Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

The coral-killing red sponge Clathria (Microciona) aceratoobtusa (Porifera: Demosponigiae) invades various coral communities of gulf of Mannar Marine National Park, Southeast India.

Abstract

Accounts of the encrusting, coral-killing sponges are increasing at an alarming rate. The present paper details about a thinly encrusting red sponge Clathria (Microciona) aceratoobtusa (Carter, 1887) which is invasive or locally spreading species and create deleterious outbreaks on Gulf of Mannar coral reefs. Earlier it has also been recorded from Yemen, but not taxonomically identified. This sponge is regarded as an aggressive space-competitor locally overgrowing and killing corals, mostly belonging to the coral genera such as Porites, Acropora, Montipora, Favia and Turbinaria. We observed that Turbinaria colonies were the substrate more preferred by the sponge than other coral colonies in the entire study site. The present observation analyses detail the taxonomical and ecological data of Clathria (M.) aceratoobtusa with a comprehensive review of its ecological preference.