Club Tunicate

Common Name(s)
Club tunicate; clubbed tunicate (sea squirt)

Scientific Name
Styela clava (Herdman 1882)

Status
We have not yet found it in Cape Breton waters

Description

  • Solitary sea squirt, however, they can be found in large aggregates (groups or clusters)
  • Bumpy and club-shaped with a rough and leathery exterior (its 'tunic') 
  • Attaches to substrate via a stalk (up to 1/3 body length)
  • Grows to about 15 cm tall
  • Brown in color but may have red, yellow, or white blended in
  • Two siphons, each with a four-lobed opening, located at the top of the organism
  • Approximate 2-year lifespan 

Invasion History/Regional Sightings

The club tunicate has been invading coastal waters of Prince Edward Island, Canada, since 1998.  Although not yet here in Cape Breton Island, the spread and establishment of the club tunicate into other mussel growing areas of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Quebec could have devastating results.
 
Specific Habitat Preferences
The club tunicate prefers waters of 25m or less and temperatures ranging from 2-23o Celsius.
 
Notes of Interest
Interestingly, the club tunicate is eaten in Korea.
 
Additional websites related to club tunicate