Bugula neritina (Linnaeus, 1758)

This species of Bugula is readily distinguished in the field by the reddish purple color, and under the microscope by the lack of avicularia. The white, globular structures at the distal ends of the zooids are ovicells. Ovicells are protective chambers in which an embryo develops before being added to the colony. Robust colonies like this one from Treasure Isle Marina were abundant in the fall of 2001, yet nearly absent in the spring of 2002. Future surveys should reveal patterns of this seasonality.