Lobed Tunicate

Lobed Tunicate

Cystodytes lobatus

Physical Description

Lobed Tunicates form colonies ranging from 1 to 25 cm across and from 3 to 30 mm thick. Their surface features undulating knobs and ridges, and they exhibit a variety of colors including gray, white, orange, purple, or pink.


These tunicates are commonly found in shallow coastal waters, often attaching themselves to hard substrates such as rocks or pilings. They prefer areas with moderate water flow and ample access to planktonic food sources.

Geographical Range

The Lobed Tunicate can be found along the entire eastern Pacific coastline, from Alaska to Baja California. They thrive in intertidal and subtidal zones, forming dense colonies on rocky surfaces.


As filter feeders, Lobed Tunicates primarily consume microscopic plankton and other suspended particles present in the water column. They draw in water through their filtering apparatus, trapping food particles in mucous-like secretions before expelling filtered water.

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