up to 20 mm high. Groups of transparent zooids are joined at the base by short stolons. Eggs and larvae vary in colour and are visible in the atrial cavity. In the Mediterranean the eggs and embryos are most often yellowish white and sometime pink (X. Turon, pers. comm.) although in other areas in NW Europe they can also be red (Fish & Fish, 1996). Zooids possess a white ring around the pharynx, and have pale yellow or white longitudinal lines along the endostyle and dorsal lamina, which gives this species its 'light-bulb' appearance. In some areas colonies regress in winter and re-grow in spring although in the Mediterranean this may not be the case. De Caralt et al. (2002) looked at the differences in Clavelina lepadiformis between populations inside and outside of harbours and found that the population inside the harbour remained all year (albeit often at very low abundances). In contrast, the population in a rocky littoral area outside the harbour aestivated (regressed) for up to 7 months over the summer period (De Caralt et al., 2002).The light bulb sea squirt attaches itself to rocks, stones and seaweed in the sublittoral, down to a depth of about 50 m. Individual zooids are small in spring growing to full size by about the end of May in Britain.
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Description

Colony consists of free zooids loosely attached by creeping stolons or basal test material. Zooids are transparent, with delicate cream or white lines delineating the endostyle and dorsal lamina and forming a white ring at the top of the branchial sac (peri-pharyngeal band). In some specimens there may be additional white pigment at the edge of each siphon, forming two additional rings. Zooids 20mm long x 5mm diameter. The only other British species with similar white markings in a transparent zooid of this size is Diazona violacea. In Diazona the zooids are more closely united in a common test and there is a series of six white spots around the exhalant siphon.
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Distribution

Common and widely distributed in British waters, elsewhere from Norway to the Mediterranean.
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Ecology

Habitat

Depth range based on 328 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 62 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 0 - 46
  Temperature range (°C): 10.422 - 16.269
  Nitrate (umol/L): 0.535 - 8.618
  Salinity (PPS): 34.219 - 38.444
  Oxygen (ml/l): 5.382 - 6.665
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.095 - 0.626
  Silicate (umol/l): 1.434 - 4.820

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 0 - 46

Temperature range (°C): 10.422 - 16.269

Nitrate (umol/L): 0.535 - 8.618

Salinity (PPS): 34.219 - 38.444

Oxygen (ml/l): 5.382 - 6.665

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.095 - 0.626

Silicate (umol/l): 1.434 - 4.820
 
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 Clavelina lepadiformis attaches itself to rocks, stones and seaweed in the sublittoral, to a depth of about 50 m.
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From low water mark to about 50m. One of the commonest ascidians in shallow rocky sublittoral habitats, usually on vertical rock faces, sides of boulders, etc. but also found on stones, shells and seaweeds. Tolerant of a wide range of exposure but most abundant in moderately exposed sites in the infralittoral zone.
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General Ecology

Ecology

Clavelina lepadiformis shows a yearly cycle of growth beginning in January when new zooids start to grow from the overwintering base, with larval production in late summer (June to September) followed by disintegration the zooids leaving an overwintering bud.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Clavelina lepadiformis

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


There are 8 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.

AGACGTTGATTTATGTCTACTAATCATAAAGATATTGGTACTTTATATTTTTTTTTAAGAATTTATTCGGCTTTAGTGAGAACTGGTTTA---AGTATAATTATTCGTACTGAGCTTTCACAAACTGGGCAATTAATTGGTAAT---GGTCAGATTTATAATGTAGTAGTAACTGCACATGCTCTTTTAATAATTTTTTTTTTTATTATACCTGTTATAATTAGAGGATTTAGAAATTGGCTATTACCTATAATA---GTAGGATCTCCTGATATAGCTTTCCCGCGTTTAAATAATATAAGTTTCTGATTACTGCCTCCAGCTTTATTTCTTCTTGTATTATCTGTTTTTAATAGGGACAGGGTAAGGACAGGGTGGACTATTTACCCACCATTATCTGGCATTTTAGCTCATAGTAGTGGGGCTGTAGATATAGGT---ATTTTTTCTTTACATTTAGCTAGGGTTTCTAGTATTTTAAGGTCTATAAATTTTTTAGTTACAATAAGTAATATGAAATTAAAAGGTTTTGATTATAATAATTTAAGTTTATTTTGTTGATCTGTTGTTGTAACCACTGTTTTACTGGTGCTATCTCTACCTGTTTTAGCTGCT---GCTATTACCATACTGCTTTTTGATCGTAATTTAAATACTAGTTTTTTTGATCCTATAGGAAGGAGAGATCCTATTCTTTTTCAACATTTATTTTGGTTTTTCGGACATCCTGAAGTATACATTTTAATTTTGCCAGGGTTTGGTATAATCAGTCAAATTGTAGTCTTTTATTCTGGTAAGGAT---AATATTTTTAGGTATTATAGAATAGTTTGGGCAATATGTAGAATTAGGTTTCTTGGTTTTTTAGTTTGAGCACATCATATATTTAGTGTAGGTATAGATGTTGATTCTCGAGCTTATTTTACTGCTGCTACCATAATTATTGCTGTTCCAACCAGAATTAAGATTTTTTCATGAGTTTCT---ACTTTATTAAGAAGA---TTAATCACCTGAAGTTTATCTATATATTGATTTTTTAGGTTTTTGTTTCTTTTTACTATTAGAGGTCTAACTAGGATTGTTTTAGCTAATTGTAGTTTAGATTTAGTTCTTCATGACACATACTATGTAGTTGCTCATTTCCATTATGTA---TTATCTATAGGGGCTGTGTTTACTATTTTTGCAAGATTTTTTCATTGGTTTCCTTTATTTTACGGTTTAGTATTTAATGATATTTTAGGTAAAATTCACTTTTGGTTAATATTTATTGGAGTTAATTTAACTTTTTTTCCACAACATTTCTTAGGCTTAGCTAGAATACCTCGT---CGATACAATGATTTTCCTGATTTTTTTTTA---ACATGAAATATTATTTCTTCTGTTAGATCTATAATTAGCGTAGCTAGGGTATTGTTTTTTATGCTTATGGCTTGAGAAAGTATTATTAGTAAAGTTGAAATC---GAAAATATTGAACATTCTCACAGTAGA
-- end --

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Clavelina lepadiformis

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 6
Specimens with Barcodes: 6
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Wikipedia

Clavelina lepadiformis

The Clavelina lepadiformis or light-bulb sea squirt is a colonial sea squirt.

The transparent tunic and visible yellow or white internal organs give this animal its common name.

Clavelina lepadiformis.jpg
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