Tunicates
ASCIDIANS Ascidians are not invertebrates, but actually belong to the back-boned animals as we humans. They are more known under the name sea squirts or tunicates. There are 2300 different species of ascidians. Some live solitary, while others prefer to form colonies. Each individual member of one of these colonies is called a zooid. They are sac-like marine animals which are found in the shallow waters of all seas and oceans. Members of the Thaliacea (salp) and Larvacea swim freely in open water while all the other tunicates are not able to transfer themselves and are well attached to substrate such as rocks, dead coral and shells. The sac-like body is protected by a kind of cellulose material. Some tunicate species are transparent while others can have a more leathery look with wrinkles and warts. All sea squirts have two or more openings with a different dimension. The largest called oral siphon. The smaller opening(s) or atrial siphon is positioned more on the side of the animal, but often very close to the oral siphon. Tunicates feed by sucking in water via the oral siphon. The water flows through the mouth via the mucus-covered gills who filter plankton out of the water. Then it flows through a water chamber between the stomach and the outer skin, and leaves the animal via the smaller atrial siphon. When looking to one of the transparent tunicate specimen, you can see how the whole feeding system works.
Ascidians info.

Ascidians info.

Clavelina fusca

Clavelina fusca

Clavelina  arafurensis

Clavelina arafurensis

Clavelina moluccensis

Clavelina moluccensis

Clavelina cyclus

Clavelina cyclus

Clavelina  t_robusta

Clavelina t_robusta

Clavelina viola

Clavelina viola

Clavelina  flava

Clavelina flava

Clavelina  detorta

Clavelina detorta

Clavelina sp.

Clavelina sp.

Clavelina sp.1

Clavelina sp.1

Sigillina signifera

Sigillina signifera

Perophora modificata

Perophora modificata

Eusynstyela latericius

Eusynstyela latericius

Ecteinascidia bandaensis

Ecteinascidia bandaensis

Rhopalaea  circula

Rhopalaea circula

Rhopalaea  crassa

Rhopalaea crassa

Rhopalaea sp.

Rhopalaea sp.

Rhopalaea sp.1

Rhopalaea sp.1

Polycarpa aurata

Polycarpa aurata

Polycarpa captiosa

Polycarpa captiosa

Phalussia julinea

Phalussia julinea

Herdmania momus

Herdmania momus

Didemnum molle

Didemnum molle

Didemnum membranaceum

Didemnum membranaceum

Oxycorynia fascicularis

Oxycorynia fascicularis

Diazona formosa

Diazona formosa

Diazona tenera

Diazona tenera

Exostoma ianthinum

Exostoma ianthinum

Eudistoma reginum

Eudistoma reginum

Lissoclinum patella

Lissoclinum patella

Leptoclinides reticulatus

Leptoclinides reticulatus

Botrylloides  leachii

Botrylloides leachii

Botryllus sp.

Botryllus sp.

Botryllus sp.1

Botryllus sp.1

Ascidia ornata

Ascidia ornata

Pyrosoma atlanticum

Pyrosoma atlanticum