IUCN threat status:

Not evaluated

Comprehensive Description

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The mangrove tunicate, Ecteinascidia turbinata, is a colonial ascidian comprised of individual zooids connected through a series of root-like stolons at the base of the colony. These stolons provide blood to zooids, linking them to one another, and serve as attachment points between the colony and substratum. Each zooid is surrounded by a tunic opening to the water column via an orange siphon. Pigmentation of this area is achieved by carotenoids found in organelles accumulated at the anterior portion of the tunic (Lyerla et al. 1975). Sparse pigments in other portions of the tunic give colonies a transparent appearance. However, in some populations, the zooids within each tunic may have a yellow, orange or pink cast (Voss 1980).

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© Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce

Source: Indian River Lagoon Species Inventory

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