Stove Pipe Sponge Fact Sheet

Common Name:

stove-pipe sponge

Scientific Name:

Aplysina archeri

Wild Status:



Coral Reefs


Caribbean, Bahamas, Southwest USA


Rocks, Coral

Life Span:



5ft tall

Cool Facts:

  • These sponges are found in groups of 22 individual sponges
  • Their common name describes their shape and appearance in terms humans can relate to
  • Like the Purple Vase Sponge, small marine creatures such as
  • Like jellyfish, they do not have a digestive tract 
  • They filter plankton and bits of organic matter from the water around them. They can be thought of as underwater air purifiers
  • Although they filter the ocean, there are things they cannot clean, such as plastic bags. It is our responsibility as humans to clean up where other organisms cannot


Sponges are some of the strangest, most captivating animals in our oceans. Often confused for plants or rocks, these immobile invertebrates lack not only a spine, but a heart, brain, digestive system, respiratory system, and pretty much any organ that is similar to a human's. Although they have been used by humans for cleaning, these days they are free to filter the water around them as nature intended. This specific type of sponge is found in groups of 22 or more sponges, as opposed to the Red Encrusting Sponge, which tends to be more solitary (or as solitary as sponges can be).

Taxonomic Breakdown:

Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Porifera Class: Demospongiae Order: Verongida Family: Aplysinidae Genus: Aplysina Species: A. archeri

Conservation & Helping:

The conservation status of any one species of sea sponge is difficult to measure as there are more species than scientists can currently keep up with. Because all sea sponges and other coral reef animals are harmed by pollution and climate change, it is best to assume all sponges are in danger and focus efforts on reducing further damage.

For Teachers and Educators


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