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- Individual animals (zooids) live in colonies up to 3-4 in (7.5-10 cm) wide
- Zooids arranged in conspicuous starlike patterns
- Yellow, olive, greenish, tan, brown, purple, or black; individuals outlined in yellow or white
- Colonies begin as soft, flat patches and mature into loose bloblike rolls and lobes
- Grows on rocks, shells, seaweeds, pilings, eelgrass, and other solid surfaces
- Along open shores and in brackish estuaries (to 18 ppt or less)
- Near low-tide line and below, to depths of 60 ft (18 m)
Known Distribution in the Northeast
- Newfoundland to Florida
- Native to Europe
- Competition with native species (invertebrates and algae) for living space
- Often grows on mussels and oysters, interfering with their feeding and other behaviors food and resources