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Sea Squirt, Sea Tulip Ascidian

Pyura pachydermatina

Keao

Ascidian, Sea Squirt, Sea Tulip
Kaeo

Invertebrate

Chordata

Ascidiacea

Pyuridae

Rocky Shore Intertidal
Rocky Shore Intertidal
Rocky Reef Subtidal
Rocky Reef Subtidal

Feeding:
Filter Feeder
Filter Feeder
Distribution:
New Zealand
New Zealand
Edibility:
Inedible
Inedible
Size:
Outstretched Arm Sized
Outstretched Arm Sized



The largest of the solitary ascidians (sea squirts), it is covered in a leathery pink tunic. It has a long stalk up to 400 mm in length wich is attached to the rock.


Found in the low intertidal to subtidal.


They are filter feeders and have a complex gut system called the pharyngeal basket to filter out the plankton from the sea water.


Sea squirts are classified as Urochordates because as larvae (called tadpole) they have a primitive nerve cord supported by cartilage.






A Guide to the Plants and Animals of the New Zealand Marine Studies Centre: McKinnon