Ciona intestinalis has previously been regarded as cosmopolitan species and potentially introduced into many areas. Recent molecular work has shown that more than one species was included under this name. C. intestinalis s.s. (= type B) is found predominantly in the north Atlantic, but also in other areas, eg Yellow Sea. The Indo-Pacific (including Australia and New Zealand), Mediterranean and southern African form (= C. intestinalis type A) is now recognised as distinct.
Scientific Name Notes:
C. intestinalis type A is now recognised as a distinct species - C. robusta - this form is the one most widely used as an experimental animal and published as C. intestinalis. All Australasian records of the latter probably refer to C. robusta, but any records from anywhere need to be re-examined to determine their identity. There are sympatric populations and both species have probably been accidentally introduced into other areas by shipping.
Name status: accepted
Checked on: 2017-03-02 View at WoRMS - also at Ocean Biodiversity Information System (OBIS)
(report and map of occurrences)
Wells, A. Houston, W. W. K. , Editors, 1998, Zoological catalogue of Australia. Volume 34. Hemichordata, Tunicata, Cephalochordata. CSIRO, East Melbourne
Scientific Name verified against:
Brunetti, R., Gissi, C., Pennati, R., Caicci, F., Gasparini, F., Manni, L., 2015. Morphological evidence that the molecularly determined Ciona intestinalis type A and type B are different species: Ciona robusta and Ciona intestinalis., Journal of Zooligical Systematics and Evolutionary Research, Vol. 53(3): 186-193. . doi:10.1111/jzs.12101 doi:10.1111/jzs.12101