Ascidia latesiphonica   Hartmeyer,  1922 (Sea Squirt)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Ascidiacea

Size: 1.25-1.4 cm long and 0.4-0.5 cm wide.

Color: Transparent

Individuals cylindrical with slight lateral compression and attached by the whole of the left side. The posterior end of the body is more or less rounded. The branchial aperture is terminal and the atrial aperture about half of the body length on the dorsal side on short siphons. The atrial siphon is directed posteriorly. There are 8 branchial and 6 atrial lobes without any tentacular fringes and with ocelli between them. The test is cartilaginous, translucent without epibionts. Test vessels branch and end in spherical ampullae (0.06-0.09mm) in the surface test.

Body wall is delicate, thin. The longitudinal muscles from the siphons form a mesh on the right side whereas on the left side muscles are present only anterior to the gut loop. About 25-30 fine branchial tentacles and a fine narrow velum present at the base of the branchial siphon. The prebranchial area narrow and there is no peritubercular area. Dorsal tubercle has a V-shaped slit. Dorsal ganglion is situated about halfway between the dorsal tubercle and a trial siphon. The dorsal lamina is double anteriorly, ribbed; the ribs project out from the free margin. Branchial sac pleated. Stigmata short, 6-7 in a mesh. Branchial papillae rounded. No intermediate branchial papillae. The gut forms a deeply curved loop. Oesophagus is short, stomach wide. Primary gut loop open at the pole and its axis passes through the middle of the stomach. Rectum forms a deep secondary loop close to the descending limb of the intestine and opens in front of the oesophagus at the base of the atrial siphon. Anal border smooth. Gonads are in the gut loop. Proximal end of the ovary is divided into short branches. The testis follicles lie in the primary gut loop and also spread over the gut loop.

The characteristics of the species are its cartilaginous test, cylindrical siphons, terminal ampullae on surface test, large dorsal tubercle, mesh of muscles on the right side and very short branchial meshes.

Synonym (s)
Ascidia australiensis Hartmeyer, 1927

Common Name (s)
Economic Importance and Threats

Habitat:  Demersal, Coastal


• Tamil Nadu, Valinokkam Port INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Tuticorin INDIA

Literature Source(s)
  • Meenakshi, VK (2005) Addition to the ascidian fauna of India Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India Marine Biological Association of India, Cochin 47(1) 36-49 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • Sealifebase Available at -
  • Meenakshi, VK; Renganathan, TK; Senthamarai, S and Jeyalakshmi, J (2003) Marine biodiversity - Taxonomy of Indian Ascidians Technical report Available at - Biodiversity Informatics Group, NIO, Goa

Page last updated on:2011-02-22

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