Yellow Tube Sponge (Aplysina fisturalis)
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Taxonomy:

Kingdom: AnimaliaPhylum: PoriferaClass: DemospongiaeOrder: VerongidaFamily: AplysinidaeGenus: AplysinaSpecies: Aplysina fistularis





Color:
The yellow tube sponge ranges from yellow to golden to orange.



Physical Appearance:
Each tube can reach up to 50 centimeters in murky water and up to 30 centimeters in clear water.
They arise from one common base and grow in clumps of around 20 columns. They may fuse for the first 10 to 20 centimeters but they do not branch.
Their structure is made up of cells that build a wall into a fairly wide tube with relatively thin walls.
The outer wall is a ridged surface.
Their vivid yellow color is a result of special fluorescent pigments in the sponge tissues.



Location:
Yellow tube sponges distribute themselves at a wide range of depths in tropical seas. They can be seen from the surface to about several hundreds of meters below the surface.
They are often found in areas with strong currents because they help facilitate the movement of water into their feeding canal.
Specifically, they can be found in the Caribbean, Florida, and the Gulf of Mexico.


Found in Cozumel, Mexico
Found in Cozumel, Mexico
Found in Little Cayman
Found in Little Cayman






Lifestyle:
To obtain food, the sponge pumps out water through its wall which allows it to capture microscopic plankton, bacteria, and detritus as its food source.

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They are able to pump about five times their own volume of water through their feeding canal every minute and can filter out even the most microscopic bacteria and plankton.
They reproduce sexually because they have both male and female organs.
They may also reproduce if a part of the sponge falls off; it will form a new sponge.

These sponges are consumed by a variety of coral reef organisms such as angelfish, cowfish, spadefish, and the hawksbill sea turtle.




Sources:

http://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=47606http://coralpedia.bio.warwick.ac.uk/en/sponges/aplysina_fistularis.htmlhttp://www.reefnews.com/reefnews/photos/ylwtube4.jpg