I recently went to St Helens to get photos of Botyrlloides. I did have an additional motive: I wanted to get more photos of various sea squirts to help me learn more about them.
I understand that all ascidians are sea squirts. However, these images show the type of marine life that I always assumed were sea squirts. I don’t know if they are related taxonomically in a way that other ascidians aren’t. Regardless, I want to learn about and start documenting these guys.
The first batch of photos – including the one above – show what I believe is P. Dalbyi. I experimented with the flash and different angles and was able to get photos inside the siphon. I’m not sure what those things are inside the below photo, but they look awesome.
This is an invasive species. Key features:
- transparent body with white pigments
- lobed, red lined siphon (what part is the lobe?)
I can’t find much information on how to tell if a species belongs to the polycarpa genus.
Another potential observation. This ID was based on the siphon pattern and the size. Apparently it is usually more heavily encrusted than this. I’m assuming that means it as more ‘stuff’ growing over the sea squirt.
This is potentially styela canopus. We can’t be sure as the photo isn’t properly exposed. The species isn’t confirmed as being in Australia, but the person helping me had seen it in South Australia.
This was based on the siphon pattern. It has the same compass point lines as others in the genus, but has thin white lines on a dark siphon.
I did seek help identifying the below species. In many cases, it wasn’t possible due to the angle and being too close. This meant that people couldn’t see all the features needed to make an ID. I’ll be doing more research to learn exactly what I need to photograph. It is difficult due to the lack of resources about local sea squirts.