Scientific Name and Authority

Molgula manhattensis   (De Kay, 1843)


Molgula manhattensis is a solitary ascidian species with a globular-like body with some lateral compression. Large specimens of M. manhattensis can measure 20-50 mm in length and height. The tunic is firm, tough and moderately thick. Some areas on the tunic may develop into small hair-like projections called papillae which frequently catch and accumulate particles or organisms to its tunic and siphons. Molgula manhattensis is typically greenish-olive or yellowish-green. The divergent siphons are fairly close together at the anterior end. The oral siphon is shorter and stouter with six lobes around the opening. The atrial siphon has four lobes around the somewhat square opening and the length of the siphon can be up to half the body length. Molgula manhattensis usually attaches a small area of its ventral surface to a substrate, although when found in dense clusters, attachment areas become variable (Van Name 1945, Lambert 2003; Gretchen Lambert, personal communication 2012).

Taxonomic Classification:

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Tunicata
Class: Ascidiacea
Order: Stolidobranchia
Family: Molgulidae
Genus: Molgula
Species: manhattensis


Ascidia amphora (Agassiz, 1843)

Ascidia manhattensis (DeKay, 1843)

Ascidia rustica (Couthouy, 1828)

Ascidia tubifera (Oersted, 1844)

Caesira manhattensis (Hartmeyer, 1909)

Caesira sordida (Van Name, 1912)

Gymnocystis ampulloides (Giard, 1872)

Gymnocystis manhattensis (Huntsman, 1922)

Molgula ampulloides (Van Beneden, 1846)

Molgula coepiformis (Herdman & Sorby, 1882)

Molgula macrosiphonica (Kupfer, 1872)

Molgula platei (Arenback, 1928)

Molgula sordida (Stimpson, 1852)