How to Distinguish from Similar Species: Boltenia echinata has fewer projections which do not obscure the rest of the tunic and grows only to about 4 cm tall. Halycynthia aurantium is a barrel-shaped, smooth or slightly wrinkled peach-colored tunicate that does not have spinelike projections and is attached to the substrate by a narrow stalklike region.
Geographical Range: Alaska to southern California (rare intertidally in California); Japan and Asian mainland.
Depth Range: Very low intertidal to 165 m
Habitat: Rock or gravel, usually near current
Biology/Natural History: The spines often accumulate diatoms and debris. If the current is not strong, this species may become so heavily silted that it is almost unrecognizable. Gonads may be fertile in May. Eggs are shed, not brooded. The tadpole larvae are about 2 mm long.
This species contains 175 ppm vanadium in the body (not the tunic).
The pea crab Pinnotheres pugettensis
sometimes lives symbiotically
within the tunic, the copepod Doropygopsis longicauda
may be found
in the branchial chamber, and the bryozoan Celleporella
encrust the spines.
Kozloff, 1987, 1996
General Notes and
abundances, unusual behaviors:
Authors and Editors of Page:
Dave Cowles (2009): Created original page
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