Adult orange-tipped sea squirts generally measure 2–4cm but can be up to 8cm in the northern hemisphere and grow considerably larger in the southern hemisphere - up to 15cm.

It has several distinguishing features:

  • it lays flat on the substrate attached along its right side
  • coloration can vary significantly, ranging from transparent, white, brown to various shades of orange
  • its siphons are usually orange, although not always
  • the tunic is smooth and often clean, but can be covered in microbial film or overgrown by other species, including compound ascidians
  • it can mould its body shape into the available space between the adjoining sessile fauna; however on open substrate it grows into an oval shape
  • the inhalant siphon is normally at the extreme end of the body
  • the exhalant siphon is characteristically between a quarter and half-way down the body, and slightly on the right
  • Corella eumyota cannot retract its siphons
  • the hind-gut forms a simple curve following the contour of the posterior end of the body


In Europe, Corella eumyota can be confused with species of Molgula (sea grapes). These tunicates, like Corella eumyota, are semi-translucent, often form dense clumps and are approximately the same size. Molgula spp. typically have:

  • more spherical body shapes
  • both siphons positioned at the top of the body
  • an S-shaped gut