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Red encrusting sponge
Monanchora arbuscula
Hechtel, 1969

Description:
This species displays a variety of different habits: It forms thin encrustations with several root-like canals from the slightly raised oscules (M. arbuscula-oscula). These canals often intertwine and connect with canals radiating from other oscules. But the species can also form erect, lobate branching, bushes, with highly penicillate surface projections. Up to 12 cm high and wide. The projections are 5-10 mm long, irregular in outline and spiny.

Color:
Both growth forms are brilliant red. Especially in encrusting forms, the white spots between the canals are conspicuous, forming lighter areas.

Habitat:
Encrust dead areas of reefs, encrusting form especially around the bases of living coral heads.

Distribution:
Occasional Florida and Bahamas; common Caribbean.

Remarks:
The erect form resembles Ptilocaulis walpersi .

Red encrusting sponge (Monanchora arbuscula)