Animal Species:Dark Ascidian

This species has been given many scientific names in the past. Because it is so variable in size, shape and colour, scientists classified it as many different species only to find they were all the same.

Dark Ascidian Botrylloides leachi

Jiri Lochman/Lochman Transparencies © Jiri Lochman/Lochman Transparencies

Standard Common Name

Dark Ascidian

Identification

The Dark Ascidian may sometimes be difficult to distinguish from encrusting sponges in Sydney as they are both found in similar habitats.

Size range

5 cm

Habitat

The Dark Ascidian is found in coastal waters to a depth of 25 m. The Dark Ascidian is a common species, occurring on seaweeds on the lower shore and in shallow water.

Other behaviours and adaptations

The Dark Ascidian is an example of a colonial ascidian, meaning that many individual animals live together embedded in a jelly-like substance. Each individual in the colony has its own intake siphon for feeding, but several individuals may combine to share one exit siphon.

Classification

Species:
leachii
Genus:
Botrylloides
Subfamily:
Botryllinae
Family:
Styelidae
Suborder:
Stolidobranchia
Class:
Ascidiacea
Subphylum:
Tunicata
Phylum:
Chordata
Kingdom:
Animalia

What does this mean?


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Tags ascidians, tunicates, invertebrates, identification, wildlife of sydney,