For the safety of our community, all Queensland Museum Network locations are temporarily closed to the public until further notice. Stay safe and read more.

Red Burrowing Sponge

Red Burrowing Sponge (Oceanapia sagittaria) Red Burrowing Sponge (Oceanapia sagittaria), QM SMI G300640

Oceanapia sagittaria

Rather than compete for space in a crowded community the Red Burrowing Sponge occupies a different habit, living mostly underground with most of its body burrowing and the only visible sign of the sponge being an exhalant breathing tube (fistule). The main body of the sponge is the size of a golf ball burrowed about 100 mm below the surface, with small roots that anchor it in position. The fistule is about 200 mm long with a delicate red cap which is thought to be used as a filtering device to sieve food particles from the water, but also shown to fall off, roll around the seabed, reattach, and eventually regrowing into another sponge.

Queensland Museum's Find out about... is proudly supported by the Thyne Reid Foundation and the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation.