Organ pipe sponge (Leucosolenia botryoides)
|Researched by||Saskiya Richards||Refereed by||Admin|
|Authority||(Ellis & Solander, 1786)|
|Other common names||Orange pipe sponge||Synonyms||Ascaltis botryoides (Ellis & Solander, 1786), Ascandra botrys (Ellis & Solander, 1786)|
Leucosolenia botryoides is a very delicate, soft, white, tubular sponge that grows to up 2 cm wide and 1 cm thick. The base consists of a network of encrusting, root-like tubes from which slender, vertical tubes, grow up to 2 cm in height. Each tube bears a large oscula (exhalant pore) at its terminal end that opens to an internal central cavity. The body wall contains 3-pointed and 4-pointed calcareous spicules and is covered on the outer surface by minute hairs.
Recorded distribution in Britain and IrelandLeucosolenia botryoides is common and widespread on the coasts of Britain and Ireland.
Global distributionThe distribution of Leucosolenia botryoides extends from northern Norway and the western Baltic Sea southwards to the Mediterranean coasts of Europe.
HabitatLeucosolenia botryoides can be found from the mid-water shore to the shallow sublittoral waters. It inhabits tide pools and the underside of stones, and attaches itself to rocks and various species of seaweed including Fucus, Corallina, Polysiphonia, Cladophora and Laminaria.
- Soft, white, tubular sponge forming a dense mass.
- Up to 2 cm wide and 1 cm thick.
- Encrusting, root-like base.
- Slender tubes up to 2 cm high bearing large oscula at terminal end.
Leucosolenia botryoides is an annual species that reproduces in the summer and autumn. It is similar to Leucosolenia complicata but that has branches extending laterally from the vertical tubes which Leucosolenia botryoides lacks.
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Last Updated: 12/09/2007