Giant Barrel Sponge

Seferino Paz banyanbay at
Wed Feb 26 13:28:54 EST 1997

Over the past six months, we have witness an outbreak of a bleaching disease that is affecting the Giant Barrel Sponge (Xentospongia muta).  It takes about two weeks for the disease to completely kill the sponge.  The bleaching usually starts from the bas
e of the sponge and gradually works itself up, until the whole sponge is completely bleached out.  Then the sponge just crumbles apart.  We have notice this phenomenon of the reef off Ambergris Caye, Turneffe Islands, and Lighthouse Reef.  We are not awar
e if the disease is present on the reefs of Southern Belize and Glovers Reef, but suspect the situation to be the same.  We would like to know if anyone has any information or similar observations.

Mito Paz
Green Reef
San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye
Belize, Central America
e-mail:  banyanbay at
fax:  (501) 26 3739
tel:  (501)  26 2766

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