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Sponges: More information

Description: Not surprisingly, our encrusting sponges are patches of slightly tough, spongy material that appears as if it were slathered on the rock and other hard surfaces, up to a quarter inch thick.  The patches are irregular in shape and size, ranging from barely visible to areas larger than both your outstretched hands.  Different species are different colors, with an astounding variety; different species vary in surface texture, too, from nearly-slick to rather tufted.  There are tiny and larger pores in the spongy layer.  In some species, such as the purple sponge in this photo, the larger pores are in the center of volcano- or nipple-shaped structures that protrude up to a quarter inch or more above the overall surface of the sponge.  Some species are noted for the putrid smell they emit when crushed or rubbed.

Taxonomy:

  Kingdom Animalia  -- Animal, animals, animaux  
     Phylum Porifera Grant, 1836 -- éponges, esponja, porifero, sponges  

Common species:

Haliclona permollis (Bowerbank, 1866) -- (lavendar)

Halichondria panicea (Pallas, 1766) -- the bread crumb sponge (green, yellow, orange, or tan are common colors)

Ophlitaspongia pennata (Lambe, 1895) -- (bright red to orange)

Taxonomic information source: ITIS.gov