Sea pansy

Renilla muelleri

Family Renillidae - sea pens

Colony of polyps, looks similar to a lily pad in shape; rachis (body) is flattened but fleshy, kidney or horseshoe shaped, convoluted, wider than long; has a single polyp which forms an anchoring stem (peduncle) on the underside, the stem is shorter than 1/2 the diameter of the rachis; color usually reddish purple but can be from white to deep purple; upper surface with protruding polyps.
Similar Species
This is the only sea pansy in the Gulf of Mexico.
Gulf, sandy bottoms
Maximum Size
10 cm (4 in)
Other Common Names
Previous Scientific Names