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Halocynthia aurantium

(Sea Peach)


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This ascidian is in the same family as the sea onion, Boltenia ovifera. A related species, Halocynthia roretzi , has been cultivated in Korea and Japan for human consumption (Sloan, 1986). It is usually boiled and eaten raw after the tunic (tough outer covering) is removed.

Common Names

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Common Names in English:

Sea Peach


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Physical Description

Species Halocynthia aurantium

The sea peach has a barrel-shaped body that is directly attached to the substrate. The red to orange outer covering is smooth or wrinkled and has two large siphons on top. Height to 18 cm (Kessler, 1985).


Typically found in water with a depth of 0 to -3,008 meters (0 to -9,869 feet).[1]

Biome: Marine .


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This large, solitary ascidian is often found in groups (Ushakov, 1955b). In the western Bering Sea , Halocynthia is preyed upon by the crabs Chionoecetes opilio and C. bairdi (Ivanov, 1993). It is also preyed upon by the sea star Evasterias troschelii (Barr and Barr, 1983).


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Ascidia Aurantium • Tethyum Aurantium


Name Status: Accepted Name .

Last scrutiny: 01-Oct-2007

Similar Species

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Members of the genus Halocynthia

ZipcodeZoo has pages for 1 species and subspecies in this genus:

H. aurantium (Sea Peach)

More Info

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Further Reading

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Data Sources

Accessed through GBIF Data Portal February 27, 2008:



  1. Mean = -286.390 meters (-939.600 feet), Standard Deviation = 665.500 based on 23 observations. Ocean depth information for each observation from British Oceanographic Data Centre. [back]
Last Revised: 2014-05-14