Urochordata (Sea Squirts, Tunicates, Salps)

Subphylum Urochordata (Sea Squirts, Tunicates, Salps)

Wikipedia Entry

Approximate Number of Species: 3,000

Largest: The largest species is the colonial salp Pyrosoma sp with a length of 65.6 feet (20 meters).

  • A 2.1 meter colony was accidentally caught by British researchers on sampling gear.
  • A photograph of Pyrosoma spinosum with a diver in the Philippines.

Pyrosoma sp. taken at 856.08 meters of the Seven Sea Rig of Angola.  Photo from the Serpent Project.  See more here.

Smallest:  The tunicate Minipera pedunculata reaches lengths of only 0.02 inches (0.5 mm)


Brusca RC & Brusca GJ (2003) Invertebrates (Sinauer Associates, Inc., Publishers, Sunderland, MA) 2nd Ed.

S. Haddock and B. Robison, personal communication

Monnoit C & Monniot F (1978) Recent work on the deep-sea tunicates. Oceanography and Marine Biology Annual Review 16:181-228.

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