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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




Browne, M. A., Dissanayake, A., Galloway, T. S., Lowe, D. M., & Thompson,R. C. (2008). Ingested microscopic plastic translocates to the circulatorysystem of the mussel, Mytilus edulis (L.). Environmental science & technology42(13),5026-5031.

Blum, J. C., Chang, A. L., Liljesthröm, M., Schenk, M. E., Steinberg, M. K.,& Ruiz, G. M. (2007). The non-native solitary ascidian Cionaintestinalis (L.) depresses species richness. Journal of Experimental MarineBiology and Ecology342(1), 5-14.

Cole, M., Lindeque, P., Halsband, C., & Galloway, T. S. (2011). Microplastics as contaminants in the marine environment: a review. Marine pollution bulletin62(12), 2588-2597.

Derraik, J. G. (2002). The pollution of the marine environment by plastic debris: a review. Marine pollution bulletin44(9),842-852.

Delsuc, F., Brinkmann, H., Chourrout, D., & Philippe, H. (2006). Tunicates and not cephalochordates are the closest living relatives of vertebrates. Nature439(7079), 965-968. (2013). Map of Ecteinascidia diaphanis -- Discover Life. Accessed on 24 October 2013,229 

Eriksson, C., & Burton, H. (2003). Origins and biological accumulation of small plastic particles in fur seals from Macquarie Island. AMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment32(6), 380-384.

Fox, R. (2007). Invertebrate Anatomy Online. Ecteinascidia diaphanis. Accessed on 28 October 2013

Gaill, F. (1980). Glycogen and degeneration in the plyoric gland of Dendrodoa grossularia (Ascidiacea, Tunicata). Cell Tissue Res, 208,197-206.

Harrison, F. W., and Ruppert, . (1991). Microscopic anatomy of invertebrates: Volume 15:Hemichordata, Cheatognatha, and the Invertebrate Chordates. Wiley-Liss, Inc, 221-347.

Herdman, W.A. (1882). Report on the Tunicata collected during the voyage of H.M.S. Challenger during the years 1873–1876. Pt I, Ascidiae simplices. Zoology Challenger Expedition, 6, 1–296.

Gosliner, T. M., Behrens, D. W., & Williams, G. C. (1996). Coral reef animals of the Indo-Pacific: animal life from Africa to Hawaii exclusive of the vertebrates, Sea Challengers, Monterey, California. 294.

Locke, A., Hanson, J. M., Ellis, K. M., Thompson, J., & Rochette, R.(2007). Invasion of the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence by the clubbed tunicate (Styelaclava Herdman): Potential mechanisms for invasions of Prince EdwardIsland estuaries. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology342(1), 69-77.

Kott, P. (1985). The Australian Ascidiacea Part 1, Phlebobranchia and Stolidobranchia. Memoirs of Queensland Museum, 23, 1–438.

Kott, P. (1992) The Australian Ascidiacea, Supplement 2 Memoirs of Queensland Museum, 32, 621-655.

Kott,P. (2005). Ascidiacea - Catalogue of Tunicata in Australian Waters. Queensland Museum, Brisbane, Australia.

Lambert, C. C., & Lambert, G. (2003). Persistence and differential distribution of non indigenous ascidians in harbors of the Southern California Bight. Marine ecology. Progress series259, 145-161.

Meglitsch, P.A. and Schram,F. R. (1991). Invertebrate Zoology. 3rd ed. OxfordUniversity Press. 578-583
Parry, D. L. (1984). Chemical properties of the test of ascidians in relation to predation. Marine ecology progress series. Oldendorf17(3), 279-282.

Pechenik, J.A. (2010). Biology of the Invertebrates. 6th ed. McGraw Hill. 540-544.

Plastics Europe, 2012. Plastics – the Facts 2012. An analysis of European plastics production, demand and waste data for 2011.

Ruppert, E. E.,Fox, R. S, and Barnes, R. B. (2004). Invertebrate Zoology, A functional evolutionary approach. 7 th ed.Brooks Cole Thomson, Belmont CA. 940-951. 2013. HeronIsland Reef - SEPM Strata. Accessed on 25 October 2013 

Shenkar, N., Gittenberger, A., Lambert, G.,Rius, M., Moreira Da Rocha, R., J Swalla, B.J. & Turon, X. (2012). WorldAscidiacea Database. Accessed on 26 October 2013 

Sluiter, C. P. 1885. Ueber einige einfachen Ascidien von der Insel Billiton. Natuurkundig Tijdschrift voor Nederlandsch Indië, 134, 160–232.

Stoecker, D. (1980). Chemical defenses ofascidians against predators. Ecology, 1327-1334.

Thompson, R. C., Ylva O., Mitchell, R. P.,Davis, A., Rowland, S. J., John, A. W. G., Daniel McGonigle, D. and Russell, A. E. (2004). Lost at sea: where is all the plastic?. Science, 304, 838-838.