Sea pig

Halocynthia pyriformis

ORDER

Pleurogona

FAMILY

Pyuridae

TAXONOMY

Ascidia pyriformis Rathke, 1806, Bergen, Norway.

OTHER COMMON NAMES

None known.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Solitary species. Red or purple barrel-shaped body, up to 3.9 in (10 cm) in height, attached by the posterior end to hard substratum. Two well-developed siphons are positioned on the anterior end of body and covered by thin spines. Similar, but smaller spines cover the whole test.

DISTRIBUTION

Arctic North America and north Atlantic coasts of North America; Greenland; Iceland; Spitsbergen, Norway; White Sea; Barents Sea.

HABITAT

Rocky or stony bottoms at depths from 0 to about 656 ft (0-200 m).

BEHAVIOR

Sessile, attached, immobile species.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Filter feeder.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Larvae are not incubated in the atrial cavity.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not listed by the IUCN.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

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