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Lavender rope sponge
Niphates erecta
Duchassaing & Michelotti, 1864

Ramose, with single, solid branches up to 30 cm long and 2 cm in diameter. Branches mostly undivided over most of their length, rarely grouped into anastomosing complexes. Apically the branches may develop digitations. The surface is smooth to extremely conulose-spinous; this often occurs patch-like in the same specimen. Oscules distributed irregularly, 2-7 mm in diameter, mostly flush with the surface, sometimes with a slightly raised rim. Consistency stiff, spongy and tough.

Light purple, pinkish purple, grayish brown or drab.

Inhabit reefs and frequently walls. The species is almost invariably heavily infested with Sponge zoanthids (Parazoanthus parasiticus ) and Sponge brittle stars (Ophiothrix suensonii ).

Scattered distribution, but can be locally common in South Florida, Bahamas and Caribbean.

Lavender rope sponge (Niphates erecta)