Jelly Crust Ascidian
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Diplosoma listerianum

Diplosoma listerianum - Jelly Crust Ascidian
map Distribution

Size: Colony size to 15+ cm

Distribution: All SA coastal and gulf waters

Habitat: Jetty pylons, worm tubes and macroalgae

Depth: Subtidal to 10+ metres

Diplosoma listerianum - Jelly Crust Ascidian

This introduced compound ascidian is common, but easily overlooked. It has a clear test that may or may not contain sparse white bodies. Inside the test, the relatively large zooids are commonly a transparent black/grey, with grey-rimmed siphons, although this is not always the case with zooids sometimes appearing as cloudy white/cream, or transparent. With a sufficient close-up, the internal musculature is visible in each zooid. This species will grow on artificial structures and rocky reefs, even overgrowing other life, as well as being epiphytic on algae and seagrass. Its uniformely clear test helps to distinguish it from other compound ascidians that occur in SA.