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Clavelina dellavallei

Clavelina dellavallei

Blue ascidian

   Clavelina dellavallei is a colonial ascidian. Each zooid is up to 3 cm high. The test is transparent and covered by small white spots. Through the test, the pharynx with its 13 to 17 stigmata is clearly visible, as well as the white or bluish vertical line of the endostyle. Siphons are close and prominent. The atrial siphon may be underlined by a blue-purple margin. In the lower part of the zooid, the purple stomach and intestine are also visible. Blue ascidians arise from a short stalk erected from a basal stolon through which zooids are connected one another. Colonies are attached to rocks, sea-fans or seaweeds.
It is found from surface to 10 meters deep in the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.


 (source : European Register of Marine Species)

  • Chordata [Phylum]
  • Tunicata [Subphylum]
  • Ascidiacea [Class]
  • Enterogona [Order]
  • Aplousobranchia [Suborder]
  • Clavelinidae [Family]
  • Clavelina dellavallei (Zirpolo, 1825)

Page glossary

Zooid : Individual, single animal.
Test : or tunic: thick layer secreted by the mantel containing cellulose and protecting the animal.
Endostyle : Groove through which food particles are moved up to the oesophagus.
Atrial siphon : Opening through which water is expelled.
Stolon : Root-like element binding together the individuals of a colony.


Top photograph :
© William Desmartin. Published with author's kind permission : 
Clavelina dellavallei, Pointe de Locca, Corsica, South of France. Depth 25 meters.
Text :  Anne Bay-Nouailhat © 2006-2020.
Translation :  Anne Bay-Nouailhat © 2007-2020.

How to cite this page in publications

Bay-Nouailhat A., March 2006, Description of Clavelina dellavallei, Available on line at http://www.european-marine-life.org/32/clavelina-dellavallei.php, consulted on 10 July 2020.
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