BIOTIC Species Information for Morchellium argus
Researched byDr Keith Hiscock Data supplied byMarLIN
Refereed byThis information is not refereed.
Scientific nameMorchellium argus Common nameA colonial sea squirt
MCS CodeZD28 Recent SynonymsNone

PhylumChordata SubphylumTunicata
Superclass ClassAscidiacea
Subclass OrderEnterogona
SuborderAplousobranchiata FamilyPolyclinidae
GenusMorchellium Speciesargus

Additional InformationNo text entered
Taxonomy References Howson & Picton, 1997,
General Biology
Growth formCushion
Feeding methodActive suspension feeder
Mobility/MovementPermanent attachment
Environmental positionEpifaunal
Typical food typesSuspended organic matter. HabitAttached
BioturbatorNot relevant FlexibilityHigh (>45 degrees)
FragilityFragile SizeSmall-medium(3-10cm)
HeightUp to 4 cm Growth RateInsufficient information
Adult dispersal potentialNone DependencyIndependent
General Biology Additional InformationNo text entered
Biology References Berrill, 1950, Teo & Ryland, 1995,
Distribution and Habitat
Distribution in Britain & IrelandRecorded from all around the coasts of Britain and Ireland except parts of the eastern coast of England and parts of the eastern and southern coasts of Ireland. Few records from Shetland.
Global distributionKnown from Britain and Ireland and parts of the French Atlantic coast.
Biogeographic rangeNot researched Depth range+1 to -10 m chart datum
MigratoryNon-migratory / Resident   
Distribution Additional InformationNo text entered

Substratum preferencesBedrock
Large to very large boulders
Small boulders
Physiographic preferencesOpen coast
Enclosed coast / Embayment
Offshore seabed
Strait / sound
Ria / Voe
Biological zoneLower Eulittoral
Sublittoral Fringe
Upper Infralittoral
Lower Infralittoral
Wave exposureExposed
Moderately Exposed
Very Sheltered
Extremely Sheltered
Ultra Sheltered
Tidal stream strength/Water flowStrong (3-6 kn)
Moderately Strong (1-3 kn)
Weak (<1 kn)
Very Weak (negligible)
SalinityFull (30-40 psu)
Variable (18-40 psu)
Habitat Preferences Additional Information
Distribution References Berrill, 1950, Picton & Costello, 1998, JNCC, 1999, NBN, 2002,
Reproduction/Life History
Reproductive typeFission
Permanent hermaphrodite
Developmental mechanismLecithotrophic
Reproductive SeasonJune to October Reproductive LocationInsufficient information
Reproductive frequencyInsufficient information Regeneration potential No
Life span1-2 years Age at reproductive maturityInsufficient information
Generation time<1 year FecundityInsufficient information
Egg/propagule sizeEggs ca 0.34 mm diameter Fertilization typeInsufficient information
Larval/Juvenile dispersal potential100-1000m Larval settlement periodInsufficient information
Duration of larval stage<1 day   
Reproduction Preferences Additional InformationEggs are about 0.34 mm diameter. Larvae are held in the atrial cavity and have a trunk about 0.8 mm long. The free-swimming period of the larva is about 2-3 hours. Berrill (1950) suggests that brooding colonies are present in September and October but records in the Plymouth Marine Fauna suggest breeding June to September.
Reproduction References Berrill, 1950, MBA, 1957,
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