I was walking along Eastern Beach and feeling a bit smug about all the sea cucumbers I’d found. Mum had dashed off to go to the loo and I was proud of the cool stuff I had found.
Then I stumbled across this.
Mum LOVES sea squirts. We’ve noticed some at Apollo Bay before, but they were always in the water. This had washed up and would allow mum to get a really close look. I called her and asked her to meet me, but didn’t tell her what I had found.
She was so stoked. I’m used to seeing sea squirts when they are attached to objects, but not washed up like this.
I posted on the marine field naturalist group I’m part of. At first it was suggested that it was a type of sea squirt called Cunjevoi, also known as Pyurastolonifera. The Australian Museum has more information about them. They say that ‘around the edge of the low-tide mark that often forms mats over the rocks.’
This didn’t gel with my experience with the marine environments in that area, however we *had* gone down there this day because there had been strong winds in the previous days.
A separate person, who focuses on ascidians, said it looked more like Pyura dalbyi. A quick google shows this was formally described in 2011 due to a revision with the Pyura stolonifera species complex.
Normally, this would be the point where I set boundaries and decide that this is waaaay too advanced for me. However, mum loves sea squirts. I’m doing to try to learn as much as I can about the different species so we can both learn as much as we can. Who knows, we might even discover something new?
The rest of this post shows the sea squirt from different angles.