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Styela clava
Image courtesy of Anya Dunham, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Canada
Styela clava
Taxonomic Group: Tunicates
Common name: CLUB SEA SQUIRT


Styela clava, is commonly known as the leathery or club tunicate. It is solitary and has a thin, but leathery and bumpy tunic. Its body is cylindrical or club-shaped and is attached to the substrate with a stalk. It is native to the Northwest Pacific, from Shanghai to the Sea of Okhotsk and the Southeastern Bering Sea. It has become widely distributed in coastal waters, through ship fouling and transport with oysters. It has been introduced to both coasts of North America and to Europe, Australia and New Zealand. In some areas of its introduced range, S. clava adversely affects aquaculture production by fouling cultured species and equipment. It can also grow in dense clumps, dominating large patches, and outcompeting other fouling species.

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Fofonoff PW, Ruiz GM, Steves B, Simkanin C, & Carlton JT (2018)
National Exotic Marine and Estuarine Species Information System.
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Marine Invasions Lab
Smithsonian Environmental Research Center

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