Ground Truth Trekking

Nickname: "Dripping Wax"

Scientific name -- possible: Distaplia occidentalis Habitat: Rocks, mid-low intertidal. One of the most common intertidal tunicates. Description: Large red-brown tunicate, often makes club shaped or dripping wax shaped mounds and lobes. Very common. Stiff texture, mostly opaque red-brown tunic. Zooids appear to be in groups – the groups of 5-7 look kind of star-shaped, radiating around a middle one. Notes: Not very sure on ID, but I can't find much that would fit these guys. Much stiffer than D. alaskensis, and washes up pretty whole/solid on beaches. I've given you a few of these (samples 4 and 9, maybe more). I'd put them high on the list of things to dissect and/or ID in another way, because they're so common and I can't figure them out.

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