There are two species of Axinella sponges in the Mediterranean. Both are arborescent with cylindrical orangey-yellow branches They are quite similar. The only differences are the number of branches and the shape of the osculum, a large orifice for excreting filtered water. Water enters the central cavity via the many small pores in the sponge’s walls, hence the name Porifera. These sponges can be up to 1m tall and live between the surface and 200m on coralligenous and rocky bottoms away from the light. They are found in the Mediterranean and nearby Atlantic waters.
Scientific name: Axinella polypoides and A. verrucosa
French: Éponge axinelle
Spanish: Axinella comun
Italian: Spugna alberello
German: Gemeiner Geweihschwamm