Painted Tunicate, Clavelina picta

The Painted Tunicate (Clavelina picta) is a species of sea squirt (tunicate) in the genus Clavelina (known as “little bottles.”). It is found in the waters of Florida, the Bahamas, and the Caribbean. It often occurs in large clusters attached to black coral, sponges, and gorgonians. Colonies may contain hundreds of individuals.

This animal, like all ascidians, is a sessile filter feeder. It is about 0.75 inches long and comes in a variety of colors, including reds, purples and yellows. The rims of the siphons are reddish to dark purple. Its body is translucent.

Image Caption: Clavelina picta (Painted Tunicate). Credit: Nick Hobgood/Wikipedia(CC BY-SA 3.0)