Rhopalaea cloneyi (Ascidiacea, Cionidae), a new deep-water ascidian from the coastal waters of British Columbia

Authors

  • E. Vaazquez,

    1. Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution, 5600 U.S. Hwy 1 North, Ft Pierce, Florida 34946, USA
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    • 2

      Present address: Dpto Bioloxia Animal, Facultade de Bioloxai, Universidade de Santiago, 15,706 Santiago de Compostela, Spain

  • C. M. Young

    1. Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution, 5600 U.S. Hwy 1 North, Ft Pierce, Florida 34946, USA
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Abstract

A new species of solitary ascidian from the British Columbia fjords, Rhopalaea cloneyi is described. R. cloneyi is characterized by its strong musculature, consisting of 14-15 longitudinal bands which are branched several times on the ventral side, converging to the endostylar band of the thorax. Its differences with the seven species of the genus Rhopalaea described up to the present are discussed. A checklist of the associated benthos found with the nine deep ascidians from this area observed with the PISCES IV submersible shows that R. cloneyi and Bathypera feminalba are found associated with the brachiopods Crania and Laqueus, the asteroid Mediaster aequalis and the anthozoid Stomphia.

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