TUNICATA : PHLEBOBRANCHIA : AscidiidaeSEA SQUIRTS

Ascidia virginea O F Müller, 1776


Description: This solitary ascidian is rectangular in shape and attached by a small area of the base. The test is clean and pale pink or milky white in colour. The oral siphon is terminal and the atrial siphon is 1/4 of the way down the side of the body. The test is firm and thick, and collapses little on collection. 60mm tall x 30mm wide.

Habitat: Commonest on rocky substrata in sheltered or semi-exposed silty conditions.

Distribution: Widespread around the British Isles, commoner in the north.

Similar Species: Other ascidians with clean tests include Corella parallelogramma and Ciona intestinalis but this species is distinctive in shape and has a more opaque test.

Key Identification Features:

Distribution Map from BioMar data for Ireland - Google Earth map:  download this placemark (not got Google Earth installed?)

Distribution Map from NBN: Grid map (fast) : Interactive map (slow, requires login to view records) : National Biodiversity Network mapping facility, data for UK.


 Picton, B.E. & Morrow, C.C., 2010. [In] Encyclopedia of Marine Life of Britain and Ireland
http://www.habitas.org.uk/marinelife/species.asp?item=ZD1530

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