Friday, October 16, 2009

My first siting of Clavelina sp. in Long Island Sound

Yesterday (October 15th, 2009), Dave Hudson and I were taking some survey photos in Stonington Harbor, New London Co., CT. We were just checking out the usual fouling community species Botrylliodes violaceus, Didemnum vexillum, Bugula neritina, (all invasives) when Dave pointed to something different. I immediately got excited. I have never seen this species before. So I started snapping some pictures. Dave and I took a sample so that we (or maybe Lauren Stefaniak) can make a more exact species identification latter in the lab.

Well after doing some preliminary investigation on the internet, the species is almost certainly of the genus Clavelina order Aplousabranchia. The common name is the "light bulb tunicate". I would say that it is quite a good looking species, but I don't know if it belongs here. Please let me know if you are familiar with this species. Have you seen it in Long Island Sound before?

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