unidescribed turnicate
Unidetinfied turnicate
Monday 30th June 2008

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Clavelina sp
Common Name       Bluebell turnicate
Photgrapher Juan Snyman
Dive Site The Haerlem Wreck
Date 25/06/2008
Time 9h32
Depth 22 m
Size 80 mm





Remarks from the Southern Underwater Research Group  (http:/www.Surg.co.za)

Georgina Jones

From: Georgina Jones [mailto:georgina@surg.co.za]
Sent: 05 August 2009 02:17 PM
To: Charlie Griffiths; Juan
Subject: Re: bluebell tunicate

It is a great pic isn't it?
Taken by Juan Snyman.
I must say, I find it once more amazing that such a large (at least 15cm) common (on average I was seeing 50 or more on the deep dives off PE) and conspicuous animal can have escaped description so far.
But that's what makes it fun.

Charlie Griffiths wrote:
Thanks Georgina – great picture! Indeed I have pulled up some Clavelina pictures and this does resemble the form of that genus. However there is only one Clavelina species know from SA and that is the very characteristic Clavelina lepadiformis, which is white with characteristic white lies around the apertures. This might thus be a new species in that genus

On 2009/08/05 8:40 AM, "Georgina Jones" <georgina@surg.co.za> wrote:
Morning Charles
herewith a better pic of the bluebell tunicate. Juan at ODI PE wants to call it Clavelina.
What do you think?

 Subject:  RE: bluebell tunicate ie blue thingy 
 Date:  Wed, 5 Aug 2009 08:08:54 +0200 
 From:  Juan Snyman   
 To:  'Georgina Jones'   

Re: bluebell tunicate
Here the close up I promised. Can I put it on the website as a Bluebell tunicate (Clavelina sp) for now? Next question: Sea squirt or sponge?

From: Georgina Jones [mailto:georgina@surg.co.za]
Sent: 04 August 2009 05:24 PM
To: Juan Snyman
Subject: Re: bluebell tunicate ie blue thingy

Hi Juan, I know!! There are thousands of them, and it's not like they're (excuse the Pun) shrinking violets -- they're super obvious animals, which is why I find it totally extraordinary that no scientist has noticed them before. Anyway, that's where we come in. Thanks!

Juan Snyman wrote:
Hi Georgina
I had the best close up photo of this tunicate, but lost it when the computer crashed. I will search for it. There are literally thousands of these sea squirts of the deep reefs. I will contact you when I have collected the specimens.

From: Georgina Jones [mailto:georgina@surg.co.za]
Sent: 04 August 2009 05:30 AM
To: Juan; Lombard, Evania (Miss) (s203044843)
Subject: Re: bluebell tunicate ie blue thingy

Hi Juan and Evania,
I mailed Charles Griffiths at UCT about your 'blue thingy' and he says he thinks it may very well be an undescribed species.
What he'd like is more pics if you have any, but more specifically, can you collect him at least 5 specimens and preserve them in alcohol for him? That way he can investigate and see if in fact you have found a new species!
His message follows.


Hi Georgina
I have had a reply back from my posdoc who is an ascidian expert and he is unable to identify this tunicate, which is also not in either the East African Guide or the SA ascidian monograph. It is thus almost certainly unknown from South Africa or maybe in fact new to science! As before we would be keen for any more photos but mainly  some specimens – preferable at least 5 individuals preserved in alcohol. If you are able to source these we may well be onto another discovery!
All the best

Prof Charles Griffiths
Zoology Department
University of Cape Town
Private Bag X3
Rondebosch 7701
South Africa

Phone: (021) 650-3610
Fax: (021) 650 4988
E-mail: Charles.Griffiths@uct.ac.za
























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unidescribed turnicate