Boltenia villosa “Hairy Sea Squirt” Ascidiacea

Fox Island, WA
June 23, 2013
Robert Niese

Hairy Sea Squirts are relatively common in the low intertidal here in the Northwest. On the rare occasion when the tide is exceptionally low and they are left exposed to the air, these tunicates will hold water inside their tunics to regulate their body temperature and oxygen consumption. With a gentle squeeze it becomes quite apparent why these odd critters are known as “sea squirts.”