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Ciona intestinalis

(Linnaeus, 1767)

Erling Svensen Found another picture of the eggs. It looks like some of them comes out from the Ciona? So - could it be Ciona intestinalis eggs?

Peter H van Bragt Looking at these pics it surely does not look like D. listerianum. Now I also have no clue either what the origin of these eggs might be.

David Kipling Ciona eggs are expelled through the atrial siphon as a thread of loosely-bound eggs. These certainly look like Ciona eggs based on their colour size (relative to the animal) and that thread-like appearance.

Message posted on NE Atlantic Nudibranchs on 21 Jun 2012
George Brown Any idea what this is? The nearest phylum would do! Loch Fyne, Scotland. Depth 18 metres.

Jonathan Anglesea It's a tunicate of some kind.

Darryl Mayer Ciona intestinalis? Just on it's side for a change

Christian Skauge I would think so too :-)

George Brown Sorry guys but this is definitely not Ciona intestinalis. Whatever it is successfully lunged at a passing crustacean. I've posted an album of further pictures on the Seasearch Identifications and Porcupine Marine Natural History Society facebook group pages.

Darryl Mayer Can we have a link to those sites and hence, your other pics, please?

David Kipling I've shown these to Ciona experts John Bishop (MBA Plymouth) and Bill Jeffreys (Ciona siphon regeneration expert in the US). Neither thought it was Ciona, and interesting both were stumped as to what it is. The little red dots do suggest an ascidian (they are the light-detecting organs) although a weird siphon of a bivalve is a "left field" suggestion.

Keith Hiscock You are going to have to go back and collect it George. Just hope there are others nearby.

George Brown Hi Keith, I'd like to do something insitu first, assuming I can find it again. Maybe jam my GoPro/Sola into the small cave for an hour or so to try and record the way it catches food as that was the most startling part of the sighting. I'm more than willing to spend a few days to do this as this might be a unique opportunity to record something really interesting. Then collect it. Or maybe I should say an interesting opportunity to record something really unique? :) Suggestions welcome.

George Brown Hi Darryl, I'm not sure about links to the other groups but the photos are on my facebook page - Photos/Albums I think.

Andrew Mackie Porcupine http://www.facebook.com/groups/190053525989/photos/

Andy Horton Mysterious. I thought mollusc at first. Note the size. I do not know how Brachiopods behave from personal experience but this would be my best guess.

David Kipling Ciona intestinalis in a dish, showing prominent branchial sac in juveniles (they're thinner and more transparent so you can see it easier than in adults). And the yellow siphon tips. For Paula Lightfoot and Penny Martin. Rumours that I keep these as pets are over-stated ...

Penny Martin thanks ... I will now go back and review photos of ones that I thought were corella parallelogramma ... I bet some are ciona .... I have so much to learn ... thank you for sharing !!

Becky Hitchin what do Cor. p. look like as juveniles? Is the gas mantle net still very visible?

David Kipling Dunno - never been anywhere with loads of Cor. p. There seem to be loads in Orkney though, so we'll have to ask Penny to have a look out and let us know...

Becky Hitchin Nor me. Penny, there's a quest for you!

David Kipling She could also do IVF and let some babies settle onto plates, and then release them into the wild and monitor them. Easy to do with tools available at your local IKEA ...

Becky Hitchin Orkney has a local IKEA? :P

David Kipling OK, Spar shop ...

Penny Martin Co-op or Tescos ?? tell me how ... sounds like fun .... and there are hundreds in the bay in front of my house !!

David Kipling I'll sort you out a recipe and some kit ;)

Penny Martin :-) Thanks ...... I need some pets !!

Liz Morris you geeks are brilliant! David, are you having problems blurring reality with rumours? I bet your pet Cionas even have names!!??

David Kipling Now that would be silly Liz ;) Mind you, the baby Corella p's I made on an IoS trip with Angela and others a few years back was called "junior", with drawings of its development from sperm to mini embryos put on the blackboard each day. Think of me as Sheldon Cooper in scuba gear ...

David Kipling Oh, and for the record Ciona doesn't normally have bright green poo (like this specimen). I've been feeding it spirulina.

Liz Morris Sounds like a fun trip. I need to get out of North Wales (just for trips!). Ha ha... I've never heard of this programme but I shall endeavour to find it and view it. I'm sure that you're not like Sheldon Cooper,wikipedia states he "exhibits a strict adherence to routine, a total lack of social skills, a tenuous understanding of irony, sarcasm, and humor, and a general lack of humility or empathy". I think you understanding of irony and humor is wonderful, and your social skills aren't bad either ;P

Liz Morris or watch the programme... that might be tonight's 'job'!

Message posted on NE Atlantic Tunicata on 20 May 2012
George Brown This has some characteristics attributable to Ascidia conchilega but it doesn't look quite right. Assistance with this would be much appreciated. NW corner of Eilean nan Coinean, Sound of Jura, depth 35m. Many thanks.

Wilfried Bay-Nouailhat Hi George, A. conchilega is attached by the left side and siphons are wide apart... I think that it is Ciona intestinalis with some carateristics of type A form of the species

David Kipling What is the poor thing doing half-hidden in sediment? Was there a landslip?

George Brown Thank you Wilfried. I think that makes sense. Any information regarding the "type A" of the species? The ascidian was growing up between the two valves of a dead razor fish.

David Kipling Type A is the more southern species, the northern-most limit being around the Channel. You get both versions in Plymouth and they are very very similar - Atsuko Sato has done some work there on hybridising the two together (they have different temperature shock sensitivities and so on) and looking at the genetics of this, so she got to be a dab hand at field ID of the two variants (confirmed by DNA sequencing after). Possibly because of geneflow between the two types in that area there was a bit of overlap in features, but the one thing that did seem to work was the presence of a tiny red dot on the tip of the sperm duct.

David Kipling Have a look at: http://www.pnas.org/content/104/22/9364.long

David Kipling Atsuko's paper on field ID of A versus B Ciona is here: Sato A, Satoh N and Bishop J D D. Field identification of the ascidian species complex Ciona intestinalis in the region of sympatry. Marine Biology, 159 (2012): 1611-1619.

Message posted on NE Atlantic Tunicata on 20 May 2013
Paula Lightfoot Is this Corella parallelogramma? It was about 2cm tall, found under a boulder in the intertidal.

Wilfried Bay-Nouailhat I'd rather say Ciona intestinalis

Penny Martin I thought the mesh like structure inside was characteristic of Corella parallelogramma ?? the "Gas mantle"

Paula Lightfoot Thank you! That was my first thought because of the yellow pigment, but I got confused - I've never seen such a small one before!

Becky Hitchin I'd say Ciona too, a baby one

David Kipling A constipated Ciona. Babies are a bit more transparent and you can see the branchial sac. Key ID feature is the yellow round the siphons. It's a bit contracted up but would look more Ciona-like if you put it underwater ... it's a very contractile species (another ID feature).

Message posted on NE Atlantic Tunicata on 20 May 2012
James Lynott Lots of squirts to be found in Loch Long last night. This photo was taken at about 20m and contains a number of different species. I hope I am right with the IDs of Ascidia virginea, Ascidia mentula, Corella parallelogramma, Ciona intestinalis, Polycarpa pomaria, and possibly Ascidiella scabra? I'm not sure of the cream coloured one to the right of the A. mentula either.

David Kipling Gosh, what a mix! I'd agree with you as far as I can see. The aspersa//scabra distinction is still one that's difficult for me (although I gather this has been a discussion for decades!) and there may actually be something of a species complex here if you talk to Bernard. Apparently there's a big difference in the number of guard hairs (so start looking down siphons if you can do that without them closing!) and also the eggs of one but not the other species float (yeah, right ...).

Message posted on NE Atlantic Tunicata on 28 Sep 2013
David Kipling Timelapse video of newly-fertilized Ciona intestinalis eggs undergoing 1st and second divisions. I could watch these things for hours ...

Message posted on NE Atlantic Tunicata on 24 Jun 2012
Andy Horton ID query received: “Was scrubbing bottom of boat, scraped off huge clusters of what seemed to be egg sacs (numbering in the hundreds), semi translucent, some sort of embryo (orangey colour, shape indistinct) moving gently inside. Each sac approx 7cm long, approx 4cm across, gelatinous and fluid filled. Can't find any photos that resemble what I saw - wondered whether they were jelly fish eggs, or some sort of fish?” Location: Blackwater Estuary, Essex

David Fenwick Snr Sea squirts?

Peter Richardson Squid eggs?

Mickey Luv sounds like sea squirts to me...

Jon Chamberlain Would be interested to see a picture if they have one as this is my neck of the woods (or I'd be happy to go and have a look if they still have them). The size and colour sounds like Styela clava (squirt) as there were plenty there when we surveyed the Blackwater last year. But perhaps before anything else gets a chance to grow on it so it looks more smooth. The twitching embryo sounds most like a gut of a squirt if visible through the mantle. If only David Kipling would hurry up with his ID book...

David Kipling Semi-translucent would rule out Styela clava (it's leathery and opaque), but could be something like Ascidiella aspera or Corella eumyota. Their guts don't really move around inside though, whereas this sounds quite motile. 7cm x 4cm is big for those too. Ciona intestinalis is bigger though and once out of the water would look like eggs after the siphons have closed and certainly biofoul boat hulls.

David Kipling http://www.nhm.ac.uk/nature-online/species-of-the-day/biodiversity/alien-species/corella-eumyota/distribution-ecology/index.html This is a nice pic of a community of foul(ing) squirts out of the water and looking like eggs/

David Kipling And here's what happens when you don't keep your bottom clean and Ciona finds it ... http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/science/coe-cde/soto/img/m11.JPG

David Fenwick Snr I'm getting a boat!

Andy Horton My boat had a copper sheathed hull. No fouling.

Andy Horton cf. Squid eggs are likely to be found at this time of the year washed ashore http://www.glaucus.org.uk/squeggs.htm

David Kipling Squid eggs would fit better with the description of something moving inside (which squirts don't really do). I don't suppose there's any pictures?

Becky Hitchin Does anyone know why Ross coral is called Ross coral? Who / what / where was Ross?

Chris Whitehead I wonder if it was originally 'Rose Coral'? The colonies do look a lot like rose flower heads. Ross coral isn't actually a coral of course. it's a colony of bryozoans. http://tinyurl.com/d396peg

Marco Faasse In French it's "rose de mer", so it's not so strange to think of "Rose Coral" as the original name. Names sometimes show strange behaviour in the course of time.

Becky Hitchin Oh interesting, Marco! That would make sense as nowhere seems to ever mention any connection to a Ross. The colonies could, I suppose, resemble rather wrinkly roses!

Marco Faasse Oh, as an afterthought: this made me think of the Ross worm Sabellaria spinulosa:http://www.naturalengland.org.uk/ourwork/marine/protectandmanage/mpa/mcz/features/habitats/rosswormreefs.aspx (couldn't access MarLIN now). Again: what/who/where is/was Ross? Here a have no explanation at all ...

Becky Hitchin I know ... that's strange too

David Kipling June RP Ross perhaps? http://books.google.co.uk/books/about/Bryozoa.html?id=Jl0WAQAAIAAJ&redir_esc=y

George Brown It used to be called Rose coral (petals, etc) but was mispelt in a book (Collins I think) that, unfortunately, has stuck. A few species have suffered in that way.

Andy Horton http://www.facebook.com/groups/WordOrigins/

Andy Horton Plumose = feathery (from memory). In old books there was a transcription error that may have been repeated in a later book.

David Kipling I'm struggling with my new OS have quite vicious autocorrect, which is making tagging FB pics with latin names fun at times. Elegans >> elegant and so on.

George Brown Dawn, exactly. Which is why I always try and use the scientific name. It can also tell so much about the creature you are looking at. And this coming from someone who proudly achieved 7% in a latin exam in school!

David Kipling Ciona intestinalis ... looks like an intestine, tick. Coryphella browni is more redi than browni though ...

George Brown Yes, it's named after Greg Brown, one of a small group of folk that brought the world of nudibranchs to the attention of us mere divers. Greg blended art with science in British Opisthobranch Molluscs published in 1976.

David Kipling Yes, I know ;) The book you mention - is that the same as the 2-vol 'biology of opisthobranch molluscs' I have sitting here? (ie the Ray Soc volumes). That's Thompson and Brown. Wouldn't want to think I'm missing a uk nudi volume somewhere!

George Brown No. This is Synopsis of the British Fauna No.8, British Opisthobranch Molluscs, Thompson and Brown, 1976, for The Linnean Society of London, ISBN: 0-12-689350-0. The drawings are black and white but a friend of mine has coloured in the plates on her copy. Beautiful. I last dived with Greg some time in the 70's. On a Nudibranch expedition to Kerrera, by Oban. With Keith Hiscock!

Becky Hitchin Now I want to hunt out a book showing Pentapora as Rose Coral. I got out my 1958 Collins, but no mention of it in there

Becky Hitchin It is? I blame Dawn for this new piece of information!

Douglas Herdson I am glad to see people still using the familiar "Ross Coral". I had been told we now had to used "Potato Crisp Bryozoan".

David Kipling Pringle bryozoan fits though, and is a better match to the shape ;)

Becky Hitchin I don't know what strange Pringles you eat! :P

David Kipling Well they have that curve to them that remind me of Pentapora's curves. MCS should start to do "product placement" in its field guides and earn a few extra £££!

Becky Hitchin Haven't they done enough of that this weekend?!

David Kipling Dawn ... it's Pentapora fascialis in Hayward and Ryland (1995). When did the official change from P. foliacea take place?

Animalia (Kingdom)
  Chordata (Phylum)
    Tunicata (Subphylum)
      Ascidiacea (Class)
        Phlebobranchia (Order)
          Cionidae (Family)
            Ciona (Genus)
              Ciona intestinalis (Species)
Associated Species