Ophiothela mirabilis

Epizoic Brittle Star

Miraculous Snake-nipple

Dysidea etheria, commonly known as the ethereal sponge or heavenly sponge, is a species of lobate sponge within the class Demospongiae. This marine sponge is known for its light blue color and can be found in the Caribbean as well as off the coasts of Florida and Georgia. Like all other poriferans, D. etheria is capable of both sexual and asexual reproduction. The use of spicule collection as well as chemical defenses allows D. etheria to protect itself against predators such as the zebra doris and the orange knobby star. D. etheria is also known as a host species of the invasive brittle star Ophiothela mirabilis. Lastly, various molecular biology studies have utilized D. etheria to both study foreign particle transport in sponges and to isolate novel molecules.

Ophiothela mirabilis. Retrieved January, 01 2022, from