Soestia zonaria

[= Iasis zonaria]

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Deuterostomia > Chordata > Tunicata > Thaliacea > Salpida > Family: Salpidae > Soestia

Distribution and habitat

Semi-cosmopolitan. Recorded from the southwest coast of South Africa, under the name Iasis zonaria, by Lazarus & Dowler (1979). Recorded from the Benguela Current region off southern Africa by Gibbons (1999).


Filter feeders on phytoplankton including:

  • dinoflagellates

    • Alexandrium tamarense

Ecological interactions

  • Predators
    • fish
      • Engraulis anchoita (Anchovy) (Mianzan et al. 2001)
      • Scomber japonicus (Mackerel). The results of Mianzan et al. (1997) suggest that mortality of Mackerel was caused by the toxic effects of eating these salps, which in turn had been eating the toxic dinoflagellate Alexandrium tamarense.


  • Gibbons MJ. 1999. An introduction to the zooplankton of the Benguela Current region. National Book Publishers, Cape Town.
  • Lazarus, B. I. and D. Dowler. 1979. Pelagic tunicata off the west and south-west coasts of South Africa, 1964-1965. Fish. Bull. S. Afr. 12:93-119.
  • Mianzan HW, Pájaro M, Machinandiarena L, Cremonte F. 1997. Salps: possible vectors of toxic dinoflagellates? Fisheries Research 29(2): 193-197. DOI S0165-7836(96)00526-7
  • Mianzan H, Pájaro M, Alvarez Colombo G, Madirolas A. 2001. Feeding on survival-food: gelatinous plankton as a source of food for anchovies. Hydrobiologia 451: 45-53.

Text by Hamish Robertson

Contact us if you can contribute information or images to improve this page.

Marine Biodiversity home   Biodiversity Explorer home   Iziko home   Search