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Bugula purpurotincta is an erect bryozoan found in subtidal waters in the north of the British Isles. The colonies form stout, bushy, irregularly branched tufts up to 8 cm high. When the colonies are dry they appear purplish-red in colour.
The species colonises shells, other hard substrates and hydroids from the kelp zone down to approximately 300 m. In British waters, the species ranges from Shetland down the east coast to Filey in Yorkshire. It has also been recorded through Norway to Spitzbergen.