Aplysina fistularis

Aplysina fistularis, also known as the yellow tube sponge,[1] is a species of sea sponge in the order Verongiida.[2] Aplysina fistularis is a golden or orange-brown color with a conulose surface. The animal is abundant in the Caribbean, where it is commonly found in reefs of open water areas.[1] This sponge was first described by the Prussian zoologist Peter Simon Pallas in 1766.

Aplysina fistularis
Sponge on the sea floor
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Porifera
Class: Demospongiae
Order: Verongida
Family: Aplysinidae
Genus: Aplysina
A. fistularis
Binomial name
Aplysina fistularis
(Pallas, 1766)
  • Aplysina aggregata Topsent, 1932
  • Spongia fistularis Pallas, 1766
  • Spongia tubaeformis Lamarck, 1814
  • Verongia fistularis (Pallas, 1766)


Aplysina fistularis consists of tube-like structures that arise from a base. Each tube is rarely over 30 centimetres (12 in) in clear water but can reach 50 centimetres (20 in) in turbid-zone reefs.[3] The sponge has wide oscula and thin walls with ridged surfaces. Unlike the related species Aplysina insularis, A. fistularis does not develop rope-like projections around its tubes, although it may show some tendrils branching off of them.[3]

In popular cultureEdit

In The SpongeBob Musical, the popular animated character SpongeBob SquarePants is revealed to be an Aplysina fistularis.[4]


Aplysina fistularis can reproduce both sexually, and asexually. Asexual reproduction usually occurs only if a piece of the body is broken off. Newly formed (from sexual or asexual reproduction) require a hard surface to attach to and grow on. If an area is disturbed, the sediment is too loose, or algae cover most hard surfaces the Yellow Tube Sponge may struggle to establish itself, and will not grow.


  1. ^ a b "Yellow tube sponge (Aplysina fistularis)". Interactive Guide to Caribbean Diving. Marine Species Identification Portal. Retrieved 2012-10-15.
  2. ^ Van Soest RW, Boury-Esnault N, Hooper JN, Rützler K, de Voogd NJ, de Glasby BA, Hajdu E, Pisera AB, Manconi R, Schoenberg C, Janussen D, Tabachnick KR, Klautau M, Picton B, Kelly M, Vacelet J, eds. (2022). "Aplysina fistularis (Pallas, 1766)". World Porifera database. World Register of Marine Species. Retrieved 21 April 2022.
  3. ^ a b "Aplysina fistularis". Coralpedia (University of Warwick).
  4. ^ Kyle Jarrow (June 7, 2016). The SpongeBob Musical (Broadway musical). Tina Landau. French Narrator: This fruit is home to one of the most fascinating sea creatures of all—Aplysina fistularis, the yellow sponge.

External linksEdit