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Is this a purple tunicate sponge?


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I have been cultivating these purple sponges from a colony that I have been nurturing on the pilings of the dock. They seem to vary in color depending on their water flow and sun exposure. Can anyone tell me if they are some sort of purple tunicate sponge? The color on this particular specimen is actually an incredible ultraviolet purple. My camera isn't well these days!


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Sponges and tunicates are two different things. Sponges have one siphon, tunicates will have one in-current and one out-current siphon. Tunicates are generally hollow and can contract - hence their other name "sea squirts". What you have looks like a sponge.

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Tunicates and sponges are two different organisms. Perhaps there is a sponge called a purple tunicate sponge though?


IMO it looks like a purple sponge to me due to the slightly more amorphous shape to it (opposed to the slightly more ordered structure of a tunicate)


Neat regardless!

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'Atela the grasshopper' here didn't know that the two were different organisms. I so thank you all for clarifying this. These sponges are such incredible variations of purples! They have adapted well to my reef environment. Definitely "neat" mmcguffi ! I'm totally in love with them!


I found this image of a purple tunicate. I'm thinking that this would be a nice addition one day as well.


Thank you all for your replies!


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Be wary of buying any sponge or tunicate since those ornamental species often die (most likely from starvation) in many tanks. This is in contrast to the generally hardy hitchhiker species; although, most are cryptic and grow only in areas of indirect light. So, that purple sponge is a little unique for growing so well.

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All of my purple sponges are growing pretty well. It seems to do well midway in the tank. I do believe that it has grown some, as it looks a little fatter than when I placed it in the tank. I had a starfish In my NSW tank. It sucked the life right out of one of the sponges. It was a beautifully shaped specimen in a gorgeous ultraviolet color. It was completely white after the starfish was finished with it. The starfish now resides where he came from.


MaxiMini ~ Thanks for the advice. I'll definitely keep an eye out for the GHA. I've got a few patches starting up in a couple of areas.

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