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Aplysina fistularis Species ID Code:
Several rough and thickly-walled tubes (1), connected at their base (2). These tubes are always in a vertical or near-vertical orientation and appear bright yellow in shallower water, although it may be darker yellow to orange in deeper water Maximum Size:
1 m (3 ft) Longevity:
Unknown, may be over 100 years based on the longevity of related species Status:
Not currently on the IUCN endangered species list Yellow Tube Sponge & People:
These sponges are not harvested for human use aside from occasional collections for sale as soft bathing sponges, since this species does not contain prickly structural elements known as spicules. Recent scientific studies have shown that these sponges produce chemicals with antimicrobial as well as antifouling properties. This discovery could make this sponge useful to humans in the near future if these properties can be harnessed and used to prevent the attachment of fouling marine organisms to hard surfaces like boat hulls, rather than the toxic chemicals currently in use for this purpose
This species is common throughout the Caribbean, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico Coral Reef Zone
: Common in the fore reef and drop-off zones Favourite Habitats:
Often found in areas exposed to medium or strong currents which provide the sponge with a constant supply of food particles to filter from the water Depth Range:
4–30 m (13–100ft)
A Day in the Life
Sponges have no known daily schedule. Most activities such as filter-feeding, recovery growth, and budding are thought to occur continuously. Spawning, however, is thought to occur near dawn in this species
Scuba Diver & Snorkeler Best Practices
Don’t wear gloves on the coral reef. Gloves are for skiing! You’re not likely to get cold in water above 25o C (77o F). Wearing gloves only encourages you to touch the reef, so please leave the gloves at home.
Who Eats Who?
Yellow tube sponges are filter-feeders, consuming plankton, detritus (dead organic matter) and bacteria that drift in the oceans currents. These sponges are consumed by a number of different coral reef organisms, such as angelfishes, filefishes, cowfishes and spadefish, as well as the hawksbill sea turtle.