Creature Feature – Yellow Tube Sponge
This week on Creature Feature Friday we take a look at the Yellow Tube Sponge.
This species is a relatively large sponge that lives on coral reefs around the Caribbean Sea and its adjacent waters. The common name is an accurate description with individuals typically having a yellowish color and consisting of one or more tube-like structure.
Scientific Name: Aplysina fistularis
© Nick Hobgood
Yellow Tube Sponge Fact File
Size: The yellow tube sponge consists of one or more yellow tube-like structures that arise from a closed base and are immobile. Tubes can reach between 20 – 50cm in length
Distribution: This species is found in coral and rocky reefs in the Caribbean, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico
Diet: They are filter feeders, which means that they take in ocean water through their tubes and extract plankton, bacteria, and dead organic material to consume
Behaviour: Though they cannot move, these sponges can produce chemicals that give them an unpleasant flavour and prevents other creatures, like algae and barnacles, from attaching to their tubes. Another amazing behaviour is that if they are knocked over, these animals can rearrange their cells to create an upright tube. Yellow tube sponges can reproduce both sexually and asexually
IUCN Status: Not Evaluated. However, because this species lives mostly on coral reefs, changes to fragile coral reef ecosystems pose a threat to their survival