Robert Durrant's picture

Tunicate

Observed: 28th March 2012 By: Robert DurrantRobert Durrant’s reputation in Invertebrates
P1010291
DSCF9670
Description:

Small (3mm diam) tunicate with orange test, with about 10 whitish bodies (presumably zooids) within. Very small central vent visible, but not possible to see any other openings even at x40. Dark brown spots around test, mostly fairly evenly spaced.

Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Comments

bobthebirder's picture

sea squirt

Were there many of this species at the site?

Bob Ford

trudy-russell's picture

This is one of the club

This is one of the club seasquirts either applidium puncatum or morchellium argus. Each zooid (your right about the white bits) will have some small orange spots the number differs between the species and is the definitive way to identify them. Although these are hard to see when they are closed up like this.

Trudy Russell
Marine Advisor
Natural England

To find out about what's going on in the south west check out http://www.ispot.org.uk/forum/8409

Robert Durrant's picture

Late reply

Sorry, Bob, I haven't used iSpot for a while, so this is a bit late!!! No, not many, just two. I have seen small numbers since in similar locations, but never many.

From asking a direct question by email to MarLIN, Trudy, I got this reply: "Seems to be a very small/young polyclinid colony, probably an Aplidium (this would include the species formerly known as Sidnyum elegans, now Aplidium elegans, which is a possible candidate). (The brown specks mentioned could well be the stomachs of the zooids.)" So it certainly seems that you were pretty close.
Evidently the small and possibly juvenile size of this organism makes definite ID very hard.
Thanks so much for your input.