Sponge Spawning at The FGBNMS

Jay Randall Reichman j.reichman at mail.utexas.edu
Thu Sep 4 11:14:22 EDT 1997

Earlier this summer, sponges identified as Agelas clathrodes were oberserved
spawning on two separate occasions in the Flower Garden Banks National
Marine Sanctuary.  While coral spawning is well documented on these reefs,
there have been few reports of spawning sponges.  On June 17 at 14:30 Emma
Hickerson, Research Coordinator for the FGBNMS, photographed apparent sperm
release from colonies of this sponge on the East Flower Garden Bank.  On
June 28 at 11:00 I noted 13 of the same sponges releasing similar milky
clouds of gamates on the West Flower Garden Bank, however, by 14:30 on the
East Bank no spawning activity was observed.  For reference, the water
temperature was approximately 26-27 degrees C during the time frame
mentioned above.  The lunar phases for June 1997 were:

New Moon on 5th at 07:04
First Quarter on 13rd at 04:52
Full Moon on 20th at 19:10
Last Quarter on 27th at 12:42

Jay R.

Jay R. Reichman
Department of Zoology
Patterson Labs Bldg.
University of Texas at Austin 78712

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