21 December 2012

Seven barrel sponges

Photo by: Craig Hickson

The name 'barrel sponge' is a general common name for  free-standing sponges with rimmed walls and deep, hollow centers. There are actually different species of barrel sponges. Since it basically describes only the shape or growth form, an adjective is usually used to be more precise in identifying species. For instance, Xestospongia testudinaria is simply "barrel sponge" while Xestospongia muta is the "giant barrel sponge"because it can grow up to several meters in height and diameter. Aplysina lacunosa is the "convoluted barrel sponge", Verongula gigantea is the "netted barrel sponge",  and Sidonops neptuni is the "leathery barrel sponge".

Inspired by: 12 Planktons of Christmas by Michele Collet

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