Polycarpa maniensis     (Sea Squirt)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Ascidiacea

Image copyrights: The Marine Biological Association of India

Size: 1.5 cm long, 0.7 cm wide

Color: Living specimens are creamy yellow; pigmentation increases anteriorly, brownish around the siphons.

Oval, laterally flattened, sessile, attached to the substratum by the posterior ventral surface. Apertures sessile, 4 lobed, branchial aperture terminal, atrial one-third to one-half on the dorsal surface. Test tough, leathery with many wrinkles and irregular creases, devoid of epibionts and sand.

Body wall thick, creamy yellow and muscular. Long branchial tentacles 20-25 and with short rudimentary tentacles in between. Dorsal tubercle a large cushion, fills the V-shaped peritubercular area. Opening of the neural gland U-shaped and directed to the left side. Dorsal lamina a simple low membrane. Low branchial folds 4 on each side crowded with internal longitudinal vessels. Gut forms a short loop in the posterior end of the body. Oesophagus short. Stomach elliptical with prominent internal folds and faint longitudinal grooves externally occupying half of the ascending limb of the gut loop. Rectum curves anteriorly towards the atrial opening, secondary gut loop wide. Short curved gastric caecum and a gastro-intestinal duct in the gut loop. Anal border slightly lobed. Anterior margin of the gut loop reaches only posterior one-third of the body. 3-4 rows of large upright flask shaped polycarps fixed along their lengths to the body wall, but on the left side they do not extend beyond the gut loop. Ducts of the polycarps directed towards the atrial aperture. Numerous endocarps found at random on the body wall, except the gut loop.

Synonym (s)

Common Name (s)
Economic Importance and Threats

Habitat:  Coastal


• Tamil Nadu, Mandapam (Lat: 9.26) (Long: 79.13) INDIA (Record: 2006)

Literature Source(s)
  • Meenakshi, VK and Senthamarai, S (2006) Two new styelid ascidians - Polycarpa maniensis sp. nov., Polycarpa scatterata sp. nov. and one new record Polycarpa aurita (Sluiter, 1890) from Indian waters Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India The Marine Biological Association of India, Cochin 48(1) 95-99 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at - http://www.marinespecies.org

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