Stolonica australis

Stolonica australis

Size: Zooids 2 cm

Distribution: SA gulf waters, west to Coffin Bay

Habitat: Rocky reef and jetty pylons

Depth: Subtidal to 10+ metres

Stolonica australis

Very common on jetty piles and rock walls, this colonial species consists of many tiny spherical animals, closely packed and connected by stolons, with a reddish, sand-encrusted test. The siphons are relatively short, and have a red and white candy-cane stripe pattern inside. Individual zooids are usually much smaller than the 2cm reported maximum, and grow no more than about pea sized. Its small size, along with the sandy, spherical test and siphon pattern make it hard to mistake this species. There is also a yellow form of Stolonica, without the candy cane stripes, which is usually considered to be the same species (see Unidentified styelids #15).