Demospongiae | Poecilosclerida
Collin, R., M.C. Díaz, J. Norenburg, R.M. Rocha, J.A. Sánchez, M. Schulze, A. Schwartz and A. Valdés. 2005. (Ref. 415)
Size / Weight / Age
Max length : 80.0 cm H male/unsexed; (Ref. 415)
Reef-associated; brackish; depth range 2 - 58 m (Ref. 108813)
Climate / Range
Encrusting, massive: 0.2 - 4 cm or ramose: 50 - 80 cm high. Dark red externally and internally. Surface has a transparent-whitish membrane, with radial canals that converge in oscula: 0.3 - 2 cm in diameter (Ref. 415). Low or tall masses in bushy, rounded or fan-shaped forms; occassional short tube-like lobes ending in oscules. Short, irregular branched extensions, or ridges or lumps, supported by subdermal skeletal elements. Elevated oscules. Transparent exhalant canal systems may converge around oscules, revealing red to red-orange interior color, but collapses and becomes inconspicuos when animal is taken out of water. Soft tissue consistency; exudate stains fingers when handled. Tough skeleton. Plumose tracts of the principal subtylostyles support encrusting specimens at the base; while a central meshwork of plumose spicules surrounded by spongin are present in thicker, bushy, massive and fan-shaped specimens (Ref. 85482).
Common on species in shallow reefs. In cryptic habitats it grows as thin crust (Ref. 415); may encrust dead corals, mollusk shells and gorgonian axes. Also on hard bottoms (Ref. 85482) and mangrove ponds (Ref. 86789). Members of the class Demospongiae are hermaphroditic. Life cycle: The zygote develops into parenchymella larva (free-swimming) before settling down on a substrate where it grows into a young sponge (Ref. 833).
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 114614)
CITES status (Ref. 94142)
Threat to humans
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Estimation of some characteristics with mathematical models
Moderate to high vulnerability (52 of 100)