Salp

Cyclosalpa affinis

ORDER Salpida

FAMILY Salpidae

TAXONOMY

Cyclosalpa affinis (Chamisso, 1819).

OTHER COMMON NAMES None known.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Both stages possess a clear, barrel-shaped, gelatinous body with circular muscle bands embedded in the body wall. Solitary (asexual) stage 2.9 in (74 mm) in length with seven muscle bands and a thick test. Aggregate form (sexual) is irregularly shaped, about 1.7 in (4.5 cm) long with four muscle bands. The aggregates are connected to form a chain of linked circles.

DISTRIBUTION

Temperate and tropical oceanic waters. (Specific distribution map not available.)

HABITAT

Most commonly found in surface of offshore waters. BEHAVIOR

The only salp to form chains of linked circles.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Known for the ability to filter small food particles like phyto-plankton with 100% efficiency.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

The fertilized egg grows into the asexual stage inside the sexual stage, connected to the parent by a placenta used for nor-ishment. Once released the sexual stage grows a tail where the sexual stage buds in chains of linked circles. Each sexual stage contains testis and ovary, which produce sperm and egg to produce the next generation of the asexual stage. They lack the tadpole larval stage.

CONSERVATION STATUS Not listed by the IUCN.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

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