#Biodiversity150 number 81 of 150 Sea squirt

81/150: This species is just peachy!

Animalia: Chordata: Ascidiacea: Stolidobranchia: Pyuridae: Halocynthia: Halocynthia pyriformis (Linnaeus)

Sea peaches are part of the class of invertebrates Ascidiacea – known as sea squirts or tunicates. They are more closely related to chordates (animals with a back bone) than other invertebrates because at some point in their life stage they exhibit vertebrate characteristics such as a dorsal hollow nerve cord, a notochord, a post-anal tail, and pharyngeal slits. However they never develop a bony backbone. Sea squirts are a sessile animal – which means they stay anchored to their substrates (usually rocks or shells) for the majority of their lifespan. However, this doesn’t mean that they are not a force to reckon with! Sea squirts have two openings on their upper surface. These are called siphons, and they are the mouths of the sea squirts. This ‘filter feeder’, lets water in, along with many small organisms and nutrients that the sea squirt needs. Once the sea squirt digests the essential nutrients, it squirts the waste water out of the siphons and back into the ocean. Often, sea squirts will forcefully spray water out of the siphons when taken out of the water – hence the name ‘sea squirts’! #Canada150 #Biodiversity150

Sea Peach collected in Churchill, Manitoba. Specimen 10PROBE-28509 – Churchill, Manitoba – 09-Aug-2010. Photo Credit: CBG Photography Group, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics
A bundle of sea squirts with their siphons showing. Photo Credit: Anthony Pearson goo.gl/KDHLuV
Sea squirt development. 1880, from Popular Science Monthly. goo.gl/XehgVm

Here’s the barcode sequence information for this species:

Process ID:  CCSMA221-10

nucleotide sequence


amino acid sequence


Visual representation of DNA barcode sequence for Sea squirt

Learn more about it’s BIN (Barcode Index Number): BOLD:AAK5272