Adocia cinerea is a polymorphous sponge that has few key external identification features. The varying morphologies include thin encrusting patches, laterally spreading masses of anastomosing (interconnecting) branches and finger-like protrusions with large terminal oscules (exhalent pores). The oscules on this species, regardless of location, are without the raised edge found in other members of this group. The oscules are irregularly scattered about the sponge and can be from a few centimetres to up to 25 cm in diameter in larger examples. It is a soft, fragile sponge with an even, greyish light-brown or purple-brown colouration. The surface of this sponge consists of a network of tissues with irregular spaces which gives a "loosely woven" appearance (van Soest, 2000; Picton & Morrow, 2000).Adocia cinerea is distinguished from other species such as Haliclona rosea by internal characteristics such as the fine details of spicules. The slime strands from this species are also characterizing (see van Soest, 1977 and 2000).
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