Tunicates of Kachemak Bay (1/203)

Scientific name -- possible: Aplidium californicum
Nickname "Patches": Scientific name -- possible: Aplidium californicum Colonial Tunicate Habitat: Undersides of rocks. High current, wave-exposed areas. Extreme low tide. Locations observed: White rock beach (June 2016), Rhino Point (August 2016) Description: Gooey texture, melting in the hand if pried off. No stalk. Outer covering is glossy and transparent. Frequently there are dark brown irregular patches on the outer covering, between groups of zooids. Zooids are reddish orange, with tips lighter than stalks (orangish-yellow). Notes: I think this may be the same or similar to "Sample #5 Seldovia 4-9-2014," though photo quality doesn't quite let me figure it out. Notes on that one say it looks like an Aplidium or Distaplia My guess: Aplidium californicum based on pictures, from the BC tunicate site, and these bolded characteristics: A. californicum is a colonial tunicate that forms smooth, glossy, thick sheets. The colony may be lightly covered in sand. The tunic is gelatinous, soft, usually translucent, and may be white, pale yellow, tan, or grey to almost colourless. The zooids are tan, yellow, or dull ochre with 10-12 rows of stigmata and are arranged in irregular oval or elongated systems. A. californicum grows on hard substrates and associated marine organisms. It is found on rocky shores from the intertidal to depths up to 85 m. see these photos of A. californicum that look similar: http://convoluta.ucdavis.edu/gallery/slideshow.php?set_albumName=Aplidium-californicum and on the BC tunicate key site.

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