Sunday, July 20, 2008

Compound ascidians on South Beach, Fremantle

Another surprise when I was beachcombing on South Beach, Freo, was finding a compound ascidian, which is basically many sea squirts joining and living together as a chunk. And what I saw could be Botrylloides sp (?)

Each of the small yellow bits is actually an individual animal, called a zooid. Zooids of Botrylloides sp are arranged in double rows.

It just looks like something you expect to see in a handicraft shop!

Like any sea squirts, these guys need an inlet for water and an outlet too. The little pores in each yellow bit (zooids) are possibly the inlets. All zooids of a compound ascidian apparently share a large communal outlet, but couldn't find it.


Mosura said...

Wow - I've never seen one like that.

Tsun-Thai Chai said...

It reminds me of the aboriginal art too.

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Chai
Beautiful creature, nicely observed by you.
I would not have known any of the finer points of its life cycle, either, without you telling us. I probably would have thought it was a Sea Slug of some description.
You are right, it is like a piece of Aboriginal art.

Tsun-Thai Chai said...

The photos in this post and the ones in the last (on sea stars) really encourage me to take more close-up photos.

Anyway, I think I have already been using the macro & supermacro modes a lot when I go beachcombing.

Tzu Yen said...

Wow!!! That's so so cool!
Let me know if you're going on excursion next time. I want to go with you!

Tsun-Thai Chai said...

Ha ha!