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Halocynthia papillosa

Red sea-squirt

   Halocynthia papillosa is a solitary ascidian which is generally 10 cm high but may reach 20 cm. The body is ovoïd, the red test is cartilaginous, rough with a granulous surface. The siphons are distant: the oral siphon is terminal and the atrial siphon is half-way down the body. Rigid bristles, used as sensitive elements, surround the siphons. The red sea-squirt can contract and close its siphons when disturbed.
It lives attached to rocks, overhangs or among Posidonia, avoiding luminous areas, between 2 and 100 meters deep. It is a Mediterranean species that may live in the surrounded Atlantic Ocean, particularly along the Portuguese coasts.

Classification

 (source : European Register of Marine Species)

  • Chordata [Phylum]
  • Tunicata [Subphylum]
  • Ascidiacea [Class]
  • Stolidobranchia [Suborder]
  • Pyuridae [Family]
  • Aplidium elegans (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.

Halocynthia papillosa. Halocynthia papillosa
Red sea-squirt.

Halocynthia papillosa. Halocynthia papillosa
Close view.

 

Authors


Top photograph :
© Wilfried Bay-Nouailhat. Published with author's kind permission : 
Halocynthia papillosa, Illes Medes, Costa Brava, East of Spain. Depth 15 meters.
Bottom photographs : © Wilfried Bay-Nouailhat. Published with author's kind permission : 
Halocynthia papillosa, Red sea-squirt.. Illes Medes, Costa Brava, East Spain. Depth 18 meters.
© Wilfried Bay-Nouailhat. Published with author's kind permission : 
Halocynthia papillosa, Close view.. Illes Medes, Costa Brava, East Spain. Depth 18 meters.
Text :  Anne Bay-Nouailhat © 2005-2014.
Translation :  Anne Bay-Nouailhat © 2007-2014.

How to cite this page in publications


Bay-Nouailhat A., January 2005, Description of Halocynthia papillosa, Available on line at http://www.european-marine-life.org/32/halocynthia-papillosa.php, consulted on 16 September 2014.
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