Natural History : Reproducing

Size & Form

Growth & Age

Water pumping

Keeping clean

Deterring Predators 
and Settlers

Reproducing

Associates Habitat

Aphrocallistes vastus 8 mm juvenile on dead A. vastus base at Christmas Pt.

At some localities such as Senanus Reef in Saanich Inlet we have found few individuals smaller than 30 cm in size suggesting the recruitment rate is very low.

For example, two divers looked for juveniles (<10cm) for fifteen minutes

 
  • However, at Christmas Pt. (11 km to the south) 35 juveniles were found in 17 minutes.
  • The low recruitment at Senanus Reef may be reflected in the finding of embryos only once despite diligent searches since the early 1980s (Leys et al 2007)

 

 

“Drip” from osculum of a Cloud Sponge

In the early spring of 2003 divers found what appeared to be a long “drip” of soft tissue from the edge of the osculum or exhaust opening in two sponges. A diver returned to one of the drips two weeks later and noted that it had an additional bulge midway along the “drip”. Could this be an example of asexual reproduction by budding ? It is reminiscent of buds found in some distantly related sponges (Tethya sp. and Polymastia sp. ) Divers will continue to monitor the “drips” and we will update our website as we receive new information.

 

Here is a drip that is swollen at the base.

If this broke off just above the swelling and the drip dropped to the bottom, it might appear like a       "hershey kiss"

 

Photo of juvenile sponge (arrow)

This sponge might represent a "hershey shaped" dropped drip as it is located near a large sponge.   However ,we cannot preclude development from some still unknown larva which settled at that spot

   

Larger juveniles in cluster from Jervis Inlet.

Henry Reiswig, a glass sponge specialist has been looking for signs of reproductive activity in Cloud Sponges with little success to date.

   

Photo of pendent fingers.

Some drips may develop into fingers or mittens.   Marco Stadelmaier, a graduate student at the University of Stuttgart, suggests the drips may become the root like extensions seen, at least, in another related species.