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A complex didemnid ascidian from Whangamata, New Zealand
Kott, P. (2002). A complex didemnid ascidian from Whangamata, New Zealand. J. Mar. Biol. Ass. U.K. 82(4): 625-628
In: Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. Cambridge University Press/Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom: Cambridge. ISSN 0025-3154, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Kott, P.

Abstract
    An undescribed species of the genus Didemnum (Didemnidae) reported from installations in Whangamata Harbour (Coromandel Peninsula), has a unique and conspicuous three-dimensional growth form (possibly associated with vertical and undersurfaces it occupies). It is also distinguished by a combination of the few characters available to define these small, simplified, convergent organisms. Its stellate spicules are sparse except for a patchy layer in the surface test, primary common cloacal canals are the full depth of the zooids, nine vas deferens coils surround the testis, the gut is long forming a double loop, and larvae have six pairs of ectodermal ampullae. Eleven species said to belong to this genus have previously been reported from New Zealand, but only six are valid Didemnum spp., and they all are distinguished readily from the present species. Nevertheless, there is no evidence that the new species is introduced, and the simplest explanation of it occurrence is that it is part of the little known indigenous didemnid fauna of New Zealand.

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