Scientific Name and Authority

Styela plicata   Lesueur, 1823


Styela plicata is a solitary tunicate, variable in shape, but roughly oval. It is fixed to the substrate by the posterior end of its body, usually without roots or stalks. Its tunic is firm and thick, slightly translucent, with deep, irregular, longitudinal furrows, and horizontal creases that form large, irregularly rounded lumps.  Its total body length can reach 90 mm. The oral siphon is terminal, and the atrial siphon is a little behind it – both siphons are short, with square apertures with rounded humps on each side. The color of the tunic is whitish with brown or black stripes radiating from the siphons (Van Name 1945; Kott 1985; Nishikawa 1991; Gretchen Lambert, personal communication 2012).

Taxonomic Classification:

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Tunicata
Class: Ascidiacea
Order: Stolidobranchia
Family: Styelidae
Genus: Styela
Species: plicata


Ascidia plicata (Lesueur, 1823)

Styela gyrosa (Heller, 1883)

Styela pinguis (Herdman, 1899)

Tethyum plicatum (Hartmeyer, 1909)

Ascidia cuvieri (Delle Chiaje, 1841)

Ascidia patata (Costa, 1844)

Ascidia phusca (Delle Chiaje, 1828)

Phallusia sulcata (Delle Chiaje, 1841)