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This is one of the most conspicuous branching-erect sponges that occurs in the British Isles. It is yellow, pale orange or buff in colour and consists of thick branches approximately 1.5cm in diameter, arising from a thicker base. The surface of the sponge has a velvety appearance. The colony is typically the size of an adult's hand. The oscules are small and regularly spaced along the sides of the branches. They are placed in depressions and are often opposite, this can cause slight annulations on the branches. They have a number of short, shallow, surface grooves. These stellate grooves become more conspicuous when the specimen is out of water. This species may be confused with other branching-erect yellow sponges e.g. Stelligera stuposa and Raspailia hispida but can be distinguished from them by the relatively thicker branches and the presence of stellate grooves surrounding the oscules.


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© National Museums Northern Ireland and its licensors

Source: Encyclopedia of Marine Life of Britain and Ireland

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