Common name: Mermaid’s Glove
Scientific name: Haliclona oculata
Species: H. oculata
Haliclona oculata, which is also known as the Mermaid's Glove. The size is about 30cm tall and has a velvety surface. It does well in its ecosystem because when it dies, the exoskeleton stays and more of the sea sponge grows out of it to make a reef. Haliclona oculata is pale brown in color, but can be yellow, green, or even a shade of rose purple. They are mainly found in Britain and Ireland. This species is a very stable invertebrate. This sponge is usually found at depths around 1000m deep. The diet of the Mermaid's Glove consists of particles in the water.
This animal can filter feed; it catches its own food. When the water is flowing the sponge filters it and lets the water out, but still is getting food. An interesting fact is that the Haliclona oculata is the largest British sponge. Also, it is called Mermaid's Glove because the branches of the sponge look like fingers. The Haliclona oculata does not have a predator. It is not a prey of something, so most of the time it dies out from old age. Eventually other sponges grow off the exoskeleton to make a reef.
Author: Daniel G.
Sources: Google: www.springerlink.com/index/J2M47PU2Q5251437.pdf
Photo Credit: Peter J. Auster and Robert E. DeGoursey