[Coral-List] seeking Xesto sponge spawning observations

McDonough, Vanessa vanessa_mcdonough at nps.gov
Thu Apr 28 13:37:01 EDT 2016

Hi Casey!
My dive team had the good fortune of seeing large-scale Xesto spawning in
Biscayne National Park on Monday April 25th. We entered the water at about
9am and spawning was well underway and continued for the entirety of our
dive day, which ended at around 1pm, although it seemed much stronger in
the earlier portion of the day.  Some females had eggs within the barrel,
others were releasing the eggs into the water column, and we also saw males
releasing sperm.  I do not recall seeing any gelatinous masses/embryos
around the sponge.   of course, I did not have a camera with me to capture
any images.  :(

The location we were diving was the Triumph reef area.  We were basically
drifting along the wall at the park's eastern boundary in 60 to 65 feet of
water. Starting coordinates were 25.46385 N , -80.11173 W.  By my dive
computer, the water temp was somewhere around 77 degrees F.

Vanessa McDonough, Ph.D.
Fishery and Wildlife Biologist
Biscayne National Park
9700 SW 328th St
Homestead, FL 33033
ph: 305-230-1144 ext 027
fax: 305-230-1190

> Message: 2
> Date: Wed, 27 Apr 2016 16:45:30 +0000
> From: "Butler, Casey" <Casey.Butler at MyFWC.com>
> Subject: [Coral-List] seeking Xesto sponge spawning observations
> To: "coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov" <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>
> Message-ID:
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> BY2PR09MB096F0957A650B73FB81486C88640 at BY2PR09MB096.namprd09.prod.outlook.com
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> Does anyone on Coral-List have observations of barrel sponge spawning?  We
> have been recording observations around the Florida Keys, and are
> interested in collecting more Xestospongia muta spawning observations in
> the hopes of summarizing some of their spawning behavior.
> I appreciate any info you can provide regarding the location, date/time,
> temperature, depth, and perhaps if you recall whether males were releasing
> sperm (smoking), females had eggs (looks like foam), eggs were being
> released into water column (drifting foam), or whether there was a
> gelatinous mass around the sponge (embryos).
> If you haven't seen these amazing sponges spawn, check out our video:
> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5zWrSmpkV_I
> Thank you!
> Casey
> Casey Boleman Butler
> Biological Scientist
> Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
> Fish and Wildlife Research Institute
> South Florida Regional Laboratory
> 2796 Overseas Hwy Suite 119
> Marathon, FL 33050
> Telephone: (305) 676-3225
> Fax: (305) 289-2334
> -

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