Sponge Guide

UNCW National Science Foundation Valdosta State University Universidad Nacional de Colombia

Observed Characteristics:


  • brown


  • encrusting


  • soft

Sample Locations:

  • Colombia

Cliona tenuis

Notes: Excavating sponge. It encrust entirely the excavated substratum with a thin veneer of brown tissue; the underlying coral skeleton can be discerned. Oscules are small and inconspicuous. It can grow up to several m in diameter, especially in fore reef pavement settings. It prefers windward, wave-exposed shallow reefs. We did not observe it in the Bahamas, because we did not visit open windward reef sites. The accompanied photos are from Colombia. It has been colonizing the dead stands of the elkhorn coral Acropora palmata throughout the Caribbean. It can be distinguished from C. caribbaea Carter, 1882, also pictured here, by the latter being thicker and having larger oscules with a lighter colored collar; there are also slight spicular differences (size and shape, see Zea & Weil, 2003). This sponge excavates the upper 1-2 cm of the substratum, filling cavities with a greenish yellow tissue.

Author Reference: Zea & Weil, 2003


Link: World Porifera Database