Ascidian; Aplidium clivosum - Busselton Jetty
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Ascidian; Aplidium clivosum

 

Occurrence at the Busselton Jetty:  Often mistaken for a sponge, this red, crater-like ascidian is a prominent feature nestled amongst other invertebrate fauna on the jetty piles.

Aplidium clivosum
Aplidium clivosum

Aplidium clivosum is a red colonial ascidian which is characterised by having several large communal apertures across the surface through which water and waste products are expelled, rather than having individual exhalent siphons.  The gonads containing both ovaries and testis are located at the base of the abdomen.

This species occurs in a diverse range of colours from red, orange, pink to brown and grows to a maximum height of 40mm.  Aplidium clivosum is known to range from Port Hedland, WA to Heron Island, Qld in waters 3 to 10 metres depth.

References:

Edgar, G. (1997) Australian Marine Life: The Plants and Animals of Temperate Waters, Australia

Image:  www.nevillecoleman.com.au