Home|Search|Identify|Taxonomic tree|Quiz|About this site|Feedback
Developed by ETI BioInformatics
Characteristics, distribution and ecology
Taxonomische classification
Synonyms and common names
Literature references
Images, audio and video
Links to other Web sites

Touch-me-not-sponge
Neofibularia nolitangere
(Duchassaing & Michelotti, 1864)

Description:
Cake-shaped or massively incrusting, with an apical depression, which may lead to a cup-shape. Oscules conspicuous, apical or inside the apical depression (N. nolitangere-close up). Surface smooth or shaggy, areolate. Size up to about 30 cm high and 30 cm wide. Consistency: corky to compressible, fragile, crumbly.

Color:
Brownish to dark red.

Habitat:
Occurring in the reef environment, but often in areas with some disturbance; occasionally also a member of the fouling community.

Distribution:
Abundant to occasional Florida, Bahamas, Caribbean.

Remarks:
Contact with bare skin can result in a severe allergic reaction, including pain, numbness, swelling and rash that may last several days.
The species has been observed to "smoke". Such massive sperm releases suggest an oviparous reproduction.

Touch-me-not-sponge (Neofibularia nolitangere)