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Ecteinacsidia diaphanis (Sluiter, 1885)

Colonial Sea Squirt

Victoria Dewar-Fowler (2013)



Fact Sheet



Physical Description


Life History & Behaviour

Reproduction and Development

Anatomy & Physiology

The Tunic


Respiratory and Circulatory Systems

Digestive System, Nutrition and Excretion

Nervous System

Evolution & Systematics

Biogeographic Distribution

Conservation & Threats

Microplastic Study

References and Links




Adhesive papillae: anterior suckers that attach to the substrate.
Atrial chamber: Chamber preceding the exhalant siphon.
Basal lamina:A thin collagenous sheet overlaying the epithelium, secreted by epithelial cells.
Blastopore: The opening of the archenteron, will develop into the anus in dueterostomes.
Blastozoid: zooid developed as a result of budding.
Buccal tentacles: tentacles found at the entrance of the pharyngeal basket (buccal cavity).
Cerebrial ganglion: a collection of nerves functioning as a simple brain.
Endostyle: elongated gland.
Epiphytic: growth on a surface.
Heartbeat reversal: action in which the heart momentarily stops beating, then resumes in the opposite direction.
Holoblastic: egg seperates into individual blastomeres during development.
Iodoprotein: complex protien found in tunicates.
Mantle: specialised, secretory epidermis.
Mesentries: infoldings of tissue extending across a cavity.
Metamorphosis: transformation from larvae stage to adult stage.
Myocardium:muscular tissue within the heart.
Myogenic: pulses that originate in muscle tissues.
Nephridia: a tube, open to the exterior, for excreting waste.
Nephrocytes: specialised waste collection cells.
Neural ganglian: a group of co-ordinated nerve cells.
Neural gland:glandular mass close to the neural ganglion.
Oozoid: zooid developed from a metamorphosed tadpole larva.
Pericardium:  outer layer of the heart.
Pharyngeal basket: The large perforated pharynx
Plyoric gland: a network of tubules covering the anterior intestine.
Purge: squirting of water from the body cavity as an attemt to expel unwanted matter, occurs by contraction of the bodywall musculature.
Siphon: A tubular opening, through which fluid passes.
Stolon: basal branch-like structure connecting zooids to each other.
Storage secretion: A phenomenon where waste is stored in the body and only relased upon the death of the organism.
Tunic: Secreted protective layer encompassing the zooid.
dorsal tubercle: a modified, complex, nanopore, made ip of a ciliated funnel.
Zooid: An individual of a colony, usually connected.