Sexually mature Larvaceans retain the organisation of the larva. Oikopleura albicans secretes a small house into which water is drawn by movements of its tail. A filtering apparatus strains food from the water.
Adults of members of the class Thaliacea are typically tail-less. They move by jet propulsion forcing water through the barrel-like body by weak muscular contractions. Food is strained from the water as it passes through the body. Neither of the species illustrated here have larval stages and both undergo asexual as well as sexual reproduction.
Salpa maxima buds off chains of sexual individuals, which eventually break free and produce asexual organisms.
Species of Pyrosoma are composed of large numbers of minute, phosphorescent, sexual organisms living in colonies. The asexual stage is retained in the body of the parent. This extra large specimen was caught by the Discovery Expedition in 1931.