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Row encrusting tunicates
Botrylloides spp.

Description:
This species form flat encrusting colonies, with the zooids immersed in a common tunic and arranged in biserial, linear, systems with common atrial openings. Each zooid can be recognized by the small opening of its incurrent siphon.
Colonies are characteristic brick red with white markings, but a wide range of colors from black to bright orange have been reported.

Habitat:
Colonies encrust areas of dead coral, artificial structures and turtle grass blades. Also in muddy lagoons, on the roots of Rhizophora.

Distribution:
Widespread throughout lagoons in the West Indies, but seldom occurs on coral reefs where its place appears to be taken by species of Botryllus, e.g. Botryllus plana.

Remarks:
Positive identification requires microscopic examination of the internal body parts. The zooids are not divided into distinct regions as thorax, abdomen or post-abdomen.

Row encrusting tunicates (Botrylloides spp.)