(Courtesy of Jane A. Holzapfel
Boring Sponge, Sulfur Sponge
(Cliona celata)

Often bright sulfur yellow to orange red, these sponges may bore into or attach to shells. Their colonies can grow to 12"(30 cm) in diameter with individual animals being only 1/2 " wide and 1/16" tall. They are filter feeders and eat small food particles brought into their bodies by seawater. The larvae of the sponge will attach itself to mussel or clam shells and reproduce, often killing the mussel or clam inside. They then grow to massive proportions and colonize on rocks or the shells of the dead mollusks. These sponges are common in Southern New England and present year-round in Narragansett Bay.

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