Sea Squirts, Ascidians (Tunicates)

The  urochordates, or tunicates are colourful jelly-like animals that often carpet the sea floor or floating structures.  The encrusting forms are sometimes confused with sponges or bryozoans.  The Phylum Urochordata (formerly Tunicata, hence tunicates, a braod term) has 3,000 known species and includes the Class Ascidiacea (2,000 species) – common sea squirts or ascidians.

Pacific Sea Peach

Pacific Sea Peach, Taken Coopers Green
Pacific Sea Peach, Taken Coopers Green

Pacific Sea Peach
Halocynthia aurantium
Size: to 6 ” (15cm) high
Range: Chukchi Sea, Arctic to Puget Sound
Habitat: On rocks, subtidal to 330 ft (100m)
Description: Solitary, smooth barrel shaped orange tunic with large projecting siphons at the end.
Comments: Similar to Atlantic sea peach



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