A sea squirt (Ascidia conchilega)
|Researched by||Saskiya Richards||Refereed by||Admin|
|Other common names||-||Synonyms||-|
Recorded distribution in Britain and IrelandAscidia conchilega is widespread on all coasts of Britain and Ireland.
Global distributionAscidia conchilega is widely distributed in north-west Europe, from the Faroes and west Norway to the mediterranean.
HabitatAscidia conchilega is found from low water to depths of at least 1000 m. This species attaches to hard substrate, such as stones and shells, as well as the holdfasts of various algae. It also inhabits the underside of rocks in tidepools.
- Solitary sea squirt with elongate, oval-shaped body.
- Body up to 6 cm in length.
- Body attached to the substrate along entire length of left side.
- Test is thin, translucent and smooth with small rough projections.
- Greenish in colour with red spots on siphonic lobes.
- Atrial siphon positioned two-thirds of body length from oral siphon.
Additional informationAscidia conchilega is a filter-feeder. Individuals of this species are hermaphroditic and reproduce by externally fertilized eggs throughout January to December. Tadpole larvae, approximately 0.1 cm long, hatch from the eggs and settle on the substratum before metamorphosing into the adult form. This species is similar to Ascidia mentula which is larger, has a smooth surface and a grey to pink coloured, thick test.
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Last Updated: 03/07/2008