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Ciona intestinalis

Ciona intestinalis

Yellow sea-squirt

   Ciona intestinalis is a solitary ascidian which is up to 15 cm high. This upright cylindrical sea-squirt has a smooth soft test. It is translucent and its colour varies from white to yellow. Muscular bands, branchial sac and intestine are visible through the test. The edges of the siphons have a yellow margin. Oral and atrial siphons are contiguous and terminal. The oral siphon has 8 lobes and the atrial one has 6 lobes. Yellow sea-squirts often live in groups attached to rocks, piles, hulls. It can be common in harbours because this species seems to bear polluted waters.
It is found from low water level to 50 m deep in the Atlantic Ocean, the English Channel, the North Sea, the Baltic sea and the Mediterranean Sea.

Classification

 (source : European Register of Marine Species)

  • Chordata [Phylum]
  • Tunicata [Subphylum]
  • Ascidiacea [Class]
  • Enterogona [Order]
  • Aplousobranchia [Suborder]
  • Cionidae [Family]
  • Ciona intestinalis Linnaeus, 1767)

Page glossary


Test : or tunic: thick layer secreted by the mantel containing cellulose and protecting the animal.
Oral siphon : Opening by which water is drawn in the ascidian.
Atrial siphon : Opening through which water is expelled.

Ciona intestinalis. Ciona intestinalis
Yellow sea-squirt

Ciona intestinalis. Ciona intestinalis
View of the branchial sac

Ciona intestinalis. Ciona intestinalis
Young specimen

Authors


Top photograph :
© Wilfried Bay-Nouailhat. Published with author's kind permission : 
Ciona intestinalis, Bay of Concarneau, South-Brittany, West of France. Depth 5 meters.
Bottom photographs : © Wilfried Bay-Nouailhat. Published with author's kind permission : 
Ciona intestinalis, Yellow sea-squirt. Baie de Concarneau, South Brittany, West of France. Depth 4 meters.
© Wilfried Bay-Nouailhat. Published with author's kind permission : 
Ciona intestinalis, View of the branchial sac. Baie de concarneau, South Brittany, West of France. Depth 11 meters.
© Wilfried Bay-Nouailhat. Published with author's kind permission : 
Ciona intestinalis, Young specimen. Baie de Concarneau, South Brittany, West of France. Depth 4 meters.
Text :  Anne Bay-Nouailhat © 2005-2017.
Translation :  Anne Bay-Nouailhat © 2007-2017.

How to cite this page in publications


Bay-Nouailhat A., October 2005, Description of Ciona intestinalis, Available on line at http://www.european-marine-life.org/32/ciona-intestinalis.php, consulted on 27 June 2017.
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