Thalia democratica (salp)
Collected: 20-40 km offshore from Chincoteague, VA. Summer 2005
Notes: These pelagic urochordates are relatives of sea squirts. They can occur in colonies or as individuals . Dr. Julie Ambler and her students at Millersville University (PA) are currently investigating its complex life history.
While these salps are usually more common well offshore, large aggregations occasionally come ashore in summer where they alarm swimmers at the beach.
Thalia democratica -aggregate form
Notes: These salps in the aggregate form differ in morphology from the solitary form at the top. Individuals in the aggregate form were budded asexually from inside a solitary individual.
Collected and photographed by: Julie Ambler and Melissa Day, Millersville University, PA
Submitted by: W. S. Johnson