Common Name: Stove Pipe Sponge

Scientific Name: Aplysina archeri

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Porifera

Class: Demospongiae

Order: Dictyoceratida

Family: Spongiidae

Genus: Aplysina

Species: A. archeri

Sponges are in the phylum Porifera which means “bearing openings”. Aplysina archeri is a type of sponge. No it’s not a sponge that lives in a pineapple under the sea that goes by the name of Sponge Bob. Aplysina archeri are also known as Stove Pipe Sponges because of their long tube like structure. They range in colors from lavender, gray, or brown. They live in groups of tubes all together. Some groups of tubes can reach well over one meter. Their tubes are rubbery; the typical stove pipe sponge may have bumps and ridges over the outer surface. But on the inside they are remarkably smooth. A single tube can be 5ft. high and 3in. thick. They get their largest in turbid water; they buckle and bend apparently from their own weight.


Here are some interesting facts about the Stove Pipe Sponge. The reefs act as the sponge’s habitat. Little is known about their behavior besides feeding ecology and reproductive biology. They filter feed like all other sponges. This means that they eat food as it passes by such as plankton and suspended detritus. The sponge would look nice in a deep water reef aquarium. But they are better off left in the ocean. They range in the Atlantic Ocean: Caribbean, Bahamas, Florida, and Bonaire. The significance they have to humans is that they are very attractive to divers and snorklers. Sponges are not threatened they are actually increasing.


There are about 5,000 different species of sponges. Sponges can reproduce sexually and asexually. When they produce sexually they use cross fertilize. When this happens the egg and sperm come together to make a tiny free swimming larva that settles somewhere on its own surface. When they produce asexually the sponges release something called Gemules. For each gemule a new sponge is produced. About 500 species of sponge are fresh water.


A lot of species of sponges carry toxic wastes in them to keep predators away. But some marine animals take advantage of that sponge characteristic and put an adult sponge on their back where it will reproduce on the animal and predators of that animal will not want to be around the animal. So as you can see Aplysina Archeri or the Stove Pipe Sponge is nothing like Sponge Bob. So now you know some interesting facts about the stove pipe sponge.


Author: Nadine R

Published: 02/2008


Photo Credit: 3/aplysina_archeri_b.jpg

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