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Diplosoma spongiforme

(Giard, 1872)


Jeremy Pierce Another squirt??? Or is it still Diplosoma spongiforme with it's inlets puckered into star shapes??

Message posted on Seasearch Identifications on 25 Feb 2013
David Kipling Two colour morphs of Diplosoma spongiforme for Cynthia D. Trowbridge and Becky Hitchin next to each other. So one idea I had (that the fawn coloured ones are just a result of being constipated with loads of fawn-coloured sediment) looks unlikely, assuming both are happy and filtering. Looks more like a proper pigment difference. Can Diplosoma colonies (which otherwise would be genetically identical) fuse? Pembrokeshire, ~ 17-22m deep, red sandstone tideswept reef, yesterday.

Becky Hitchin I suppose there's no reason at all why it can't just be pigment differences, after all Bot and Bot show differences, though Diplosoma isn't exactly close to them phylogenetically, is it?

David Kipling Nope, ways away.

Becky Hitchin There's some lovely morphological convergence in these guys

Cynthia D. Trowbridge interesting...

Message posted on NE Atlantic Tunicata on 30 Sep 2013
Nick Owen Portland marina entry ramp pontoon, lots of didemnids, some I can ID, some I can't. Could anyone help with this one please? Second pic is a crop of part of the first. Note differences in colony colour (eg top left) but raised oscules seem to be constant in these examples. White rim like Diplosoma spongiforme, but other aspects don't look the same as pics of Diplosoma on the web. Have kept a sample of this one. How best to pickle it please? Many thanks.

David Kipling Current protocol for our work (which may not be necessary for Diplosoma) is a relaxing spa therapy in 0.1% propylene phenoxytol in SW for an hour, followed by 10% formalin in SW. These semi-opaque smothering Diplosomas are bothering me, we get masses in the Cleddau and also in the Blackwater estuary (oyster aquaculture area). Although a quicker solution to the issue may simply be to barcode the marina species and map it onto open-sea D spongiforme and D listerianum...

Nick Owen Hi David. Are you on the Hydroids course in Falmouth this weekend by any chance? Would you pimp me some propylene phenoxytol please? I'll bring the sample.... Many thanks, Nick Nick Owen, BSc MIEEM Ecologist and Countryside Manager HSE Pro Scuba, NPTC chainsaw CS10-14. Surveys (terrestrial, marine);Site management plans; Countryside management advice Woodland management. >________________________________

David Kipling I am indeed, I shall plonk some in a tube for you.

David Kipling OK Nick it's packed. It doesn't mix with water so pre-mix it with an equal volume of ethanol or IMS first. So to make 1l of final solution mix 1ml PP with 1ml ethanol, shake, then add to 1l of SW. Shake well! Works best chilled if you can organise that. Diluted relaxant lasts about a week, stock seems to last forever in the fridge. MSDS sheet is on the Sigma website.

Nick Owen Lovely. You're a gent and a scholar. I shall add it to the other iffy bits in the fridge. Nick Nick Owen, BSc MIEEM Ecologist and Countryside Manager HSE Pro Scuba, NPTC chainsaw CS10-14. Surveys (terrestrial, marine);Site management plans; Countryside management advice Woodland management. >________________________________

Message posted on NE Atlantic Tunicata on 04 Jul 2013
David Kipling Charlotte Bolton ... one for you. A. nordmanni and similar species are hard jelly-like blobs, a solid test in which zooids are embedded. Prod one and it feels hard and rubbery. Diplosoma spongiforme (this picture) has a thin test on the outside, and a water-filled chamber underneath into which the zooids dangle. It is very delicate to the touch, even if you waft your hand near it it wobbles. Diplosoma is also unusual in having very simple inhalant openings, simple white rings in this case with no projections into the opening. In the case of other species (eg Didemnids or A. nordmanni etc) you get little hairs/projections, so the openings look like little stars as opposed to circles.

Charlotte Bolton Aha, thanks for this - I'll get wafting!

Message posted on NE Atlantic Tunicata on 26 Sep 2012
Chris Wood Close up of pinkish didemnid from Dorset - with one of the red siphons showing. I agree they aren't visible anywhere else, Yes Bernard we do have a location, habitat details and everything. Its from s Seasearch Survey Form.

David Kipling Assuming it's a Didemnid this is not a colourway I've seen before (assuming that pastel pink is accurate) and the raised edges round the exhalant openings are very prominent.

David Kipling However, are we 100% sure it's not an opaque Diplosoma spongiforme? I'd feel happier if I could see the details of the small pores (Diplosoma is a simple circle, Didemnids are 6-fold star-like AFAIK).

David Kipling BTW Chris, that picture isn't any higher-res that the original. Do you have the original image file from the diver who saw it?

David Kipling Chris - thanks for emailing the original file. Looks like we're at the pixel limit already here, which is why the crop doesn't give more detail. I'll be interested to know if Bernard thinks this is Didemnid versus pink Diplosoma.

Bernard Picton or Lissoclinum, or Trididemnum.... If Wilfried has something so similar, then I'd bet on it being a species we don't know yet.

Anne Bay-Nouailhat lol, Wilfried is looking for the slide viewer because the picture was taken at a time when digital cameras were not yet created... Great news he has 3 slides of the species... and the slide viewer still works!!!!

Wilfried Bay-Nouailhat unfortunatly our pictures are not precise enough to see if the openings are star-like or no. All we can say is that 3 different colonies we shot at that time (11-09-01) were similar in colour and shape, they covered and fit closely round the substrate (whatever it may be rocks or squirts...) as with Chris Wood's specimen. After close examination of our slides (;o)) the oral openings seems circular and their size is similar to those of a D. spongiforme seen the same day. An other point is that the zooids densely cover the colony except around the common openings which is similar to D. spongiform. So....???

David Kipling I've looked at the original image that Chris emailed me and I can't convince myself that there are any star-shaped pores. If this was transparent with some white markings I'd have said D. spongiforme, but this opaque and pink test is unusual.

Becky Hitchin I'm sure I've seen that pastel pink colour before. Now I'm going to wrack my brains all night trying to remember how and why

Message posted on Seasearch Identifications on 01 Oct 2012
Charlotte Bolton Inner Mulberry, W. Sussex. On the 'wall' of the structure in 4.5m water. Also A. nordmanii?? (Sorry to lower the photo quality of the group ;-)

Charlotte Bolton Does A. nordmanii also come in translucent/grey as well as red/orange?

David Kipling This is Diplosoma spongiforme, I've posted another example for you Charlotte.

Charlotte Bolton Thankyou! I'm pretty rubbish at didemnids at present...

David Kipling Join the club!

Charlotte Bolton Also I think I need to take better photos so I can zoom in further ;-)

Message posted on NE Atlantic Tunicata on 26 Sep 2012
Elio Nicosia "Vermetus Arenarius" Siracusa Italy Nikon D300S - 1/160 f40 - ISO 200 - 105mm

Fabio Russo Around there is a Diplosoma spongiforme, colonial sea squirt ;)

Message posted on Underwater Macro Photographers on 07 Feb 2012
George Brown Hi. Is this Diplosoma spongiforme? Portree Pier, Isle of Skye, 4.0m depth.

David Kipling It's what I've been putting down as that, yes. [That doesn't mean much, I appreciate!] From John Ryland's corrected key: http://www.habitas.org.uk/marinelife/ascidians/Corrected_ascidian_key.pdf Colony thin (<2 mm), transparent; intertidal and just below, often on algae = Diplosoma listerianum Colony thicker (4 mm), opaque; subtidal, especially on rock surfaces = Diplosoma spongiforme

George Brown Thank you David. And thanks for the very useful key.

Bernard Picton I'm not sure if the complete lack of white rings makes this something else. I've got something in Strangford which looks like this and is behaving like an invasive...

David Kipling George and Bernard ... I've posted something similar from Blackwater, see what the two of you think.

Message posted on NE Atlantic Tunicata on 24 Aug 2012
Jeremy Pierce Are these all Hymedesmia paupertas??? All over the rock surfaces at 16-20m on the Mewstone reef, Plymouth. The 3rd pic was a sponge about 30cm high not attanched to a rock surface other than at the base of course.

David Kipling Diplosoma spongiforme. Name suggests it looks like a sponge but has heart, blood system, gut etc ....

Message posted on Seasearch Identifications on 21 Sep 2013
Richard Yorke Any ideas about this squirt taken off Weymouth. It looks similar to one I took last year not far from this site. They were both dense masses a good 6" in diameter. This years was at about 20M and last years at about 10M. The picture of last years follows shortly.

David Kipling Very good question. Wilfried Bay-Nouailhat might know. Are you 100% sure it's not a sponge?

Anne Bay-Nouailhat One question : was it encrusting and covering something giving then the impression of a "ball" or was it a real dense mass?

Erling Svensen Is it the Diazona violacea?

Wilfried Bay-Nouailhat Probably Diplosoma spongiforme.

Wilfried Bay-Nouailhat I have already seen this species, I post some pics to convince you ;o)

Richard Yorke I'm as sure as I can be it was not a sponge and it was a real dense mass.

Richard Yorke Having said it was a dense mass, it could have been covering a pebble or similar but if so it was a very thick layer.

Chris Wood This is exactly why we have been thinking about a Seasearch ID Guide for Sponges and Squirts together. I am not convinced that this is Diplosoma spongiforme or indeed a squirt at all.

David Kipling I might refine that thought slightly Chris, since a properly-done sponge guide would be a *massive* undertaking and, to be honest, the majority of sponges don't really look like squirts. Maybe what we need is a squirt guide with a focussed subsection not on sponge species-level ID per se, but rather on how to tell a squirt from other things that look like squirts, which also includes stuff like bivalve siphons***. This is where giving people a good differential understanding of squirt versus sponge internal anatomy may help (once you understand they are made of zooids it really helps) but you probably don't need to go as far as getting people to species-level ID the sponge itself, rather get across the concepts of how (in general) to tell a sponge v. a squirt v. a bivalve. There's been quite a few examples of this on Facebook, including sting winkle egg cases (João Pedro Silva!), sponges, bivalves, and so on. ***Or, in my case, a bit of dead man's finger (intertidal in my defence!) which flinched when I poked it (=not sponge) but then finally extended polyps in the bucket!

João Pedro Silva (those eggs are going to haunt me forever, aren't they?)

David Kipling Sorry ;)

Wilfried Bay-Nouailhat I have just sent a new pic from the same place. Definetly a sea squirt and it could be similar to Richard's one. I still think about an atypical form of D. spongiform. It's been some time since we've been working on underwater identification of sea squirts. Maybe we could work together?

Message posted on Seasearch Identifications on 16 Jul 2012
George Brown Hi. Is this Diplosoma spongiforme? Portree Pier, Isle of Skye, 4.0m depth.

David Kipling It's what I've been putting down as that, yes. [That doesn't mean much, I appreciate!] From John Ryland's corrected key: http://www.habitas.org.uk/marinelife/ascidians/Corrected_ascidian_key.pdf Colony thin (<2 mm), transparent; intertidal and just below, often on algae = Diplosoma listerianum Colony thicker (4 mm), opaque; subtidal, especially on rock surfaces = Diplosoma spongiforme

George Brown Thank you David. And thanks for the very useful key.

Bernard Picton I'm not sure if the complete lack of white rings makes this something else. I've got something in Strangford which looks like this and is behaving like an invasive...

David Kipling George and Bernard ... I've posted something similar from Blackwater, see what the two of you think.

Message posted on NE Atlantic Tunicata on 24 Aug 2012
Martin Pratt Is this a squirt or a sponge? Seen off Beesands, Devon in 20m depth on rock. Suggestions of ID appreciated.

Liz Morris Looks like a silted Diplosoma listerianum type didemnidy squirt to me, but i'm sure someone else will have a better answer!!

Martin Pratt Thanks Liz for hint. Lookinging in Encyl Marine Life I am more inclined to go with Diplosoma spongiforme because of colour and pores on the surface.

David Kipling Yup Diplosoma spongiforme. D lit is think transparent sheet and usually in shallows, D sponge a bit deeper and this more sponge-like overall growth pattern.

David Kipling Here's some pics of both: http://www.mer-littoral.org/32/photo-diplosoma-listerianum-wb.php?photo=1

David Kipling http://www.mer-littoral.org/32/diplosoma-spongiforme.php

David Kipling Not easy and I must admit I'd feel a lot happier with these IDs if I'd looked at zooids or whatever you're supposed to look at to really tell them apart. Then we could make a more definite photo album of the two forms species.

Martin Pratt Thanks all for help. What caught my eye with this one was that it formed a rather phallic looking tube that was wafting around in the current. I assume that the squirt was wrapped around a strand of something else. See bottom of my picture.

David Kipling Yes, we spent a lot of time last week watching this stuff wrapped around hydroid stems, Styela clava, and feather worm tubes sticking out of the silt. It's really soft and delicate and needs something to grow over, so something sticking out like that is great, keeps it out of the silt.

Message posted on NE Atlantic Tunicata on 15 Aug 2012
Taxonomy
Animalia (Kingdom)
  Chordata (Phylum)
    Tunicata (Subphylum)
      Ascidiacea (Class)
        Aplousobranchia (Order)
          Didemnidae (Family)
            Diplosoma (Genus)
              Diplosoma spongiforme (Species)
Associated Species