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Ascidiella aspersa

(Müller, 1776)

Niels Schrieken Bernard here Ascidiella aspersa above water

David Kipling Do you get A. scabra in marinas as well, and if so how do you tell the difference between the two Niels?

Bernard Picton OK, it's maybe just the photo - angle and lighting, sorry. We're a bit sensitized to invasive things at the moment!

Niels Schrieken As far as I know A. scabra is rare in the Netherlands.A difference is the red pattern on both siphons. See picture on the website of Arjan. http://www.ascidians.com/families/ascidiidae/Ascidiella_scabra/BROascidiellascabra1.jpg

David Kipling Atrial siphon is also supposed to be closer to the top as well - 1/4 way down side as opposed to 1/3-1/2 for aspersa.

Niels Schrieken Correct David Kipling. With the red pattern this are the two best feature to characterize between the two species in the field. Agree?

David Kipling What about the surface texture Niels Schrieken? Aspersa has papillae, scabra (according to Berrill) is smooth or wrinkled.

Message posted on NE Atlantic Tunicata on 04 Oct 2012
Niels Schrieken Bernard here Ascidiella aspersa above water

Message posted on NE Atlantic Tunicata on 04 Oct 2012
Anthony Hurd I am not sure about this one. Ascidiella aspersa? Thanks again.

Mickey Luv Tunicates washed up near Falmouth; should not be that difficult to identify but I am having trouble...too large to be Corella eumyota and to smooth to be Ascidiella aspersa....any ideas?

Julia Nunn some of them look like Corella eumyota - it can get quite large

David Kipling A lot are Ciona (eg slightly greenish ones in upper right) but the middle one do look like eumyota, yes. Atrial siphon on side, and slightly recessed like a Wether's original. Can you see the gut at all (tube of sediment inside)?

Mickey Luv Aha, a mix of species, I'll see if there are still some on the beach and have a better look, thanks!

David Kipling Likely to be mix of Ciona, eumyota and A aspersa if it's like any of the chunks of squirt-covered stuff I've seen in south coast marinas. Here's a pic of C eumyota complete with L-shaped gut (runs along side, aspersa has an 'S' in the middle of the body) and spiral poo.

Niels Schrieken Aplidium glabrum. Netherlands, Bruinisse, Oosterschelde.

David Kipling Looks like a thin transparent delicate test over zooids, as opposed to a solid mass. I would have said Diplosoma?

Niels Schrieken You are right David. This is Diplosoma listerianum.

Bernard Picton Is this Asterocarpa humilis in the background?

Niels Schrieken Ascidiella aspersa.

Bernard Picton Oh, not with those siphons I think! Have you got other photos?

Niels Schrieken Tomorrow I will go back to the same spot will make some pictures.

Niels Schrieken Why do you it's asterocarpa? As far as I know this sea squirt is never found in the Netherlands.

Bernard Picton Just a guess, Niels. I've not seen many ascidians with siphons like that, with such obvious papillae. I've not seen Asterocarpa either! It is well established in Northern France and SW England now. http://www.springerlink.com/content/e01215217m4q8864/

David Kipling http://www.springerlink.com/content/e01215217m4q8864/MediaObjects/10530_2012_286_Fig1_HTML.jpg

David Kipling (that should be a link to the key pic in the paper)

Bernard Picton Oh, it's not that then, I remembered the nice pattern, but Asterocarpa doesn't have any papillae.

Message posted on NE Atlantic Tunicata on 03 Oct 2012
Becky Hitchin Can I just check this before I put it into marine recorder? Is this Ascidiella aspersa (I think Kent must be the only county around that doesn't have tonnes of these to compare with!)

David Kipling Are those two red siphons attached to the translucent blobs beneath?

Becky Hitchin Yes ... I originally thought they were Corella just with long siphons, but they clearly aren't

David Kipling All the A aspersa I've seen underwater have been non-coloured, off-white solitaries with a rough surface that collects silt. At the surface they are a bit like Corella eumyota but with a rougher surface and no prominent siphon sticking out. So while the clear blobs could be A aspersa, something with a prominent red siphon sticking out of it isn't like anything I've see by was of A aspersa.

Becky Hitchin Drat. I was hoping you'd say it obviously was aspersa and that the red siphons weren't a bit odd. Well then!

David Kipling Aspersa don't really have long siphons as such, just a little fluting. When at rest they close up into a knobbly Wether's original.

Becky Hitchin Well how interesting then. Another weird thing from Walpole Bay pool. That pool is a breeding ground for weird and wonderful creatures. Bernard Picton, would you have any words of wisdom on this?

David Kipling Is this one of those pools that is constantly full of water, gets topped-up at HW with over-flow into it, but is otherwise full of water? How deep is it?

Becky Hitchin Yep, and gets emptied twice a year and we go and play in it. It's about 1.5m deep, maybe 2m

David Kipling When's the next emptying? and are you allowed to snorkel it?

Becky Hitchin snorkel or dive, just the vis is usually pretty bad, though some people got a great dive in there the other day. Autumn equinox time will be the next emptying. It's a great place to poke around in.

Message posted on NE Atlantic Tunicata on 08 Jul 2012
Nikki Taylor Species list so far for todays venture into Liverpool Docks...scuse the mix of common and scientific names; Moon Jelly Shore crab Ascidiella aspersa Styela clara Star sea squirt 2 Spotted goby Breadcrumb sponge Plumose anemone Shanny Shrimp sp Ulva intestinalis Paddle worm sp Sagartia elegans Common eel Ophiodromus flexuosus Mytilus edulis Feathery red seaweed (?!!!) Balanus sp Black goby And of course...Conger conger! That's all you're getting today folks. Feel free to add! (or detract)

Message posted on Seasearch Northwest England on 07 Jul 2012
James Lynott Can anyone help with the ID of the squirts in these images http://flic.kr/p/fochRC & http://flic.kr/p/fnXi3P They were both found in Loch Sunart at around 15m. I had thought Pyura sp. but I'm really not sure.

Tom Kerr Looks like Polycarpa pomaria.

James Lynott Thanks Tom Kerr

David Kipling You have two species here. I think the light colour and siphons at a jaunty angle suggests pomaria for the first one, as Tom Kerr suggests. The second is semi-transparent as opposed to opaque and leathery, and has flared slightly striped siphons -Ascidiella aspersa I think.

James Lynott I was beginning to wonder if they were different species. I have seen A. aspersa before but never with such prominent stripes on the siphons, is this quite common?

David Kipling I think like most squirts they're quite variable (from area to area especially). Then again, we know so little about British ascidians it's embarrassing ...

James Lynott Thanks for your help David Kipling.

David Kipling I wonder if Bernard would like to comment on http://flic.kr/p/fnXi3P .... it has quite a bit of red on it as well!

Message posted on NE Atlantic Tunicata on 09 Aug 2013
Animalia (Kingdom)
  Chordata (Phylum)
    Tunicata (Subphylum)
      Ascidiacea (Class)
        Phlebobranchia (Order)
          Ascidiidae (Family)
            Ascidiella (Genus)
              Ascidiella aspersa (Species)
Associated Species