Tunicates

SEA SQUIRTS (Class: Ascidiacea)

These solitary or colonial organisms grow attached to rocks and consist of a tube shaped body made a material resembling cellulose. At the top of the body is an inhalant siphon and on the side of the body is an exhalent siphon. Water is pumped through the body where food and oxygen are extracted. There are several species in Turkish waters.

RED SEA SQUIRT (Dendrodoa grossularia)

The red sea squirt is the most common species of sea squirt in Turkish waters, it is soft and smooth and appears to be red brown in color, though on night dives they are bright red by torch light. If disturbed they close their distinctive, four leafed inhalant siphon and contract their body becoming hard. More difficult to find but nonetheless numerous, is a dark brown species resembling encrusted rock, which can be up to 20cms long and usually found hanging under overhanging rocks. If disturbed, the whole organism contracts strongly closing both inhalant and exhalent openings.