Stovepipe Sponge, Aplysina archeri

The Stovepipe Sponge (Aplysina archeri) is a species of tube sponge found mainly in the Atlantic Ocean, including the waters around the Caribbean, Bahamas, Florida, and Bonaire.

This species has long tube-like structures cylindrical in nature and many tubes are attached to one particular part of the organism. The tubes occur in varying colors including lavender, gray and brown.

The Stovepipe Sponge is a filter feeder and eats food such as plankton or suspended detritus as it passes by them. Very little is known about its behavioral patterns except for its feeding ecology and reproductive biology.

It reproduces both asexually and sexually. Sperm is released into the water column where it floats and then settle down on substrate and begins to reproduce cells and grow. It takes hundreds of years for a single sponge to mature and it actually never stops growing until it dies.

Toxic dumping and oil spills are among the main threats of this species.

Image Caption: Stove-pipe Sponge-pink variation. Credit: Nick Hobgood/Wikipedia(CC BY-SA 3.0)

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