[Coral-List] Strange Xestospongia muta damage

Thomas Goreau goreau at bestweb.net
Mon Apr 28 12:28:13 EDT 2008

Estimado Glauco,

Several years ago in Broward County local divers began noticing  
Xestospongia muta that looked as if they had been cut off flat near  
the bottom as if cut with razor wire. It was so common that local  
divers thought someone was stealing their big sponges, unlikely as  
that seems.  I saw them myself with Dan Clark, and there was no  
jagged edge as would happen with a knife cut, anchor dragging, or  
turtle chomping, but luckily almost all were healing. I've taken  
samples of diseased Xestospongia in the past for microbial analysis,  
and know how hard it is to cut a small piece out of them, even of  
necrotic tissue, so we were baffled. Luckily there was a short  
intense episode of this damage, and it does not seem to have  
recurred. Who, why, or when are mysterious, but at least we know where.


Thomas J. Goreau, PhD
Global Coral Reef Alliance
37 Pleasant Street, Cambridge MA 02139
goreau at bestweb.net

Date: Sun, 27 Apr 2008 15:04:06 -0400
From: glauco150 at aol.com
Subject: [Coral-List] Xetospongia muta
To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
Message-ID: <8CA76B0998FBB32-BAC-4281 at mblk-d30.sysops.aol.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"

Dear listers:

During a recent dive?(75-80 ft deep) in the north coast of Puerto  
Rico I found out?numerous Xetospongia muta totally or partially  
broken.??Some sponges broke flush to the substrate, others broke in  
different angle when compared to the next standing; there was not a  
clear break pattern.??On March 20-22, Puerto Rico and the USVI coasts  
received the impact of a powerful cold front?which produced 30-plus  
feet breaking waves causing significant coastal erosion.? Could it be  
possble that soft or weak areas of large high profile?X. muta did not  
resisted?such continuous?high energy swell/surge?

I will appreciate any comments or references.

best regards,

Glauco A Rivera
PhD candidate
Univ. of PR-Dept. of Marine Sciences

More information about the Coral-List mailing list