Pyura haustor (Stimpson, 1864)

Common name(s): Wrinkled seapump, Wrinkled sea squirt, Warty tunicate

Synonyms:  Cynthia erecta, Cynthia haustor, Cynthia macrosiphonus, Halocynthia haustor, Halocynthia haustor foliacea, Halocynthia johnsoni
Phylum Chordata
 Subphylum Urochordata
  Class Ascidiacea
   Order Stolidobranchia
    Family Pyuridae
Pyura haustor, subtidal from Sares Head.  Scale is cm. Animal appears partly encrusted, and the siphons are not fully extended.
(Photo by: Dave Cowles July 2005)
Description:  This common solitary tunicate is nearly as tall to taller than wide, but not attached by a stalk, body roughly globular with the siphons often projecting and reddish.  The tunic is opaque, tough, and wrinkled, ridged, and creased but without spinelike projections.  Often the body appears more reddish brown or tan than in the above specimen, which may be partly encrusted with another growth or with sand, as is common with this species.  Diameter up to 5 cm, height to 3.5 cm

How to Distinguish from Similar Species:  The rough tunic, broad attachment, tall stature, and red on the siphons distinguish this species.

Geographical Range:  Shumagin Islands, Alaska to San Diego, CA.  Now less common in S CA bays than in the past.

Depth Range:  Low intertidal to 200 m

Habitat:  Rocks, pilings, floats, kelp holdfasts; protected and exposed coasts

Biology/Natural History:  This species is usually solitary but occasionally a few clump together.  This is the most common tunicate in the San Juan Islands but avoids areas of the highest currents.  Its hemispherical body is often covered with sand, shell, or debris, and it has been called "the champion tunicate junk collector".  The siphons project far from the body when feeding underwater, but can be retracted most of the way if disturbed or when out of the water.  Diet includes crustacean, echinoderm, and mollusk larvae and eggs, as well as the larvae and eggs of tunicates.  Predators include the seastar Solaster stimpsoni.  May have the commensal copepod Pygodelphus aquilonaris or the protozoans Trichophyra salparum, Euplotaspis cionaecola, or Parahypocoma rhamphisokarya.  May or may not brood its young (conflicting reports).  Has gray eggs.  The tunic is 13% organic, including 40% protein and 60% carbohydrate, but does not concentrate vanadium.

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Dichotomous Keys:
  Flora and Fairbanks, 1966
  Kozloff 1987, 1996
  Smith and Carlton, 1975

General References:
  Brusca and Brusca, 1978
  Gotshall, 1994
  Harbo, 1999
  Johnson and Snook, 1955 (As Halocynthia haustor)
  Kozloff, 1993
  Morris et al., 1980
  O'Clair and O'Clair, 1998
  Ricketts et al., 1985
  Sept, 1999

Scientific Articles:

Zeng, Liyun, Molly W. Jacobs, and Bill J. Swalla, 2006.  Coloniality has evolved once on Stolidobranch ascidians.  Integrative and Comparative Biology 46:3 pp 255-268

Web sites:

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

Authors and Editors of Page:
Dave Cowles (2005):  Created original page