Sea Tulip

Chordata – Ascidiacea


Sea tulips are named for their long stalks and rounded heads. Although considered a solitary (single) ascidian, a cluster of them can look like a bunch of tulips (flowers) attached to rocky reef or seagrass. Filtering the water for food and nutrients, these animals play an important role in our marine environment, removing particles as small as bacteria.

Sea tulip, beached Cluster of beached sea tulips

Did you know?

Ascidians have free-swimming larvae, which help them to disperse throughout the ocean. However, they do not feed during this time and must find a place to settle within a few hours, or they die.

Single sea tulip underwater A pair of sea tulips underwater