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Overview

Brief Summary

You usually only see the spores that boring sponges leave behind: small holes in shells or in soft stone. The boring sponge is visible as small yellow or orange nipples on shells or limestone. It uses acid to drill tunnels in the calcium material. The only function of the shell or stone is a place to live for the sponge. The shellfish living in the drilled shell is not consumed, but usually dies since its protective covering has been damaged.
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Comprehensive Description

Additional Material

Material SAM-H4889 (Ts 203), South Paw, Oudekraal (33°56’S, 17°1’E), depth 17–20 m, collected by P. Coetzee, April 1996. Ts 379, Groenrivier, west coast (30°29’S, 17°20’E), depth 2–3 m, collected by T. Samaai, 15 November 1997. Ts 401, Hotnot Point, Namibia (26°10’S, 14°50’E), depth 17 m, collected by NSFRI, 20 March 1998. Ts 405, Hottentots Bay, Lüderitz, Namibia (26°10’S, 14°51’E), depth 5 m, collected by NSFRI, 20 March 1998. Ts 411, South of Gibraltar Rock, Lüderitz, Namibia (26°01’S, 14°50’E), depth 7–12 m, collected by NSFRI, 20 March 1998. Wd 12.1, Black Rock, Lüderitz (24°50’S, 14°40’E), depth 10–17 m, collected by NSFRI, 20 March 1998. Wd 18.1, North of Gibraltar Rock, Lüderitz, Namibia (26°01’S, 14°50’E), depth 12 m, collected by NSFRI, 20 March 1998. Wd 26, 27, 28, 29.1, Gallovidia, Lüderitz, Namibia (26°01’S, 14°53’E), depth 10–17 m, collected by NSFRI, 20 March 1998.
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Description

 A large and conspicuous sponge occurring in two distinct forms. One is the boring form, recognizable as yellow papillae sticking out of limestone (calcareous rock, mollusc shells etc.); the other is a large massive (also known as 'raphyrus'), wall-shaped sponge covered with characteristic flattened papillae. 

The massive form has raised, rounded ridges up to 40 cm across. Large oscules with raised rims are found along the tops of the ridges. It often forms a thick plate-like structure standing on its edge with large specimens growing up to 1 m across and 50 cm high. The surface of this stage is evenly covered by tuberculate inhalant papillae. Often bright to deep yellow, becoming darker out of water. Sometimes observed with red colouration (algae) around oscular (exhalent) openings. The whole sponge shows a noticeable decrease in size when removed from the water. The consistency of this sponge is firm and inflexible with a tough outer layer.

The massive form develops when the sponge has outgrown its habitat, or when it has completely filled crevices in calcareous rocks into which it cannot bore. Cliona celata is the only excavating sponge in NW Europe developing the massive form; other species of Cliona only occur in the boring form. The boring form is very common in oyster and mussel beds, where they cause some damage to shell fish farming. Favoured shells are Ostrea edulis, Crassostrea gigas, Crepidula fornicata and Arctica islandicaCliona celata may be confused with the similarly coloured Cliona lobata but Cliona lobata has much smaller and more numerous papillae.
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Description

This is the largest and most conspicuous sponge that occurs in the British Isles. It has the habit of boring into limestone and other calcareous substrata e.g. shells. The boring stage is seen as clear sulphur lemon lobes, which are the rounded tips of papillae in the rock. The raphyrus stage becomes massive lobose with raised, rounded ridges. Large specimens may be up to 100 cm across and 50 cm high. The colour is bright yellow in life. The surface of this form is evenly covered by tuberculate inhalant papillae. Large oscules with raised rims are found along the tops of the ridges. The colour and form of this sponge make it unlikely to be confused with any other.
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Source: Encyclopedia of Marine Life of Britain and Ireland

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Distribution

Newfoundland to Gulf of Mexico
  • North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS)
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A common species on most coasts of the British Isles but apparently absent from the North Sea.
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Physical Description

Diagnostic Description

Morphology

Morphology: colour bright sulfur yellow; strong stench
  • North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS)
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Type Information

Syntype for Hymeniacidon tenebrosus Bowerbank, 1882
Catalog Number: USNM 5100
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Invertebrate Zoology
Preparation: Slide
Year Collected: 1874
Locality: Westport Bay, County Mayo, Ireland, United Kingdom, North Atlantic Ocean
  • Syntype: Bowerbank. 1882. Ray Society. 4: 90-92, pl.15, f.1-5.
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Ecology

Habitat

infralittoral and circalittoral of the Gulf and estuary
  • North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS)
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Depth range based on 1 specimen in 1 taxon.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 48 - 48
 
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Depth range based on 626 specimens in 2 taxa.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 116 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 0 - 168
  Temperature range (°C): 7.867 - 24.954
  Nitrate (umol/L): 0.501 - 8.636
  Salinity (PPS): 31.893 - 38.044
  Oxygen (ml/l): 4.469 - 6.665
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.094 - 0.943
  Silicate (umol/l): 0.805 - 15.658

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 0 - 168

Temperature range (°C): 7.867 - 24.954

Nitrate (umol/L): 0.501 - 8.636

Salinity (PPS): 31.893 - 38.044

Oxygen (ml/l): 4.469 - 6.665

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.094 - 0.943

Silicate (umol/l): 0.805 - 15.658
 
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 Both forms occur on a variety of coasts ranging from wave exposed, open coasts to silty estuaries, sometimes at considerable depths. The species can withstand sediment.
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This species is found under a wide variety of physical conditions but is most abundant on exposed lower circalittoral bedrock.
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General Ecology

Boring sponges are ancient biological players in various geologic phenomena such as the destruction of coastal limestone which leaves a signature that is an important tool for paleoenvironmental reconstruction. These signatures can be used by measuring the size of bore holes in reefs from geological records and preserving records of occurrences and abundances of hard bottom benthos(Edinger and Risk, 1996).

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Life History and Behavior

Behavior

Diet

suspension feeding. Captures minute particles of food on their collars and ingesting them. Food consists of minute plankters, detritus, and possibly even nutrients in solution.
  • North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS)
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Risks

Boring sponges are the most common agents of bioerosion (destruction and removal of consolidated minerals of lithic substrate by the direct action of organisms). They are important in shaping the structure of coral reefs around the world (Holmes, 2000). Sponges are involved in the chemical and physical erosion of coral reef. Chemical erosion involves dissolution of calcium carbonate framework either by metabolic acid production or by excretion of ligands and enzymes. Boring sponges physically erode coral reefs by scraping the substrate. Boring sponges affect the settlement of new organisms by changing availability of reef areas or morphology; they can also affect the strength of the reef framework and infect cultured clam, oyster or abalone populations in marine farms (Rosell et al., 1999).

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Wikipedia

Cliona celata

Cliona celata, occasionally called the Red Boring Sponge, is a species of demosponge belonging the family Clionaidae.[1] It is found worldwide. This sponge creates round holes up to 5 cm in diameter in limestone or the shells of molluscs, especially oysters. The sponge itself is often visible as a rather featureless yellow or orange lump at the bottom of the hole.

Habitat[edit]

These sponges are common in Southern New England and in Narragansett Bay. They also live in the Bahamas, and the western Atlantic Ocean. They usually live in lagoons or on reefs. They will sometimes make their home on dead mollusks or other shelled creatures.

Reproduction[edit]

Red Boring Sponges can reproduce asexually and sexually. They can simply separate by mitosis, as single cells do, or they can release sperm into the water in hopes of them finding a female's eggs. They may also attach their larvae onto mollusks like clams and mussels. This usually results in the death of the host. They then will begin to grow and colonize[citation needed].

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hansson, H.G. (Comp.), 1999. NEAT (North East Atlantic Taxa): Scandinavian marine Porifera (Spongiaria) Check- List. Internet pdf Ed., June 1999. m[1].

http://omp.gso.uri.edu/%E2%80%8Cdoee/biota/inverts/porif/boring.htm

http://www.saltcorner.com/sections/zoo/inverts/others/sponges/Cdelitrix.htm

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