Is this tunicate Corella willmeriana? Resurrection Bay, AK

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Postby seekncritters » Wed Aug 11, 2010 2:00 pm

I think this tunicate could be Corella willmeriana. Do you agree? Is there a common name for this tunicate? Found at south end of Humpy Cove, Resurrection Bay, Alaska, approximately 30 ft. Maybe a little over an inch long(?).

Image

Thank you!

-Dana
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Postby nwscubamom » Thu Aug 12, 2010 1:57 pm

I would say yes, that looks pretty much like it. The other common one is Corella inflata, but it's usually found shallower and in a large grouping (especially under docks). It's a pretty safe bet that you've got willmeriana there. I don't know of a common name for it....you could just call it WILLLLLLLMAAAAAAAA!!!!! (old flintstones reference) :lol:

- Janna :)
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Postby seekncritters » Thu Aug 12, 2010 5:51 pm

Too funny..... Willllmaaaaaaa! :D Thanks Janna!

In this Wilma photo, there are a couple of little skeleton shrimp. Pretty cool. And along the top edge of the larger siphon it looks like there's something that has the texture of eggs. I have no idea how these critters reproduce. That couldn't be eggs, could it? Oh, and I read that the Spotted Flatworm (that you helped me ID) eats these tunicates. Pretty cool!

-Dana
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Postby nwscubamom » Thu Aug 12, 2010 8:17 pm

The skeleton shrimp love to munch on the stuff that's on the tunicates if I recall. Here's a different type of tunicate (an invasive one) loaded with the little dudes:
Image

If they're eggs (and they very well might be) - they don't belong to Wilma. Wilma reproduces by spewing out gametes into the water column hoping that some other lucky tunicate's gametes will mix and create a bunch of little larvae - that have backbones like you and I, called notochords. Eventually they grow a bit more, find a nice rock to settle on, turn into a blob and lose their backbone.

Not unlike a lot of people I know.

- Janna ;)
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Postby seekncritters » Fri Aug 13, 2010 10:48 am

nwscubamom wrote:Eventually they grow a bit more, find a nice rock to settle on, turn into a blob and lose their backbone.

Not unlike a lot of people I know.


:lol: Teehee!!!

Cool capture of the skeleton shrimp dinner party being held on a tunicate!

Thanks for the info about Wilma reproduction and about the backbone (and loss thereof) in the tunicate life cycle.

Fun stuff!

-Dana
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