Species Index

Sycozoa cerebriformis
(Quoy and Gaimard, 1840)

Common Name: Brain Ascidian

Distribution: Common throughout the Solitary Islands Marine Park. Distributed throughout the Indo-West Pacific region: Australia and Indonesia. In Australia recorded from around Cairns in north Queensland south to Tasmania and around to Perth in Western Australia.

Ecological Notes: Found on rocky reef, depth to at least 50 m.

Additional Notes: A colonial ascidian that is variable in colour and shape, small colonies being flat and fan shaped and attached to the substrate by an obvious stalk. As the colony grows it twists and convolutes to resemble the lobes of a brain. The zooids may be seen down the flat sides of the colony with the common exhalent siphons arranged in paired rows along the tops of the folds. Colonies may cover up to 20 cm across and up to 10 cm high.

References: Graham J. Edgar. Tropical Marine Life of Australia, 2019. New Holland Publishers Pty Ltd. p. 440.

Atlas of Living Australia website at Accessed 14/09/2022.