Suberites ficus is a massive sponge up to 30 cm across. It has an irregular
rounded form. The surface is smooth, fibrous-like with few large oscules. The colour is variable:
yellow orange, red orange, greish or brownish. It is attached to rocks, near algae and sometimes to small
stones it may entirely cover. It can be seen rolling to and fro on the bottom according to water stream.
It may also cover shells inhabited by hermit-crabs.
It is found from surface to 200 m deep, in the Atlantic Ocean, the Baltic Sea, the North Sea, the English Channel and the Mediterranean Sea.
There are other similar species of the genus Suberites such as Suberites carnosus which is more globulous, with fewer oscules (generally 2 to 3) and which can retract a lot.
(source: European Register of Marine Species)
Oscule : Opening generally quite visible, through which sponges expel water they have filtered to extract food particles.
Top photograph :
© Wilfried Bay-Nouailhat. Published with author's kind permission :
Suberites ficus, Iles Glénan, South-Brittany, West of France. Depth 17 meters.
Text : Wilfried Bay-Nouailhat © 2004-2014.
Translation : Anne Bay-Nouailhat © 2007-2014.