Type of fouling organism: Sea Squirt
Ascidians or sea squirts are sessile filter feeding animals commonly found in the subtidal. This group of fouling organisms can be colonial or unitary and are often of indefinite shape and the surrounding tunic can give an appearance that resembles sponges, bryozoans or cnidarians. All are hermaphroditic but usually unitary species release eggs into the sea and colonial species incubate embryos internally. The larval duration can vary greatly affecting dispersal potential.
Botrylloides leachi is a colonial ascidian, which forms flat, gelatinous sheets. The zooids are arranged in two compact meandering lines or parallel chains. This feature as well as less exhalent openings is what sets them apart from other Botrylloides species. Each individual zooid is twice as long as is wide and average length is 1.5 - 3 mm long. Their colour varies but is usually plain orange, pink or bright yellow.
Environment and Habitat
- Found from the lower shore down to the sublittoral.
- Reproductive type: Hermaphroditic.
- Colonial, gregarious.
- Mussel rope culture, oyster and suspended pectinid culture.
Effects and Impacts
- Problematic for stock species as can compete for space and resources.
Control/ Strategies and Management
Principles of Management
C Combat Settlement
- Found on north east Atlantic shores from northern Norway down into the Mediterranean.
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