PORT PHILLIP BAY


Salp 

Pyrostremma spinosum (Herdman, 1888)

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

A long, very large, hollow cylinder, with a wide opening at one end and tapering at the other. Walls approximately 2 cm thick. Bright pink to bright red. The outer surface is covered with pyramid-like spines. May reach 20 m in length and 1.5 m in diameter.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Chordata
Subphylum:
Tunicata
Class:
Thaliacea
Order:
Pyrosomatida
Family:
Pyrosomatidae
Subfamily:
Pyrostremmatinae
Genus:
Pyrostremma
Species:
spinosum

General Description

Usually seen as a colony of smaller individuals (zooids) that is very long and shaped like a hollow cylinder, with a wide opening at one end, tapering to a narrower tip at the other. Bright pink to bright red. The outer surface is covered with pyramid-like spines. Colony walls about 2 cm thick. Colony up to 20 m in length and 1.5 m in diameter.

Biology

This species is likely to be the one photographed in 1966, in water 55 m deep, and nick-named "Marvin the marine monster". Colonies of these salps are made up by many small individuals called zooids, which each pump water from the outside to the inside of the hollow colony. This pumping forms water jets that move the colony.

Habitat

Ocean, near surface to depth of 26 m.

Open water

Distribution guide

Worldwide.

Species Group

Jellyfishes and allies Salps

Depth

Shallow (1-30 m)

Water Column

Surface Midwater

Max Size

20 m

Diet

Plankton or Particles

Harmful

Not known to be dangerous to humans.

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Recorded in Australia

Identify

Conservation Status

  • DSE Advisory List : Not listed
  • EPBC Act 1999 : Not listed
  • IUCN Red List : Not listed

Author

article author Browne, J.

Jo Browne is a consultant with expertise in ctenophore and cnidarian taxonomy.

citation

Cite this page as:
Browne, J., 2011, Salp, Pyrostremma spinosum, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 23 Nov 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/5676

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