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Brown variable sponge

Cliona varians

(Duchassaing & Michelotti, 1864)

Brown variable sponge

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Summary

Sponge. The surface is smooth, velvety, especially on projections, otherwise commonly coarsely verrucose, with simple or compound bumps 2-10 mm in diameter and 1-2 mm high. The oscules of the massive form are provided with conical collars, or situated on top of chimneys.

To be confused with

- Coral encrusting sponge Cliona langae.

Characteristics

Size: 15 to 60 cm
Colour: The color of massive forms is tan to brown, paler around the base and oscules. Encrusting forms are frequently darker, greenish, or a mixture of brown and green.
Shape: This sponge grows in two distinct habits: 1) Massive-amorphous, irregularly lobate forms, with contorted, conical projections, which may or may not have apical oscules; 2) Encrusting forms, 2-3 mm thick, covering large areas, up to 1 square meter or more. The surface is smooth, velvety, especially on projections, otherwise commonly coarsely verrucose, with simple or compound bumps 2-10 mm in diameter and 1-2 mm high. The oscules of the massive form are provided with conical collars, or situated on top of chimneys. Their diameter is 0.5-2.5 cm. Those of encrusting forms are more regularly disturbed, with collars 2-5 mm high.
Consistency: Firm, somewhat rubbery.

Habitat environment and ecology

Inhabits coral reefs. Encrusting forms bore into solid substrates of deeper reefs by secreting minute amounts of acid. The massive forms inhabit shallow fringing and patch reefs, areas of coral rubble and grass flats.

Distribution range

BES-eilanden: St. Eustatius.

Author

[Marion Haarsma, march, 2016]

Literature

- Humann, P., & DeLoach, N. (2002). Reef Creature Identification: Florida, Caribbean, Bahamas (p. 420). Jacksonville (FL): New World Publications.
-  Interactive Guide to Caribbean Diving. M. De Kluijver, G. Gijswijt, R. de Leon & I. da Cunda.
- The Sponge Guide. S. Zea, Henkel, T.P., and Pawlik, J.R. 2014.

Categorieën:

Soorten, Sponzen

Commentaar

Brown variable sponge

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