Sea Tulip (Pyura spinifera)

…a species of pyurid ascidian (sea squirt) that occurs off the coasts of New South Wales and Victoria, Australia. Like most tunicates P. spinifera is a filter feeder, filtering the water around it for nutrients and expelling out excess. P. spinifera ‘comes’ in a wide range of colors, ranging from white, pink, yellow, orange, and purple. The color is determined by the symbiotic sponge that covers the ascidian’s surface.


Animalia-Chordata-Tunicata-Ascidiacea-Pleurogona-Stolidobranchia-Pyuridae-Pyura-P. spinifera

Images: Michael McKnight and Richard Ling