Sponge Guide

UNCW National Science Foundation Valdosta State University Universidad Nacional de Colombia

Observed Characteristics:


  • red
  • yellow
  • green
  • orange


  • encrusting
  • papillated


  • crumbly
  • hard
  • soft
  • tough

Sample Locations:

  • Bahamas
  • United States

Cliona delitrix

Notes: Excavating sponge. It excavates and encrusts massive corals. Externally it appears as a bright red encrustation with many scattered elevated papillae and one or several large and deep oscules with a high dermal collar. Often riddled with zoanthids. Excavations are deep, filled with orange tissue. We have included here the papillated forms which in some areas or in shallow rocky shores and reefs are dominant, perhaps because coralline or turf algae (or predators?) do not allow them to grow larger and to fuse papillae. From the above, it is our belief that Cliona laticavicola Pang, 1973 (papillated sponges described originally from the same locality of C. delitrix) are either young individuals or ecophenotypes of C. delitrix, but molecular evidence is needed.

Author Reference: Pang, 1973


Link: World Porifera Database