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any small, pelagic, gelatinous invertebrate of the orders Salpida and Doliolida (class Thaliacea, subphylum Tunicata). Found in warm seas, salps are common in the Southern Hemisphere. They have transparent barrel-shaped bodies that are girdled by muscle bands and open at each end. They are filter feeders that consume microscopic planktonic plants and animals. The life cycle of salps is complex, with alternating sexual and asexual phases. In the latter phase, long chains of individuals are formed. Many salps are luminescent