Sponges - Porifera
SPONGES - PORIFERA Sponges are one of the oldest living organisms in the seas, this is proven by fossils from more than six hundred million years ago. They can be found in shallow and in deep water. Sponges have no true tissues or organs, each sponge consists out of three types of cells. An outer layer of covering cells, an inner mass with cells which pull water through the sponge and capture food, than we have the amoeba-like cells which move food particles. Sponges are nature's ultimate water filters, an average-sized sponge filters a few hundred liters of water a day. Most sponges are a bit flexible but still very vulnerable. Their biggest threat are pollution, clumsy snorkelers and divers, anchors and silt. Sponges take in water via small pores. When these pores get blocked by silt or sand, the sponge will get problems with taking in water and will die from starvation. Some sponges produce a slime to get rid of sediment, but in places where there just has been a storm or where many scuba divers with a bad buoyancy scoop-up sand, the sponges will appreciate a helping hand to wave the sand away. Sponges can reproduce sexually or asexually. In sexual reproduction, the male sponge releases large numbers of sperm into the water so the females can fertilize their eggs. Some sponges produce both sperm and eggs, they are able to fertilize themselves. Eventually the sponge larvae are released into the water, those who land on a hospital spot will develop into a sponge but the rest will die. Sponges do not have real enemies except some file- or angelfish who sometimes nibble from a "damaged" sponge. Once a piece of sponge breaks of and lands somewhere with little water movement, it will attach itself to the bottom and begin a separate formation. Length: 100 cm. Distribution: the entire tropical Indo-Pacific region. Probably the biggest sponge on a coral reef. A known place for marine life to hide or to start a cleaning station. Grows on hard substrate, large vertical ridges which are hard and rough. Size of the osculum (large vent-hole) depents on the growth of the sponge. Some of these osculum have the size to house a sea turtle. Length: 50 cm. Distribution: Red Sea & E- Africa to Philippines, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea. Smooth cigar-shaped brown tubes, narrowing towards osculum (vent-hole). Feeds on plankton and detritus. Photographs are made on current-rich coastal reefs. Length: cm. Distribution: Red Sea & Madagascar to Maldives, Indonesia, Philippines, Solomon Is. This orange sponge has small blunt spikes on the outside. Different larger osculum. Mostly accompanied by brittlestars of the genus Ophiotrix sp. Feeds on plankton and detritus. Photograph is made on a current-rich coastal reef, at -20 m. Width: 40 cm. Distribution: propably the entire Indo-Pacific area. Encrusting sponge, grows over dead coral and comes in many different colours. Ice star-shaped water canals around the osculum (larger vent holes). Feeds on plankton and detritus. Length: 20 cm. Distribution: known from Indonesia, Philippines and Micronesia. Variable in colour, but mostly brown or black. Grows in different shapes and on different substrates. Rough structure with many small wards, often covered with some sand. Feeds on plankton and detritus. Width: 25 cm. Distribution: known from Philippines and Indonesia. A pale pink encrusting sponge, numerous small water inlets surround the bigger tube-shaped water outlets. On reef walls well exposed to current. Width: unknown Distribution: Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines, ?. A thick pale-orange encrusting sponge. Vain-looking tubes on top of the sponge which have one larger osculum. The sponge has some holes showing the thicknes of the animal. On current-rich reefs. Width: variable. Distribution: Philippines. This sponge is photographed on a depth of -5 m. The colony was covering around a square meter of dead coral. The biggest part of the sponge is not shown. It has a rough look but is not so hard. Width: 30 cm. Distribution: from Philippines to Solomon Islands and Australia. Some of this genus grow in height while others prefer to stay short and become fat. A very round-ish sponge which is variable in colour, from yellow-brown to dark pink. Uneven surface with numerous small pores, the osculum (large vent-holes) are based in the centre. Grows on current-rich reef walls. Feeds on plankton and detritus. Width: 40 cm. Distribution: Indonesia, Philippines. The outside of this vase-shaped sponge is covered with numerous humps. The innerside of the sponge is covered with small pores. Feeds on plankton and detritus. Photograph is made on a current-rich coastal reef. Length: 60 cm. Distribution: Indonesia and Philippines. A large brown tubular sponge with numerous humps on the outside. Each tube narrows at the osculum (vent-hole). Feeds on plankton and detritus. Photographed on a coastal reef, at a depth of -9 m. Length: 25 cm. Distribution: Sri Lanka to Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Micronesia and Australia. A very unusual looking sponge who settles in sandy, coral rubble bottoms. This red-pink fluffy “ball” that sits on top of a stem is only a part of the sponge, the largest part of the sponge is buried. Feeds on plankton and detritus. Width: 45 cm. Distribution: Philippines, ?. A fan-shaped sponge which has a dark-yellow colour. No central osculum (larger vent-tube). Photograph is made on a current-rich coastal reef. Length: 40 cm. Distribution: Malaysia, Indonesia and Philippines. This organ pipes-looking formation is a common sponge in the area and mostly seen hanging on well-fed reef walls. It starts with a few tubes which later grow one or two side-tubes. Some tubes grow together and almost become one. Every tube is full with small pores. Feeds on plankton and detritus. Width: 70 cm. Distribution: Philippines, Indonesia, New Caledonia and Australia. This very common sponge is found in the shallows, but also grows in deeper water. Comes in different shapes, depending the currents. The stronger the currents, the shorter the finger-like appendages. Feeds on plankton and detritus. Width: 30 cm. Distribution: the entire tropical Indo-Pacific area. Round-ish shape, brown outside with white to orange inside. Several larger osculum (vent-tubes). On shady places with strong currents. Is able to produce many slime. No written literature found. Width: 35 cm. Distribution: from Malaysia to Philippines, Micronesia, New Caledonia and Australia. A rough outer layer with numerous cracks true which the sponge takes water in. Several large orange membraned ventilation tubes (photo) come out of the sponge to make sure the filtered water flows out fast. Often covered with sand. Known to produce many slime, a way to clean itself from fallen sediment. Length: 60 cm. Distribution: Philippines, Indonesia and Micronesia. A thick egg-shaped sponge which grows on top of his stilts. The outside is rough and mostly covered with certain algae and small sea squirts. Large osculum (vent-tube) in the centre of the sponge. Width: 30 cm. Distribution: from Indonesia to Philippines and Micronesia. This vermillion red sponge forms fans or plates, the whole sponge is filled with numerous different sized water canals. Very common in the area mentioned above. Feeds on plankton and detritus. Length: 20 cm. Distribution: E- Africa to Philippines, Micronesia and Great Barrier Reef. Only three species of the genus Liosina live in the Indo-Pacific area. These sponge colonies exists out of separate tubes which grow against each other. It’s outer texture has a rough limestone-look, round vent-tubes. Grows on coral rock.Length: 10 cm. Distribution: from Maldives to Philippines, Hawaii, Indonesia and Micronesia. This small sponge looks a bit like a large cuttlefish egg, but has a brown colour. Lives solitary and is connected to the substrate with a small stem. Pear-shaped and has an osculum (vent-hole) at the top. Feeds on plankton and detritus. No literature found. Width: 15 cm. Distribution: from Philippines to Indonesia, Fiji and Vanuatu. This genus comes in many different shapes, depending the position, current and light. Mostly found in shady places like in holes or underneath overhangs of reef walls. This yellow sponge has numerous small pores true which the sponge takes oxygen and food-rich water in and a few osculum (large tubes) to let the water back out. Length: 60 cm. Distribution: from Malaysia to Philippines, Micronesia and tropical Australia. A very common sponge in coral-rich areas, some people call it “elephants ear” because of it’s shape. This sponge is very flexible, well adapted for current-rich areas. It has a fine ribbed structure and is filled with very small vent-holes to take in water. Variable in colour. Feeds on plankton and detritus. Length: unknown. Distribution: Philippines, Indonesia, ? Variable in colour, from blue to dark green. Thin finger-like “branches” with numerous small vents. Every branch has a double end. Very common on shallow reefs. No literature found. Length: 80 cm. Distribution: Philippines and Indonesia. This tubesponge grows upwards, all tubes grow from the same base. Colour goes from pink to blue, pale edge at the large vent-hole. Settles on rock or coral rock, from a few meters deep down to -35 m. Estuaries, lagoons, coastal- and offshore reefs. Length: 35 cm. Distribution: Malaysia, Philippines and Indonesia. The outside has a rough and spiky structure. blue colour. All “branches” grow from a common base, ends are a bit bend. Grows on dead coral-rock, reef walls and -plateaus. Not common. Length: 70 cm. Distribution: from Borneo to Fiji and New Caledonia. This pale grey sponge can have different shapes. The in shallow water growing specimen are more disc-shaped because of water movement. The deeper growing specimen are bush-shaped with thin upward growing branches, these branches have a few short stump upward growing side-branches. Does not like strong current. Width: 12 cm. Distribution: from the Red Sea towards Philippines, Indonesia and Micronesia. This nice bright orange-red sponge is still undescribed. A kind of sponge that overtakes dead coral or others like this Lopha cristagalli shell. The small white tubes are a tubular stage of the jellyfish nausithoe punctata living on the sponge. Mostly found in protected areas. Width: 35 cm. Distribution: Indonesia and Philippines. This yellow sponge has many finger-like appendages which all grow upwards. Mostly one ventilation hole in the center, the sponge on the left has two. The sponge itselves is mostly covered with algae, crust coral or small tunicates. Feeds on plankton and detritus. Length: 35 cm. Distribution: Borneo, ?. This bright orange fan-shaped sponge grows from a single base. A wide and flexible sponge, perfect made to stand strong currents. Soft grany surface, with very small vent holes. In shallow or deeper waters, of current-rich reef walls and coral slopes. Length: variable. Distribution: Philippines and Indonesia. No literature found about this sponge. Long and thin finger-like “branches”. Every “branch” has a few larger openings on top to let the water flow in. A very flexible genus which is only found in current-rich areas. Feeds on plankton and detritus. Length: 70 cm. Distribution: from Malaysia to Philippines, Indonesia and Australia. Colour goes from pale brown to orange-pink or red. Grows on hard substrate. Tubes growing upwards from the same base. Only in places with strong currents, these sponges stay short and grow in one piece. The outside is warty while the inside is smooth. Feeds on plankton and detritus. Width: 20 cm. Distribution: the entire Indo-Pacific region. This is a free-living sponge, which looks like a noodle-made chain. Colour can go from white to bright yellow. Not vizible on the photographs, but this marine wicker-work has numerous small vent-holes. Can be found at sea grass fields, on rocks, in holes and caverns. Width: 60 cm. Distribution: from E- Africa to Philippines, Micronesia and tropical Australia. Innerside is white or yellow. Some of these sponges look like a furry ball, others have many roundish crater-like oscullum (large vent-holes) which gives them the name “golfball” sponge. The exterior is covered with algae and silt. Mostly growing on current-rich shady places. Width: 15 cm. Distribution: known from Philippines and Indonesia. This fan-shaped sponge can be found at shallow algae-rich coastal reefs. Very flexible. No more information found. Photograph is made at -3 m. Lenght: 30 cm. Distribution: probably the entire Indo-Pacific region. This brownish-yellow spiny sponge has wide branches. Every branch has every few cm. a larger osculum. Grows at current-rich areas of seaward reefs. Length: 60 cm. Distribution: from the Red Sea throughout the entire Indo-Pacific area. This branching sponge is very common on reef walls. It is very flexible, well adapted to strong currents. It comes in blue or in a more grey-creamy colour (photo). Feeds on plankton and detritus.Length: 35 cm. Distribution: from the Red Sea to Philippines and New Caledonia. These pale-blue vase-shaped sponges grow on dead coral-rock. Each tube has a different length, shape and width. Fine appendages at the end. The outside is rough and looks a bit spiky. Prefers areas with strong currents. Feeds on plankton and detritus.
Sponges-info

Sponges-info

Xestospongia  testudinaria

Xestospongia testudinaria

Theonella swinhoei

Theonella swinhoei

Petrosia plana

Petrosia plana

Petrosia sp.

Petrosia sp.

Neopetrosia exigua

Neopetrosia exigua

Callyspongia aerizusa

Callyspongia aerizusa

Callyspongia biru

Callyspongia biru

Callyspongia sp.

Callyspongia sp.

Clathria basilana

Clathria basilana

Clathria cervicornis

Clathria cervicornis

Clathria sp

Clathria sp

Gelliodes sp.

Gelliodes sp.

Gelloides fibulata

Gelloides fibulata

Haliclona fascigera

Haliclona fascigera

Haliclona koremella

Haliclona koremella

Haliclona sp

Haliclona sp

Haliclona sp.1

Haliclona sp.1

Haliclona sp.2

Haliclona sp.2

Ianthella basta

Ianthella basta

Niphates oelemda

Niphates oelemda

Leucilla  sp.

Leucilla sp.

Leucetta avocado

Leucetta avocado

Leucetta chagosensis

Leucetta chagosensis

Cinachyrella australiensis

Cinachyrella australiensis

Acanthostrongylophora ingens

Acanthostrongylophora ingens

Carteriospongia sp

Carteriospongia sp

Coelocarteria agglomerans

Coelocarteria agglomerans

Stylissa carteri

Stylissa carteri

Desmacella sp

Desmacella sp

Dysidea granulata

Dysidea granulata

Lamellodysidea herbacea

Lamellodysidea herbacea

Liosina paradoxa

Liosina paradoxa

Lissodendoryx fibrosa

Lissodendoryx fibrosa

Melophlus sarassinorum

Melophlus sarassinorum

Monanchora sp

Monanchora sp

Myrmekioderma  granulatum

Myrmekioderma granulatum

Placospongia melobesioides

Placospongia melobesioides

Placospongia sp.

Placospongia sp.

Mycale (mycale) vansoesti sensu

Mycale (mycale) vansoesti sensu

Rhabdastrella globostellata

Rhabdastrella globostellata

Scopalina sp

Scopalina sp

Spirastrella sp

Spirastrella sp

Chalinula nematifera

Chalinula nematifera

Ircinia sp.

Ircinia sp.

Phycopsis fusiformis

Phycopsis fusiformis

Oceanappia sagittaria

Oceanappia sagittaria

Ulosa sp.

Ulosa sp.