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Boring sponge

size:

several millimeters (drilling stage) to 1 meter (loose stage)

color:

variable

food:

phytoplankton and organic waste

enemies:

some snails

reproduction:

sexual and asexual

  • Dut: Boorspons
  • Lat: Cliona celata
  • Eng: Boring sponge
  • Ger: Bohrschwamm
Cliona celata, Zpyder, via Flickr.com

Boring sponge

You usually only see the spores that boring sponges leave behind: small holes in shells or in soft stone. The boring sponge is visible as small yellow or orange nipples on shells or limestone. It uses acid to drill tunnels in the calcium material. The only function of the shell or stone is a place to live for the sponge. The shellfish living in the drilled shell is not consumed, but usually dies since its protective covering has been damaged.

  • Distribution and habitat

    Boring sponges are found worldwide, and therefore also in the North Sea, the Oosterschelde and the Wadden Sea. They are found between the low-tide mark down to around 100 meters deep.