Scientific Name and Authority

Ascidia zara   Oka, 1935


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).

Taxonomic Classification:

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


Phallusia suensoni (Trautstedt, 1885)

Potentially Misidentified Species:

Ascidia ceratodes