TUNICATA : APLOUSOBRANCHIA : PolyclinidaeSEA SQUIRTS

Synoicum pulmonaria (Ellis & Solander, 1786)

Tennis Ball Ascidian


Synoicum pulmonaria

Description: The typical form of this species is a large globular mass, with relatively large zooids arranged in star-like systems in its surface. However small colonies with zooids of similar appearance are much commoner, and are at present considered to be the same species. The colonies are brown and semi-transparent, and the zooids lack any distinctive pigmentation. Colony 70mm in diameter.

Habitat: Moderately exposed rocky sites, attached to rock surfaces.

Distribution: The large form has a northerly distribution, being common in the North Sea, and confined to deep cold water in W. Scotland and N. Ireland.

Similar Species: Small colonies are similar to Polyclinum aurantium and can only be reliably distinguished by examination of the internal anatomy.

Key Identification Features:

Distribution Map from NBN: Interactive map : National Biodiversity Network mapping facility, data for UK.

WoRMS: Species record : World Register of Marine Species.



 Picton, B.E. & Morrow, C.C. (2016). Synoicum pulmonaria (Ellis & Solander, 1786). [In] Encyclopedia of Marine Life of Britain and Ireland.
http://www.habitas.org.uk/marinelife/species.asp?item=ZD410 Accessed on 2017-09-20

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