Botrylloides violaceus

Botrylloides violaceus Oka, 1927

Common Names

Violet tunicate, Lined compound ascidian

Languages: English

Overview

Description

This species is a compound, colonial ascidian, with small, bean-shaped zooids embedded in a common matrix or tunic. The colony grows to form encrusting patches that typically reach 3-4 mm in thickness and 2-30 cm in diameter. Individual zooids are positioned vertically relative to the substrate, and are organized into elongated, meandering systems, each measuring 0.5-1 cm in width. Each zooid grows approximately 3 mm in length. Zooids are characterized by 16 branchial tentacles located on the inside of the oral siphon, and a pharynx with 10-11 rows of stigmata. Each colony is a solid color, either cream, yellow, orange, rose, purple, or brown.

Author(s): Frey, Melissa
Rights holder(s): Frey, Melissa

Description

Look Alikes

In the Northeast Pacific, Botrylloides violaceus is most similar to B. diegensis Ritter and Forsyth, 1917 and two other non-native botryllid species found in the region, B. perspicuus (Herdman, 1886) and Botryllus schlosseri (Pallas, 1766).

Author(s): Frey, Melissa
Rights holder(s): Frey, Melissa

Ecology and Distribution

Distribution

Botrylloides violaceus has been introduced to the Northeast Pacific, with confirmed records from Alaska to Baja California, Mexico. In addition, this species has been reported from several other locations around the world, including parts of northeast United States and Canada, Great Britain, Europe, the Mediterranean, and Australia. It is native to the Northwest Pacific, with a distribution from Siberia and Japan to southern China.

Author(s): Frey, Melissa
Rights holder(s): Frey, Melissa

References

Carlton, J. T. (2007).  The Light and Smith Manual: Intertidal Invertebrates from Central California to Oregon. 1001. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press.
Lambert, C. C., & Lambert G. (2003).  Persistence and differential distribution of nonindigenous ascidians in harbors of the Southern California Bight. Marine Ecology Progress Series. 259, 145-161.
Lambert, G., & Sanamyan K. (2001).  Distaplia alaskensis sp. nov. (Ascidiacea, Aplousobranchia) and other new ascidian records from south-central Alaska, with a redescription of Ascidia columbiana (Huntsman, 1912). Canadian Journal of Zoology. 79, 1766-1781.
Ruiz, G. M., Fofonoff P. W., Steves B., Foss S. F., & Shiba S. N. (2011).  Marine invasion history and vector analysis of California: a hotspot for western North America. Diversity and Distributions. 17, 362-373.