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Heavenly sponge
Dysidea etheria
De Laubenfels, 1936

Description:
Amorphous, massive encrusting and partly erected sponges, up to 8 x 5 x 2 cm, conulose. Conules 1 mm high, 2-3 mm apart (D. etheria-close up). Oscules flush with the surface, few in number. Consistency weak, easily torn.

Color:
Brilliant to grayish blue.

Habitat:
In bays and lagoons in grass beds and on reefs in areas with a high sediment load.

Distribution:
Florida to Curacao.

Remarks:
A related species occurs on Curacao: Dysidea janiae (Duchassaing & Michelotti, 1864) Dysidea janiae. This species forms pinkish-white fragile aggregates of tubes. Individual tubes up to 60 mm high, 15 mm across, with an apical depression of up to 10 mm in diameter. No conules or apparent oscules. This species is found in areas with a high sediment load.

Heavenly sponge (Dysidea etheria)