Clavelina lepadiformis

Light bulb ascidian

Clavelina lepadiformis

Illes Medes, Spain, 7 meters, 2011, WBN

Clavelina lepadiformis

Ria d’Etel, France, 8 meters, 2011, WBN

Clavelina lepadiformis

Illes Medes, Spain, 12 meters, 2011, WBN


Clavelina lepadiformis is a colonial ascidian living in groups of 3 to 3OO zooids. They are elongated, cylindrical and up to 2 cm tall. The test is smooth and completely transparent so that the branchial sac is clearly visible. The endostyle, the dorsal axis, the margin of the oral and atrial siphons as well as the upper part of the pharynx are underlined by a thin white or yellowish line. The zooids are joined together by a short basal stolon that cling on rocks, seaweeds or piles.


Clavelina lepadiformis is found from surface to 50 m deep in the Atlantic Ocean, the North Sea, the English Channel and in the Mediterranean Sea.

Image satellite: © Esri, DigitalGlobe, GeoEye, Earthstar Geographics, CNES/Airbus DS, USDA, USGS, AeroGRID, IGN, and the GIS User Community.

Données de distribution : Clavelina lepadiformis in GBIF Secretariat (2019). GBIF Backbone Taxonomy. Checklist dataset accessed via on 2022-10-03.


Source : World Register of Marine Species

! La connexion au serveur WoRMS est momentanément indisponible !

Page glossary

Zooid : individual, single animal.

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.

Endostyle : groove through which food particles are moved up to the oesophagus.

Stolon : root-like element binding together the individuals of a colony.


Text : Anne Bay-Nouailhat © 2005 - 2022.

Photos : © Wilfried Bay-Nouailhat. Published with his kind permission.
Websites and reference works : Consult bibliography

How to cite this page

Bay-Nouailhat A., September 2005, Description of Clavelina lepadiformis, [On line], consulted on 2022 October 03.


Photographie de Anne Bay-Nouailhat

Anne Bay-Nouailhat

Project manager in marine environment
Professional diver - Naturalist

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