Pycnoclavella diminuta

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Pycnoclavella diminuta
Pycnoclavella diminuta 01.jpg
Pycnoclavella diminuta in Occidental Mindoro, Philippines
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Tunicata
Class: Ascidiacea
Order: Aplousobranchia
Family: Pycnoclavellidae
Genus: Pycnoclavella
Species: P. diminuta
Binomial name
Pycnoclavella diminuta
(Kott, 1957)[1]

Archidistoma diminuta (Kott, 1957)
Archidistoma diminutum (Kott, 1957)
Archidistoma richeri Monniot, 1988
Archidistoma rubripunctum Monniot, 1988
Clavelina diminuta Kott, 1957
Clavelina nodula Kott, 1972

Pycnoclavella diminuta, common names white-spotted sea squirt, white-spot ascidian,[1] and white-spotted ascidian[2] is a species of tunicate (sea squirt), in the genus Pycnoclavella. Like all ascidians, these sessile animals are filter feeders.[3]


Pycnoclavela diminuta lives in colonies composed of small clusters of zooids that originate from a common stalk. Each zooid is approximately 0.5 to 1 cm in length. They are golden yellow-orange in colour and have white spots. The spots vary in shape and size, but are well defined, and are consistent throughout the colony.

This species can be confused with Clavelina flava, which may also have white spots. But Pycnoclavela diminuta can be differentiated in that the spots are always clearly defined and always constant.[2]


This species occurs in numerous locations, including:[2]


Pycnoclavella diminuta is a sessile suspension feeder.[1]


This ascidian lives in depths from 5 to 20 metres[1] in the benthic zone in caves and under ledges.[2][4] It often occurs in environments with soft corals such as Dendronephthya and Scleronephthya.[2]


Further reading[edit]

  • Coleman, N., 2000. Marine life of the Maldives. Atoll Editions, Victoria, Australia. (ISBN 1 876410 36 1)
  • Hayward, P.J. & J.S. Ryland, 1995. Handbook of the Marine Fauna of North-West Europe. Oxford University Press Inc., New York. (ISBN 0 19 854055 8)
  • Kott, P., 1985. The Australian Ascidiacea. Part 1: Phelobranchiata and Stolidobranchiata. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 23: 1-440.
  • Kott, P., 1990. The Australian Ascidiacea. Part 2: Aplousobranchia (1). Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 29 (1): 1-226.
  • Kott, P., 1992. The Australian Ascidiacea. Part 3: Aplousobranchia (2). Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 32 (2): 375-620.
  • Kott, P., 2001. The Australian Ascidiacea. Part 4: Aplousobranchia (3), Didemnidae. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 47(1): 1-407.
  • Kott, P., 2002. Ascidiacea (Tunicata) from Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia. The Beagle 18: 19-55.
  • Nagabhushama, A.K. & P. Krishnamoorthy, 1992. Occurrence and biology of the solitary ascidian Ascidiella aspersa in Tamil Nadu coastal waters. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India 34 (1-2): 1-9.
  • Millar, R.H., 1970. British Ascidians. Tunicata: Ascidiacea. Keys and Notes for the Identification of the Species. Synopses of The British Fauna (New Series) 1.
  • Monniot, F., C. Monniot & P. Laboute, 1991. Coral Reef Ascidians of New Caledonia. Collection Fauna tropicale 30, ORSTOM, Paris. (ISBN 2 7099 1050 0)
  • Monniot, F. & C. Monniot, 1996. New collections of ascidians from the western Pacific and Southeastern Asia. Micronesia 29 (2): 133-279.
  • Monniot, F. & C. Monniot, 2001. Ascidians from the tropical western Pacific. Zoosystema 23 (2): 201-383.
  • Nishikawa, T., 1980. Contributions to the Japanese ascidian fauna. XXXIII: Ascidians from the coast of Kii Peninsula, Middle Japan, with descriptions of two new species. Memoirs of the National Science Museum, Tokyo 13: 97-111.
  • Wirtz, P. & H. Debellius, 2003. Mediterranean and Atlantic Invertebrate Guide. Conchbooks, Hackenheim. (ISBN 3-925919-62-7)