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Axinella agnata

Axinella agnata

Antler sponge

   Axinella agnata is an arborescent sponge from 8 to 15 cm in height. The branches are regularly ramified and very often they have a y-shaped tip. The velvety surface is pale yellow. It is attached to rocks, boulders and sometimes in cracks.
It is found from 10 to 40 m deep in the Atlantic Ocean and the English Channel.

Close species :

 Many erected species look similar; each have distinctive characteristics:
Axinella damicornis is fan-shaped.
Axinella dissimilispossesses small oscules surrouded by ridules forming a star.
Axinella egregia has a rough surface resembling a fur.
Axinella polypoides presents a diameter of the terminal ramifications sligtly tapering.


 (source: European Register of Marine Species)

  • Porifera [Phylum]
  • Demospongiae [Class]
  • Halichondrida [Order]
  • Axinellidae [Family]
  • Axinella agnata Topsent, 1896

Page glossary

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 : 
Axinella agnata, Iles Glénan, South-Brittany, West of France. Depth 15 meters.
Text :  Wilfried Bay-Nouailhat © 2004-2020.
Translation :  Anne Bay-Nouailhat © 2007-2020.

How to cite this page in publications

Bay-Nouailhat W., April 2004, Description of Axinella agnata, Available on line at http://www.european-marine-life.org/02/axinella-agnata.php, consulted on 10 July 2020.
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