My mum was at Eastern Beach recently with my nephew. Normally, I don’t blog about another persons experience… unless they find something really cool.
Mum send me these photos and then called me, talking about these cool blue things she had found. She thought they were awesome and loved the translucence. She asked for my help with identifying them.
I put them up on Facebook. I was a bit hesitant about doing so – the group is dedicated to marine research and many of my questions are fairly basic. I’m trying to rebuild a business and haven’t had the time to try and figure out identifications on my own. I learn a lot from the process but it can take hours.
It turns out that they are lightbulb ascidians, also known as Clavelina lepadiformis. They are on top of a type of sea squirt called Pyura stolonifera, also known as red bait. Both of these species are introduced. It makes me wonder about the connection between these and other Pyura species – were some other local ones (such as P. Dalbyi) considered to be invasive?
We are definitely planning to return and getting close photos using the GoPro and my digital camera. Just need to figure out the best way without getting in the water in the middle of winter.