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The pleated tunicate, Styela plicata is a solitary benthic tunicate believed non-native to Florida and the western Atlantic, but occurring there in some abundance. The oval, upright body is covered with a tough and leathery cellulose-containing tunic, with numerous rounded warts and pleated grooves. A pair of short siphons are present.Individuals range in color from light tannish white to gray. Thin red or purple stripes on the insides of the four-lobed siphons are evident as cross-shaped markings at the tips of the closed siphons. Individuals can be found singly or in groups (Carlton and Ruckelshaus 1997, Kaplan 1999, NIMPIS 2002, USGS, ISSG)


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© Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce

Source: Indian River Lagoon Species Inventory

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