Freshwater Sponge (Spongilla lacutris)


Taxonomy: Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Porifera
Class: Demospongiae
Order: Haplusclenida
Family: Spongillidae
Genus: Spongilla Species: S. lacustris

Physical Appearance:
The Freshwater Sponge can be both green and white. It looks crusty, due to tiny spikes that roughen its surface, and branching, like branches on a tree. Although it looks rough, it is actually very fragile and feels soft when you touch it. The holes that allow water to exit are extremely small and can barely be seen

Freshwater sponges can be found in both standing and running freshwater in North America, Europe and Asia.

The sponge reproduces asexually through budding. The buds appear in the late summer and remain on the mother throughout the winter. When spring comes, the new Freshwater Sponge emerges as an adult. However, Freshwater Sponges can also reproduce sexually, giving birth to live larvae in the process.
Although this sponge is of little importance to people, it is a very good indicator of water pollution. This ability to seek out aquatic danger is why this sponge is not endangered.