Ascidia intestinalis Linnaeus, 1767, Europe.
OTHER COMMON NAMES None known.
Cylindrical body up to 5.9 in (15 cm) in length, attached by posterior end. Test soft and translucent, colorless. Siphons are prominent and terminal, the branchial siphon marked by eight and the atrial siphon by six red pigment spots on the margin.
One of the most widely distributed, almost cosmopolitan ascid-ian species, especially abundant along the coasts of northern Europe. Recorded also in the Mediterranean Sea, along the At lantic coast of North America and parts of the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of South America, California, Hawaii, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan.
Occurs on rocks, stones, shells, and algae at depths from 0 to about 1,640 ft (0-500 m).
Solitary species, often forming large populations of many crowded specimens. Sessile, attached, immobile species.
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET Filter feeder.
Ova released directly into seawater through the atrial siphon. Larvae are not incubated in the atrial cavity.
CONSERVATION STATUS Not listed by the IUCN.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS
Often used as a laboratory specimen for various general types of biological research, in particular, cell biology and embryology. ♦
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