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Sponge zoanthid
Parazoanthus parasiticus
(Duchassaing & Michelotti)

This symbiotic zoanthid occurs as single polyps or as groups of at most two or three polyps. Multiple individuals are usually recently budded, and eventually the individuals seem to spread themselves out evenly on the surface of the host. The oral disc is up to 0.6 cm in diameter and bears up to 28 tentacles.

The column of the polyp is white, due to calcareous and sand encrustations; the tentacles are brown due to the presence of zooxanthellae (P. parasiticus habitus).

Symbiotic on a wide variety of sponges, including the Branching vase sponge (Callyspongia vaginalis ), the Lavender rope sponge (Niphates erecta ) and Cliona -species. Common between 7.5 and 30 m.

Common Florida, Bahamas and Caribbean.

Sponge zoanthid (Parazoanthus parasiticus)