Aquatic invasive species

VASE TUNICATE

(Ciona intestinalis)

Vase tunicate is an invasive solitary tunicate from Northern Europe. It has been intermittently documented in eastern Canada for the past 100 years. Large populations of the species have been found in Nova Scotia since 1997 and in Prince Edward Island since 2004.

HABITAT

See the habitat of the tunicates

VASE TUNICATE - DFO  B. Vercaemer
DFO B. Vercaemer

CHARACTERISTICS

  • Body cylindrical, unstalked, translucent, soft and smooth;
  • May reach 15 cm in length;
  • Colour variable: from light greenish-yellow to orange or pink;
  • Develops individually but can form dense aggregations.

SIMILAR SPECIES

Sea potato - DFO  C. Nozères

Sea potato
DFO C. Nozères

Among native species, sea potatoes and sea peaches are other tunicates, but they are solitary or found in small groups. The sea potato is shaped like a rattle and has a stalk that can reach 13 cm. The sea peach's body is firm and rounded and its skin is rough.

See Clubbed tunicate and European sea squirt
Sea peach - DFO  C. Nozères

Sea peach
DFO C. Nozères

ECOLOGICAL AND ECONOMIC IMPACTS

WHAT YOU CAN DO