BIOTIC Species Information for Distomus variolosus
Researched byDr Paul Somerfield & Prof. Richard Warwick Data supplied byPML
Refereed byThis information is not refereed.
Scientific nameDistomus variolosus Common nameLesser gooseberry sea squirt
MCS CodeZD121 Recent Synonyms

PhylumChordata SubphylumTunicata
Superclass ClassAscidiacea
Subclass OrderPleurogona
SuborderStolidobranchiata FamilyStyelidae
GenusDistomus Speciesvariolosus

Additional Information
Taxonomy References Millar, 1970, Berril, 1950, Hayward & Ryland, 1995b, Gibson et al., 2001, Howson & Picton, 1997,
General Biology
Growth formGlobose
Feeding methodActive suspension feeder
Mobility/MovementPermanent attachment
Environmental positionEpifaunal
Typical food typesPhytoplankton, detritus HabitAttached
Bioturbator FlexibilityLow (10-45 degrees)
FragilityFragile SizeVery small(<1cm)
HeightUp to 1 cm Growth RateNot researched
Adult dispersal potentialNot researched DependencyIndependent
General Biology Additional Information
Biology References Fish & Fish, 1996,
Distribution and Habitat
Distribution in Britain & IrelandRecorded in west Sussex, south Devon and Cornwall, Lundy, south and south-west Wales, south-east and western Ireland, north Wales, Isle of Man and the sound between Gighay and Hellisay in the Outer Hebrides.
Global distributionFound in north-west Europe from south-west British coasts south to the coasts of Portugal.
Biogeographic rangeTemperate. Depth rangeLower shore to 20 m.
Distribution Additional Information

Substratum preferencesBedrock
Large to very large boulders
Physiographic preferences
Biological zone Wave exposure
Tidal stream strength/Water flow Salinity
Habitat Preferences Additional Information
Distribution References Millar, 1970, Berril, 1950, Hayward & Ryland, 1995b, Picton & Costello, 1998, JNCC, 1999, NBN, 2002,
Reproduction/Life History
Reproductive typeBudding
Developmental mechanismViviparous (No Care)
Reproductive SeasonJuly to September Reproductive LocationAs adult
Reproductive frequency Regeneration potential Yes
Life span1-2 years Age at reproductive maturityInsufficient information
Generation timeNot researched Fecundity3-4
Egg/propagule sizeUp to 0.6 mm Fertilization typeInternal
Larval/Juvenile dispersal potentialNot researched Larval settlement periodJuly to September
Duration of larval stage<1 day   
Reproduction Preferences Additional InformationIt is hermaphroditic although the exact type of hermaphroditism has not been recorded.
Reproduction References Berrill, 1948b,
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