Identifying Sponges

Key to California Porifera (Page 012)

( From page 011 A) Sponge surface usually smooth and with No nipple-like protuberences or papillae.
Megascleres distinct Tylostyles only, OR may ALSO contain Strongyles and Tylostrongyles
[A] GO TO PAGE 013
Tylostyles < 1000 μm.
Sponge not branched, or with a cylindrical stem and clavate terminations.
Surface variable.
cc012A.jpg
Note: See page 19 for an additional, poorly described and unidentified, species reported from California which might fall into this category.
[B]
Tylostyles to 1320 μm.
Sponge branched, cylindrical stem with enlarged clavate terminations. Surface smooth with NO nipple-like protuberances.
Rhizaxinella gadus (de Laubenfels, 1926)
Sponge: Branched cylindrical stem with enlarged clavate terminations 30 cm high, lobes 2 cm in diameter, 10 cm long. Surface: superficially smooth. Oscula: rimmed, 1.5 to 2.0 mm.
Color: Preserved: White.
Spicules: Megascleres: (1)Tylostyles: 200 - 1320 um. x 10 - 50 um.
Skeleton: Ectosome: 1.5 to 2 mm thick, cartilaginous, bluish white. Densely packed with spicules perpendicular to surface, points outward. Stem brown central axis of dense longitudinal spicules. Choanosome: With few large spicules.
Distribution: Central California.
Depth: Subtidal.
Note: Was Suberites gadus.
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