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Ascidia challengeri Herdman, 1882

provided by British Antarctic Survey

Description

Yellowish and translucent, but often covered in sediment so that its appearance is obscured, however the siphons are distinct. The main body lies flat along the substrate, growing to a length of 17cm.

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Species details

KOTT, P. (1969). Antarctic Ascidiacea. KUHNE, S., Solitare Ascidien. 1997

Photos

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Species distribution

15 to 637m, found on a wide range of substrates from Sub-Antarctica to the Antarctic Peninsula and Continent.

Ascidia challengeri has been shown to grow fast at first (up to 7.5cm in two years), but growth slows as it gets older. It is a suspension feeder, mostly sifting out detritus that has been re-stirred up from the sea floor. Ascidians have a low energy content and appear to be generally unattractive to potential predators, although they have occasionally been found in the stomachs of fish and brittle stars. Ascidia challengeri spawns during the Antarctic summer.

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