Sponge Guide

UNCW National Science Foundation Valdosta State University Universidad Nacional de Colombia

Observed Characteristics:


  • gray
  • black


  • encrusting
  • lobate
  • massive


  • tough

Sample Locations:

  • Bahamas
  • United States

Hyrtios cavernosus

Notes: Correspondos to what Wiedenmayer (1977) called Hyrtios cavernosus, but it is not the original Hyatella cavernosa (Pallas, 1766, as Spongia), which is a different, valid species also pictured here with the typical skeleton of a commercial sponge [also known as Hyatella intestinalis (Lamarck, 1814) by some Caribbean authors]. Massive to rounded, sometimes encrusting, with oscules elevated by a conical smooth membrane. Surface usually lowly conulose, with smooth areas or skin over subdermal spaces, sometimes with fields of pores. Dark-gray exterior, cream interior. It is spongy, usually easy to tear. It smells slightly like sponge of the genus Ircinia (garlic and sulfur), but does not have spongin fibrills. Spongin fibers are striated; primaries with debris, often fasciculated; secondary inteconecting usually clean; fibers not have as much debris as H. proteus Duchassaing & Michelotti, 1864, also pictured here, which is jet black in the field in other areas of the Caribbean. It may need a new name, or a thorough search for one in the older literature and collections.

Author Reference: sensu Wiedenmayer (1977)


Link: World Porifera Database