| Subphylum Tunicata/Urochordata | Class Ascidiacea
seen? This blob with a thumb and red stripes is commonly
seen our Northern shores. Like some odd disembodied thumbs-up, this
animal is usually stuck to a large boulder, jetty pillings and other
hard surfaces, near the mid-water mark. Usually seen alone or in groups
of a few individuals.
3-5cm long, made up of two 'fingers', one shorter and
at right angles to the longer larger 'finger'. Usually white with
orange or red irregular broad stripes. It is a solitary (not colonial)
ascidian. It appears sad and flaccid when exposed out of water, but
is usually well rounded when submerged.
It has bands of muscles along its body. When these muscles constrict,
water squirts out. That's why it is called a sea squirt. It does this
when disturbed, or to get rid of wastes.
They settle near the low water mark
at the base of rocks.
Changi, Jun 02
Merah, Oct 09
Chek Jawa, Jul 03
Merah, Jul 11
are difficult to positively identify without dissection and examination
of internal parts.
On this website, they are grouped by external features for convenience
of display .
sea squirts on Singapore shores
- Lim, S.,
P. Ng, L. Tan, & W. Y. Chin, 1994. Rhythm of the Sea: The Life
and Times of Labrador Beach. Division of Biology, School of
Science, Nanyang Technological University & Department of Zoology,
the National University of Singapore. 160 pp.