Orange Urn Sponge (Verongia gigantea.) To the left is a grouping of purple and yellow Verongias, probably (Verongia longissima.)
North Wall, Grand Cayman Island - Depth 135 feet or 41 meters
|* Dominating the above image is a
massive Orange Urn Sponge (Verongia gigantea,) nearly 30
inches (75 centimeters) in height. To the left
is a cluster of purple and yellow Verongias, probably (Verongia
longissima.) Visible also is a Purple Rope Sponge
(Haliclona hogarthi,) whitish Gorgonians, and in the lower left, Deep
Water Gorgonians (Icilogorgia schrammi.)
The Orange Urn Sponge is readily recognized, but not commonly encountered. They seem to prefer deep, exposed areas, such as on this rocky shelf.
It is of interest that a similar sponge is found on the walls at Little Cayman Island. The latter differ, however, in being almost free of purple coloration (1).