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SCIENTIFIC NAME
COMMON NAME
THUMBNAILS
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Ascidiacea
Order Phlebobranchia
Family Cionidae
Genus Ciona
Species intestinalis
Classification Linnaeus, 1767
Common name sea vase
Size up to 15 - 25 centimeters

Geographic Range distributed in many temperated parts of the world.
Physical Characteristics it has a cylindrical body formed by a thick gelatinous tunic. The oral siphon, from which tha animal takes up the water, is longer than the cloacal one, form which the water is pulled out. It is fixed to the substratum by short radicles. The body is white or yellow - green and it can have some orange marks around the siphons.
Notes it tolerates different levels of salinity and strong pollution. It is short-living, but fast-growing. It colonizes very rapidly new areas cleared by abnormal fluctuation of temperature or salinity.
Habitat it lives on hard substrata from the surface to 500 meters deep, sometimes it is found also on seaweeds.
Food habits plankton.
Riproduction it is hermaphrodite, eggs are layed and fertilized in the water.

Sources  
References ITIS Integrated Taxonomic Information System
www.MondoMarino.net
Encyclopedia of Marine Life of Britain and Ireland
Web References http://www.itis.usda.gov/index.html
http://www.mondomarino.net/
http://www.habitas.org.uk/marinelife/
Source of the photo http://www.habitas.org.uk/marinelife/

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