[Coral-List] Coral Slaying Tunicate
solonnie at hotmail.com
Mon Jan 21 14:24:27 EST 2008
I too have observed this gray mat-like growth on our corals in St. Croix and took some samples to our lab to examine. After dissolving the tissue in a bleach solution I looked to see if some spicules remained as I thought this might be some type of sheet-like encrusting sponge (beta stage) and sure enough there were many smooth thin monaxonic megascleres (spicules) mostly of one size class. The megascleres are tylostyles with lobed heads. The undissolved tissue was microscopically hispid and the many loose spicules were seen in confusion. It reminded me of the coral-killing sponge I've seen covering huge tracks of reef in the Indo-Pacific, Terpios hoshinota. Hooper and Van Soest state that this family is capable of asexual reproduction by gemmule-like bodies. Unfortunately, I haven't had time to study it further. Marking the colonies to measure its progression rate over the corals would be informative.
Lonnie Kaczmarsky, Florida International University
> Date: Mon, 21 Jan 2008 05:53:50 -0800> From: mekvinga at yahoo.com> To: Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov> Subject: [Coral-List] Coral Slaying Tunicate> > Hello, all,> > In my observations, this Tunicate, which is gray here in St. Croix, is generally only on and smothering living corals. There's been a lot of it for at least four years here.> > "cheers," > > Melissa Keyes> St. Croix, US Virgin Islands, Caribbean> > > ---------------------------------> Be a better friend, newshound, and know-it-all with Yahoo! Mobile. Try it now.> _______________________________________________> Coral-List mailing list> Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov> http://coral.aoml.noaa.gov/mailman/listinfo/coral-list
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