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Fire sponge
Tedania ignis
(Duchassaing & Michelotti, 1864)

Massively incrusting to lobate, with a smooth, tuberculate or villous surface. Oscules 0.5 cm or more in diameter on top of volcano-like projections. Size up to 20 cm in horizontal expansion, up to 15 cm thick. Consistency soft, compressible, easily to tear.

A bright, warm red; occasionally rosy or even orange.

Mostly known from sheltered bays and lagoons, on mangroves and among eelgrasses or algae. It is a typical member of the fouling community.

Florida, Caribbean to Brazil.

The species causes a mild skin irritation, hence the English name.

Fire sponge (Tedania ignis)