Invasion History

First Non-native North American Tidal Record: 0
First Non-native West Coast Tidal Record: 0
First Non-native East/Gulf Coast Tidal Record:

General Invasion History:

Ascidia zara is native to the Northwest Pacific, ranging from Hokkaido, Japan (Nishikawa 1991) to the southern tip of Korea (Cheju Island; Rho et al. 2000). On the Pacific coast of North America, it has been collected in California and Bahia San Quintin, Mexico. It was first recognized in southern California in 1996; however, a preserved specimen from Los Angeles-Long Beach Harbor in 1984 was identified as A. zara (Lambert and Lambert 1998). This suggests that A. zara arrived prior to 1996, but went unnoticed because of its similarity to the native tunicate A. ceratodes

North American Invasion History:

Invasion History on the West Coast:

Ascidia zara was first recognized in southern California in 1996; however, a preserved specimen from Los Angeles-Long Beach Harbor in 1984 was identified as A. zara (Lambert and Lambert 1998). This suggests that A. zara arrived prior to 1996, but went unnoticed because of its similarity to the native tunicate A. ceratodes. It was collected in San Francisco Bay in 2000 (Ruiz et al. unpublished) and Elkhorn Slough and Bodega Harbor in 2001 and 2003 (Fairey et al. 2002; de Rivera et al. 2005). It is now widespread in San Francisco Bay (Cohen et al. 2005; Ruiz et al., unpublished data). In sampling throughout Southern California, Ascidia zara was abundant and widespread from 1995 to 2000 (Lambert and Lambert 1998; Lambert and Lambert 2003), but in 2011, was scarce. The native Ascidia ceratodes, which had become rare, was again common (Gretchen Lambert 2012, personal communication).

Invasion History Elsewhere in the World:

In 2005, Ascidia zara was collected in Bahia San Quintin, Mexico (Rodriguez and Ibarra-Obando 2008), but may have been overlooked in previous surveys there.


Description

Ascidia zara is a solitary tunicate with an oval, flattened body. Its tunic is thin, translucent, and tears easily (Gretchen Lambert, personal communication). The tunic is covered with papillae, 100-500 µm in length, and variable in distribution and number. Both siphons are usually within the anterior third of the body and this species has around 30 large oral tentacles (Abbott et al., in Carlton 2007). Adults grow up to 57 mm long (Nishikawa 1991) and produce eggs that are brick red in color (Lambert and Lambert 1998).


Taxonomy

Taxonomic Tree

Kingdom:   Animalia
Phylum:   Chordata
Subphylum:   Tunicata
Class:   Ascidiacea
Order:   Phlebobranchia
Family:   Ascidiidae
Genus:   Ascidia
Species:   zara

Synonyms

Phallusia suensoni (Trautstedt, 1885)

Potentially Misidentified Species

Ascidia ceratodes
None

Ecology

General:

Life History- A solitary tunicate is ovoid, elongate or vase-like in shape, with two openings or siphons. Most solitary tunicates attach to substrates by their side or base, but some attach with a conspicuous stalk. They are sessile filter feeders with two siphons, an oral and an atrial siphon. Water is pumped in through the oral siphon, where phytoplankton and detritus is filtered by the gills, and passed on mucus strings to the stomach and intestines. Waste is then expelled in the outgoing atrial water.

Solitary ascidians are hermaphroditic, meaning that both eggs and sperm are released to the atrial chamber. Eggs may be self-fertilized or fertilized by sperm from nearby animals, but many species have a partial block to self-fertilization. Depending on species, eggs may be externally or internally fertilized. In external fertilizers, eggs and sperm are released through the atrial siphon into the surrounding water column were fertilization takes place. In internal fertilizers, eggs are brooded and fertilized within the atrial chamber and then released into the water column upon hatching. Fertilized eggs hatch into a tadpole larva with a muscular tail, notochord, eyespots, and a set of adhesive papillae. The lecithotrophic (non-feeding, yolk-dependent) larva swims briefly before settlement. Swimming periods are usually less than a day and some larvae settle immediately after release, but the larval period can be longer at lower temperatures. Once settled, the tail is absorbed, the gill basket expands, and the tunicate begins to feed by filtering (Barnes 1983).

Food:

Phytoplankton

Trophic Status:

Suspension Feeder

SusFed

Habitats

General HabitatRockyNone
General HabitatMarinas & DocksNone
Salinity RangePolyhaline18-30 PSU
Salinity RangeEuhaline30-40 PSU
Tidal RangeSubtidalNone
Tidal RangeLow IntertidalNone
Vertical HabitatEpibenthicNone


Tolerances and Life History Parameters

Minimum Salinity (‰)20Experimental, Chang 2009
Maximum Length (mm)57Nishikawa 1991
Broad Temperature RangeNoneWarm temperate-Tropical
Broad Salinity RangeNonePolyhaline-Euhaline

General Impacts

Ascidia zara is a common component of fouling communities on the California coast. Its range spans from Bahia San Quintin, Baja California, Mexico (Rodriguez and Ibarra-Obando 2008) to San Francisco Bay (Lambert and Lambert 1998; Lambert and Lambert 2003). Records from 1917 indicate that the most abundant native tunicates in Southern California were Ascidia ceratodes and Pyura haustor (Ritter & Forsyth 1917, cited by Lambert and Lambert 1998). During sampling in this area in 1995-2000 it appeared that A. ceratodes was rare having been replaced by A. zara (Lambert and Lambert 2003). However, sampling in southern California during 2011 showed that A. zara was scarce, and A. ceratodes was again abundant (Gretchen Lambert 2012, personal communication).

Regional Impacts

NEP-VIPt. Conception to Southern Baja CaliforniaEcological ImpactCompetition
Ascidia zara has largely replaced the native Ascidia ceratodes in Ventura Harbor (Lambert and Lambert 2003). Ritter & Forsyth (1917) reported that Ascidia ceratodes and Pyura haustor, both native, were the most numerous solitary ascidians in South California in 1917. In 1995-2000, A. ceratodes was rare having been replaced by A. zara. In 2011 sampling, A. zara had become scarce, and A. ceratodes was again abundant (Gretchen Lambert 2012, personal communication).
P020San Diego BayEcological ImpactCompetition
Ascidia zara has largely replaced the native Ascidia ceratodes in San Diego Bay (Lambert and Lambert 2003;). Ritter & Forsyth (1917) reported that Ascidia ceratodes and Pyura haustor, both native, were the most numerous solitary ascidians in South California in 1917. In 1995-2000, A. ceratodes was rare having been replaced by A. zara.
P050San Pedro BayEcological ImpactCompetition
Ascidia zara has largely replaced the native Ascidia ceratodes in San Diego Bay (Lambert and Lambert 2003;). Ritter & Forsyth (1917) reported that Ascidia ceratodes and Pyura haustor, both native, were the most numerous solitary ascidians in South California in 1917. In 1995-2000, A. ceratodes was rare having been replaced by A. zara.
P064_CDA_P064 (Ventura)Ecological ImpactCompetition
Ascidia zara has largely replaced the native Ascidia ceratodes in San Diego Bay (Lambert and Lambert 2003;). Ritter & Forsyth (1917) reported that Ascidia ceratodes and Pyura haustor, both native, were the most numerous solitary ascidians in South California in 1917. In 1995-2000, A. ceratodes was rare having been replaced by A. zara.

Regional Distribution Map

Bioregion Region Name Year Invasion Status Population Status
NWP-4b None 0 Native Estab
NWP-4a None 0 Native Estab
NWP-5 None 0 Native Estab
NWP-3b None 0 Native Estab
NEP-V Northern California to Mid Channel Islands 2000 Def Estab
NEP-VI Pt. Conception to Southern Baja California 1984 Def Estab
NWP-3a None 0 Native Estab
P050 San Pedro Bay 1984 Def Estab
P020 San Diego Bay 1995 Def Estab
P030 Mission Bay 1995 Def Estab
P023 _CDA_P023 (San Louis Rey-Escondido) 1998 Def Estab
P027 _CDA_P027 (Aliso-San Onofre) 1996 Def Estab
P040 Newport Bay 1997 Def Estab
P060 Santa Monica Bay 1995 Def Estab
P062 _CDA_P062 (Calleguas) 1995 Def Estab
P064 _CDA_P064 (Ventura) 1996 Def Estab
P065 _CDA_P065 (Santa Barbara Channel) 1996 Def Estab
P080 Monterey Bay 2001 Def Estab
P090 San Francisco Bay 2000 Def Estab
P112 _CDA_P112 (Bodega Bay) 2004 Def Estab
P110 Tomales Bay 2001 Def Estab
CIO-II None 1990 Crypto Estab
NEP-IV Puget Sound to Northern California 2014 Def Unk
P286 _CDA_P286 (Crescent-Hoko) 2014 Def Unk
B-II None 0 Native Estab
P143 _CDA_P143 (Smith) 0 Def Estab
P143 _CDA_P143 (Smith) 2014 Def Estab
P143 _CDA_P143 (Smith) 2014 Def Estab

Occurrence Map

OCC_ID Author Year Date Locality Status Latitude Longitude
4389 Lambert and Lambert 1998; Lambert and Lambert 2003 1995 1995-05-01 Harbor Island, Def 32.7253 -117.2064
4396 Lambert and Lambert 2003 1996 1996-10-01 Bahia Point, San Diego Def 32.7756 -117.2467
4397 Lambert and Lambert 1998; Lambert and Lambert 2003 1997 1997-05-01 San Diego Def 32.7778 -117.2489
4398 Lambert and Lambert 1998; Lambert and Lambert 2003 1997 1997-05-01 Santa Clara Boat Launch, San Diego Def 32.7834 -117.2492
4400 Lambert and Lambert 2003 1998 1998-05-01 Oceanside Def 33.2078 -117.3950
4401 Lambert and Lambert 2003 1996 1996-10-01 Dana Point Def 33.4598 -117.6956
4402 Lambert and Lambert 1998; Lambert and Lambert 2003 1997 1997-05-01 Fun Zone, Newport Beach Def 33.6084 -117.9092
4403 Lambert and Lambert 1998; Lambert and Lambert 2003 1995 1995-10-01 Long Beach Marina Def 33.7545 -118.1290
4404 Lambert and Lambert 1998; Lambert and Lambert 2003 1995 1995-05-01 Impound Marina, Long Beach/ Def 33.7639 -118.2444
4405 Lambert and Lambert 1998; Lambert and Lambert 2003 1995 1995-05-01 Watchorn Marina, Long Beach Def 33.7203 -118.2764
4406 Lambert and Lambert 2003 1998 1998-05-01 Redondo Beach Def 33.8464 -118.3969
4407 Lambert and Lambert 1998; Lambert and Lambert 2003 1995 1995-05-01 Santa Monica Def 33.9722 -118.4522
4408 Lambert and Lambert 1998; Lambert and Lambert 2003 1995 1995-10-01 Anacapa Island Marina Def 34.1731 -119.2269
4410 de Rivera et al. 2005 2003 2003-08-01 Vintage Marina, Oxnard Def 34.1715 -119.2288
4411 Lambert and Lambert 1998; Lambert and Lambert 2003 1996 1996-05-01 Santa Barbara Def 34.4072 -119.6887
4412 de Rivera et al. 2005 2003 2003-08-01 Moss Landing North Def 36.8002 -121.7872
4414 Cohen et al. 2005 2004 2004-05-23 Brisbane Lagoon Def 37.6862 -122.3856
4415 Cohen et al. 2005 2004 2004-05-24 Coast Guard Island, Oakland/ Def 37.7812 -122.2458
4417 Cohen et al. 2005 2004 2004-05-27 Coyote Point Marina/ Def 37.5907 -122.3180
4418 deRivera et al. 2005 2003 2003-08-01 Mason's Marina Def 38.3321 -123.0588
5924 Rodriguez and Ibarra-Obando 2008 2005 2005-12-01 Bahia San Quintin Def 30.4500 -116.0000
767323 Ruiz et al., 2015 2012 2012-08-13 Coast Guard, Bodega Bay, California, USA Def 38.3126 -123.0512
767376 Ruiz et al., 2015 2012 2012-08-21 Tomales-Nick's Cove, Bodega Bay, California, USA Def 38.1980 -122.9222
767408 Ruiz et al., 2015 2012 2012-08-17 Tomales- Shell Beach, Bodega Bay, California, USA Def 38.1163 -122.8713
767440 Ruiz et al., 2015 2013 2013-07-23 Marina Village, Mission Bay, CA, California, USA Def 32.7605 -117.2364
767457 Ruiz et al., 2015 2013 2013-07-29 Mission Bay Yacht Club, Mission Bay, CA, California, USA Def 32.7778 -117.2485
767508 Ruiz et al., 2015 2013 2013-08-01 Hyatt Resort Marina, Mission Bay, CA, California, USA Def 32.7634 -117.2397
767553 Ruiz et al., 2015 2013 2013-08-02 The Dana Marina, Mission Bay, CA, California, USA Def 32.7671 -117.2363
767667 Ruiz et al., 2015 2013 2013-07-16 Naval Base Point Loma, San Diego Bay, CA, California, USA Def 32.6886 -117.2343
767731 Ruiz et al., 2015 2013 2013-07-22 Coronado Cays Marina, San Diego Bay, CA, California, USA Def 32.6257 -117.1309
767761 Ruiz et al., 2015 2013 2013-07-26 Pier 32 Marina, San Diego Bay, CA, California, USA Def 32.6516 -117.1077
767784 Ruiz et al., 2015 2013 2013-07-28 Marriott Marquis and Marina, San Diego Bay, CA, California, USA Def 32.7059 -117.1655
767801 Ruiz et al., 2015 2011 2011-09-15 Richmond Marina Bay Yacht Harbor, San Francisco Bay, CA, California, USA Def 37.9117 -122.3494
767822 Ruiz et al., 2015 2011 2011-09-20 San Francisco Marina, San Francisco Bay, CA, California, USA Def 37.8067 -122.4432
767834 Ruiz et al., 2015 2011 2011-09-14 Coyote Point Marina, San Francisco Bay, CA, California, USA Def 37.5880 -122.3160
767855 Ruiz et al., 2015 2011 2011-09-13 Oyster Point Marina, San Francisco Bay, CA, California, USA Def 37.6725 -122.3864
767870 Ruiz et al., 2015 2011 2011-09-13 Redwood City Marina, San Francisco Bay, CA, California, USA Def 37.8046 -122.3985
767889 Ruiz et al., 2015 2011 2012-09-19 Sausalito Marine Harbor, San Francisco Bay, CA, California, USA Def 37.8609 -122.4853
767906 Ruiz et al., 2015 2011 2011-09-21 South Beach Harbor, San Francisco Bay, CA, California, USA Def 37.7797 -122.3871
767919 Ruiz et al., 2015 2011 2011-09-20 Jack London Square Marina, San Francisco Bay, CA, California, USA Def 37.7947 -122.2822
767931 Ruiz et al., 2015 2011 2011-09-22 Ballena Isle Marina, San Francisco Bay, CA, California, USA Def 37.7676 -122.2869
767951 Ruiz et al., 2015 2011 2011-09-12 Paradise Cay Yacht Harbor, San Francisco Bay, CA, California, USA Def 37.9156 -122.4769
767967 Ruiz et al., 2015 2011 2011-09-12 Corinthian Yacht Club, San Francisco Bay, CA, California, USA Def 37.8103 -122.3228
767984 Ruiz et al., 2015 2012 2012-08-24 Richmond Marina Bay Yacht Harbor, San Francisco Bay, CA, California, USA Def 37.9134 -122.3523
768005 Ruiz et al., 2015 2012 2012-08-23 Sausalito Marine Harbor, San Francisco Bay, CA, California, USA Def 37.8609 -122.4853
768039 Ruiz et al., 2015 2012 2012-08-27 Port of San Francisco Pier 31, San Francisco Bay, CA, California, USA Def 37.8078 -122.4060
768061 Ruiz et al., 2015 2012 2012-09-11 Ballena Isle Marina, San Francisco Bay, CA, California, USA Def 37.7676 -122.2869
768083 Ruiz et al., 2015 2012 2012-08-30 Oyster Point Marina, San Francisco Bay, CA, California, USA Def 37.6633 -122.3817
768107 Ruiz et al., 2015 2012 2012-08-29 Coyote Point Marina, San Francisco Bay, CA, California, USA Def 37.5877 -122.3174
768131 Ruiz et al., 2015 2012 2012-09-04 Redwood City Marina, San Francisco Bay, CA, California, USA Def 37.5023 -122.2130
768174 Ruiz et al., 2015 2012 2012-09-05 Port of Oakland, San Francisco Bay, CA, California, USA Def 37.7987 -122.3228
768195 Ruiz et al., 2015 2012 2012-09-07 Jack London Square Marina, San Francisco Bay, CA, California, USA Def 37.7940 -122.2787
768235 Ruiz et al., 2015 2012 2012-09-13 San Leandro Marina, San Francisco Bay, CA, California, USA Def 37.6962 -122.1919
768250 Ruiz et al., 2015 2012 2012-09-12 Emeryville, San Francisco Bay, CA, California, USA Def 37.8396 -122.3133
768275 Ruiz et al., 2015 2013 2013-08-15 Ballena Isle Marina, San Francisco Bay, CA, California, USA Def 37.7656 -122.2858
768296 Ruiz et al., 2015 2013 2013-08-20 Coyote Point Marina, San Francisco Bay, CA, California, USA Def 37.5877 -122.3163
768316 Ruiz et al., 2015 2013 2013-08-22 Jack London Square Marina, San Francisco Bay, CA, California, USA Def 37.7926 -122.2746
768338 Ruiz et al., 2015 2013 2013-08-23 Loch Lomond Marina, San Francisco Bay, CA, California, USA Def 37.9723 -122.4829
768355 Ruiz et al., 2015 2013 2013-08-13 Oyster Point Marina, San Francisco Bay, CA, California, USA Def 37.6639 -122.3821
768379 Ruiz et al., 2015 2013 2013-08-14 Redwood City Marina, San Francisco Bay, CA, California, USA Def 37.5024 -122.2134
768399 Ruiz et al., 2015 2013 2013-08-19 Richmond Marina Bay Yacht Harbor, San Francisco Bay, CA, California, USA Def 37.9138 -122.3522
768417 Ruiz et al., 2015 2013 2013-08-12 San Francisco Marina, San Francisco Bay, CA, California, USA Def 37.8078 -122.4354
768434 Ruiz et al., 2015 2013 2013-08-21 San Leandro Marina, San Francisco Bay, CA, California, USA Def 37.6980 -122.1908

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