MarLIN

information on the biology of species and the ecology of habitats found around the coasts and seas of the British Isles

A colonial sea squirt (Botrylloides leachii)

Distribution data supplied by the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS). To interrogate UK data visit the NBN Atlas.

Summary

Description

Botrylloides leachii is a colonial sea squirt forming flat, gelatinous sheets. The colonies can vary greatly in colour and can be grey, orange, yellow or red-brown. The zooids are arranged in two parallel chains. Individual zooids are twice as long as wide and are between 1.5 - 3 mm long

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

Botrylloides leachii is found around all coasts of the British Isles.

Global distribution

Found from northern Norway to the Mediterranean.

Habitat

Botrylloides leachii encrusts stones and shells and is common on large brown algae.  It is found from the lower shore down to the shallow sublittoral.

Depth range

0-30 m

Identifying features

  • Flat, gelatinous sheets.
  • Grey, orange or red-brown in colour.
  • Zooids arranged in 2 parallel chains.
  • Zooids 1.5 - 3 mm long

Additional information

The linear arrangement of zooids in Botrylloides leachii distinguishes it from the star like arrangement of zooids in Botryllus schlosseri. Botrylloides leachii is the preferred food of cowries, Trivia arctica and Trivia monacha.

Listed by

- none -

Further information sources

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Bibliography

  1. Alder, J. & Hancock, A., 1912. The British Tunicata, Vol. 3. London: Ray Society

  2. Berrill, N.J., 1950. The Tunicata with an account of the British species. London: Ray Society.

  3. Hayward, P., Nelson-Smith, T. & Shields, C. 1996. Collins pocket guide. Sea shore of Britain and northern Europe. London: HarperCollins.

  4. Hayward, P.J. & Ryland, J.S. (ed.) 1995b. Handbook of the marine fauna of North-West Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  5. Picton, B.E. & Costello, M.J., 1998. BioMar biotope viewer: a guide to marine habitats, fauna and flora of Britain and Ireland. [CD-ROM] Environmental Sciences Unit, Trinity College, Dublin.

Datasets

  1. Centre for Environmental Data and Recording, 2018. Ulster Museum Marine Surveys of Northern Ireland Coastal Waters. Occurrence dataset https://www.nmni.com/CEDaR/CEDaR-Centre-for-Environmental-Data-and-Recording.aspx accessed via NBNAtlas.org on 2018-09-25.

  2. Environmental Records Information Centre North East, 2018. ERIC NE Combined dataset to 2017. Occurrence dataset: http://www.ericnortheast.org.uk/home.html accessed via NBNAtlas.org on 2018-09-38

  3. Fenwick, 2018. Aphotomarine. Occurrence dataset http://www.aphotomarine.com/index.html Accessed via NBNAtlas.org on 2018-10-01

  4. Fife Nature Records Centre, 2018. St Andrews BioBlitz 2016. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/146yiz accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-09-27.

  5. Kent Wildlife Trust, 2018. Biological survey of the intertidal chalk reefs between Folkestone Warren and Kingsdown, Kent 2009-2011. Occurrence dataset: https://www.kentwildlifetrust.org.uk/ accessed via NBNAtlas.org on 2018-10-01.

  6. Kent Wildlife Trust, 2018. Kent Wildlife Trust Shoresearch Intertidal Survey 2004 onwards. Occurrence dataset: https://www.kentwildlifetrust.org.uk/ accessed via NBNAtlas.org on 2018-10-01.

  7. Manx Biological Recording Partnership, 2018. Isle of Man historical wildlife records 1990 to 1994. Occurrence dataset:https://doi.org/10.15468/aru16v accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-01.

  8. Merseyside BioBank., 2018. Merseyside BioBank (unverified). Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/iou2ld accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-01.

  9. National Trust, 2017. National Trust Species Records. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/opc6g1 accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-01.

  10. NBN (National Biodiversity Network) Atlas. Available from: https://www.nbnatlas.org.

  11. OBIS (Ocean Biogeographic Information System),  2020. Global map of species distribution using gridded data. Available from: Ocean Biogeographic Information System. www.iobis.org. Accessed: 2020-08-11

  12. Outer Hebrides Biological Recording, 2018. Invertebrates (except insects), Outer Hebrides. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/hpavud accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-01.

  13. South East Wales Biodiversity Records Centre, 2018. SEWBReC Marine and other Aquatic Invertebrates (South East Wales). Occurrence dataset:https://doi.org/10.15468/zxy1n6 accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-02.

  14. The Wildlife Information Centre, 2018. TWIC Biodiversity Field Trip Data (1995-present). Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/ljc0ke accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-02.

  15. Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, 2018. Yorkshire Wildlife Trust Shoresearch. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/1nw3ch accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-02.

Citation

This review can be cited as:

Ager, O.E.D. 2008. Botrylloides leachii A colonial sea squirt. In Tyler-Walters H. and Hiscock K. (eds) Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Reviews, [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 11-08-2020]. Available from: https://www.marlin.ac.uk/species/detail/1664

Last Updated: 08/05/2008