Invasion History

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

General Invasion History:

North American Invasion History:

Invasion History on the West Coast:

Invasion History on the East Coast:

Invasion History on the Gulf Coast:

Invasion History in Hawaii:

Invasion History Elsewhere in the World:


Description

Lissoclinum fragile was described from Bermuda in 1902. Is is a colonial tunicate which forms very falt, thin, encrusting colonies. The test of the colony is very fragile,in part due the density of white, calcareous burr-like spicules, ~0.02 mm in idameter, and also the exttensive shared cloacal cavities. The apertures protedt above the surface of the colony. The zooids are aout 1.5 mm long. The branchoial aperture is six-lobed and crown-shamped, while the anal aperture has a languet,. The brancial sac is lange, with four rows of stigmata, and ~10-11 rows. The intestinal loop is small, and the stomach is thin-walled. There are two pear-shaped testes in the intestinal loop, united by common duct. The ovary is represented by a small group of eggs. Colonies can reach up to 60-80 mm, but are 2-3 mm thick, and tear easily. The colonies are usually snowy white due to spiqules, but zooids are orange (Eldredge 1966; Van Name 1945).


Taxonomy

Taxonomic Tree

Kingdom:   Animalia
Phylum:   Chordata
Subphylum:   Tunicata
Class:   Ascidiacea
Order:   Aplousobranchia
Family:   Didemnidae
Genus:   Lissoclinum
Species:   fragile

Synonyms

Diplosomoides fragile (Van Name, 1902)
Diplosomoides molle (Sluiter, 1909)
Lissoclinum fragile (Van Name, 2921)

Potentially Misidentified Species

Ecology

General:

Life History- A colonial tunicate consists of many zooids, bearing most or all of the organs of a solitary tunicate, but modified to varying degrees for colonial life. Colonial tunicates of the family Didemnidae have small zooids, completely embedded in an encrusting and thin tunic. Each zooid has an oral siphon and an atrial aperture which opens to a shared cloacal chamber. Water is pumped into the oral siphon, through finely meshed ciliated gills on the pharynx, where phytoplankton and detritus is filtered, and passed on mucus strings to the stomach and intestines. Excess waste is expelled in the outgoing atrial water (Van Name 1945; Barnes 1983).

Colonial tunicates reproduce both asexually by budding and sexually from fertilized eggs that develop into larvae. Buds can form from the body wall of the zooids. Colonies vary in size ranging from small clusters of zooids to huge spreading masses. The zooids are hermaphroditic, which means both eggs and sperm are released into the atrial chamber. Eggs may be self-fertilized or fertilized by sperm from nearby animals, but some species have a partial block to self-fertilization. Fertilized eggs are brooded within the tunic until they hatch into lecithotrophic (non-feeding, yolk-dependent) tadpole larvae. The larva has a muscular tail and a notochord, eyespots, and a set of adhesive papillae. The larvae are expelled upon hatching and swim briefly before settlement. Swimming periods are usually less than a day, but some larvae settle immediately after release or swim for longer periods if the water temperature is low. On settlement the tail is absorbed, the gill basket expands, and the tunicate begins to feed by filtering (Van Name 1945; Barnes 1983).

Lissoclinum fragile is widely distributed in tropical and subtropical habitats, including stones, pilings, and offshore oil platforms (Van Name 1945; Venugopalan and Wagh, 1990).

Food:

Phytoplankton, detritius

Trophic Status:

Suspension Feeder

SusFed

Habitats

General HabitatRockyNone
General HabitatMarinas & DocksNone

Life History


Tolerances and Life History Parameters

Maximum Length (mm)80Van Name 1945
Broad Temperature RangeNoneSubtropical-Tropical
Broad Salinity RangeNonePolyhaline-Euhaline

General Impacts


Regional Distribution Map

Bioregion Region Name Year Invasion Status Population Status
NA-ET4 Bermuda 1902 Crypto Estab
CAR-IV None 1915 Crypto Estab
CAR-III None 0 Crypto Estab
CAR-I Northern Yucatan, Gulf of Mexico, Florida Straits, to Middle Eastern Florida 1945 Crypto Estab
NEA-VI None 0 Crypto Estab
CAR-VII Cape Hatteras to Mid-East Florida 0 Crypto Estab
CAR-II None 0 Crypto Estab
SP-XIII None 1955 Def Estab
EAS-III None 1941 Crypto Estab
SP-XII None 1998 Def Estab
CIO-II None 1981 Crypto Estab
CIO-I None 0 Crypto Estab
SA-II None 1969 Crypto Estab
AG-5 None 1994 Crypto Estab
AG-4 None 1994 Crypto Estab
SP-XXI None 1962 Def Estab
SA-III None 0 Crypto Estab
SP-XVI None 1962 Def Estab
EAS-I None 1909 Crypto Estab
EAS-VI None 0 Crypto Estab
SEP-H None 1970 Def Estab
NEP-VII None 2012 Def Estab
NEP-VIII None 2012 Def Estab
SA-I None 2004 Def Estab
PAN_PAC Panama Pacific Coast 2009 Def Estab
WA-I None 1994 Crypto Estab
SP-IV None 0 Def Estab

Occurrence Map

OCC_ID Author Year Date Locality Status Latitude Longitude

References

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