Boltenia echinata (Linnaeus, 1767)

Common name(s): 

Synonyms: Ascidia echinata, Cynthia echinata, Halocynthia echinata, Microcosmus echinatus, Pyura echinata Boltenia echinata
Phylum Chordata
Subphylum Urochordata
Order Stolidobranchia
Family Pyuridae
Boltenia echinata, growing on the underside of a boulder and surrounded by sponge.  Diameter approximately 2 cm.  Found at minus tide level on Sares Head.
(Photo by: Dave Cowles, October 2007)
Description:   This solitary tunicate has an opaque tunic which is covered with spinelike projections.  The projections are numerous but do not obscure sight of the rest of the tunic.  Each projection has an irregular circle of 4-8 secondary spinelets.  The animal does not attach to the substrate by a distinct stalk.  Height up to about 4 cm.

How to Distinguish from Similar Species: Boltenia villosa attaches by a stalk. Halocynthia igaboja has projections which nearly obscure the tunic and each projection has several rings of secondary spinelets.

Geographical Range:

Depth Range:


Biology/Natural History:   (I was able to find no information about this species).  See Boltenia villosa for a related species with more information.



Dichotomous Keys:
  Kozloff 1987, 1996

General References:

Scientific Articles:

Web sites:

General Notes and Observations:  Locations, abundances, unusual behaviors:

Authors and Editors of Page:
Dave Cowles (2007):  Created original page
CSS coding for page developed by Jonathan Cowles (2007)