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You are here:   OldClasses > 2012 > Botryllus leachi | Valerie Chia




Botryllus leachi (Savigny, 1816)
Leach's Sea Daisy 
Valerie Chia (2012)



Fact Sheet



Physical Description


Life History & Behaviour

Anatomy & Physiology

Evolution & Systematics

Biogeographic Distribution

Conservation & Threats

References & Links


(from left to right) Figure 1, 2 and 3: Colonies of B. leachi on fragments of dead coral. 

Botryllus leachi (Savigny, 1816) is a species of encrusting colonial ascidian that belongs to the subphylum Urochordata. It consists of many individual zooids growing together on a hard substrata, and forming colonies in chains with a common atrial siphon between them (NIMPIS, 2012b). Individual zooids are only up to 2 mm long and up to 5 mm wide but colonies can cover 100 mm or more (Davie, 2011, NIMPIS, 2012b, Ruppert et al., 2004). The zooids are embedded in a tunic that is highly variable in colour, ranging from nearly transparent, to red, green and yellow (NIMPIS, 2012b, Pechenik, 2010). 

B. leachi is commonly found attached to a hard substrata in shallow lower intertidal zones of tropical and temperate waters (Brunetti et al., 1980, NIMPIS, 2012d). It is a sessile filter feeder that removes suspended materials from the water column (Pechenik, 2010, Ruppert et al., 2004). B. leachi is a hermaphrodite that can simultaneously reproduce sexually and asexually (NIMPIS, 2012d, Pechenik, 2010, Satoh, 1994). 

This webpage hopes to provide relevant and easy to read information on B. leachi. The content is separated into the 7 headings that describe different aspects of B. leachi in more detail. 

Filter feeder: an organism that removes particles from its surrounding fluid. 
Hermaphrodite: an organism that has both female and male reproductive organs. 
Intertidal: area of the shoreline between the highest and lowest tide. 

Zooid: single member of a colony.