Home|Search|Identify|Taxonomic tree|Quiz|About this site|Feedback
Developed by ETI BioInformatics
Characteristics, distribution and ecology
Taxonomische classification
Synonyms and common names
Literature references
Images, audio and video
Links to other Web sites

Branching vase sponge
Callyspongia vaginalis
(Lamarck, 1814)

The basic shape of this species is a cluster of long erect tubes, tapering only slightly. The tubes have a wide, thin-walled vent, and its outer walls are strongly conulose. The tubes show a considerable tendency to anastomose and this may lead eventually to hollow, fan shaped specimens. Tubes up to 25 cm high and 5 cm in diameter. Fan shaped forms up to 18 cm high, 21 cm in the widest expansion and up to 3 cm in thickness. Vents up to 2.5 cm in diameter. Conules about 3 mm high and 5 mm apart. Surface of outer walls smooth between the conules. The consistency is very spongy.

Very variable: from lavender to brownish-gray to greenish-gray and occasionally light tan.

Inhabit shallow and mid-range reefs, walls and rocky areas. The species is frequently infested with Sponge zoanthids (Parazoanthus parasiticus ) and Sponge brittle stars (Ophiothrix suensonii ) C. vaginalis-close-up.

Common from South Florida, the Bahamas to the Caribbean.

Branching vase sponge (Callyspongia vaginalis)