Red rope/finger sponge

Red rope/finger sponge
Phylum Porifera (sponges)
Aplysina cauliformis
61 to 100+ ft
The body grows as long branching ropes or fingers, often draping downward and curving up at the tips. It is often uniformly deep red or orange in color, but may be purple to lavender. It is rubbery and flexible, bending in the current. Its surface is smooth, but rows of conspicuous pores are visible. It is common throughout the Caribbean, including the Cayman Islands. It inhabits deep reef faces and walls. There are several similar types of rope sponges in the genus Aplysina, which vary in texture and color. Often, accurate identification can only be made by microscopic examination.

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