Crater Sponge

Hemimycale columella

This sponge encrusts rocks in thick, soft layers. It has a honeycomb texture which varies in colour from red to pale orange, yellow or pink. The depression craters are highlighted by a light coloured ridge. The depressions contain the inhalant pores, and are covered by a fine, gauze-like mesh. Width up to 30cm Thickness 1cm.

It filter feeds by drawing water in and filtering out microscopic food particles.

Found attached to rocks and boulders on the lower shore. Common and widespread from south-east England to north-west Scotland, and the Irish coasts except the east.

Photographs taken August 2015, in rock pool, Meadfoot Beach, Torquay, Devon.

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