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Pyura setosa (Sluiter, 1905)

provided by British Antarctic Survey

Description

Small and greyish in colour, with its surface completely covered in flexible bristles, making it look more like a sponge than an ascidian. Pyura setosa grows up to 7.5cm long and smaller individuals may have a short stalk.

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Species details

KOWALKE, J., et al., Production and respiration of Antarctic ascidians 2001. KOTT, P. (1969). Antarctic Ascidiacea. TATIAN, M., et al., Ascidians of Potter Cove 1998

Photos

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Species distribution

Found below 15m, often on soft substrates, from Sub-Antarctica to the Antarctic Peninsula and Continent.

Pyura setosa is a suspension feeder, siphoning through water and filtering out any food material. The bristles probably protect the siphon apertures to some extent. Other organisms such as bryozoans, red algae and other ascidians (recorded examples are Pyura discoveryi and Molgula enodis) may attach to the surface bristles and grow on large individuals.

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