Identifying Sponges

Key to California Porifera (Page 053)

( From page 052 B) Megascleres: Fusiform Styles with Oxeote points; Microscleres: with Raphides present.
Anisochelae with shaft straight or slightly angled. Lateral alae elongate, flared at the edge. Sigmas: 1 size class, 15 -20-27- 53 μm.
Mycale (Mycale) lingua (Bowerbank, 1866)
Sponge: Encrusting to massive, linguiform up to 30 cm. in height. Consistency: Tough, fibrous. Surface: sulcate. Furrows forming irregular reticulation over the surface. Oscula: 4 - 10 mm diameter on small cone-shaped elevations 2-3 mm high.
Color: Alive: Light yellow-gray, pale buff.
Spicules: Megascleres: (1) Styles-Subtylostyles: 255 -544-830- 1150 um. x 10 -11-17- 19 um. Microscleres: (1) Anisochelae: 22 -36-50- 104 um. may be in 2 size classes. (2) Sigmas: 15 -20-27- 53 um. (3) Raphides: 18 - 42-51- 78 um.
Skeleton: Large bundles of megascleres rise to the surface where they form radiating tufts that penetrate the surface.
Distribution: This species has been suspected but not verified as occurring in California.
Depth: Subtidal to deep water, 31 - 1267 m.
Note: This species needs considerable review as it has been described in various ways by different investigators and potential regional differences have not been elucidated. See Bakus, 1966 and Koltun, 1959.
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Anisochelae with shaft distinctly curved;
lateral alae not elongate and not flared at the edge. Sigmas: Either 1 or 2 size classes. If 2 size classes: 12 -18-34- 51 μm, 46 -53-66- 94 μm. If 1 size class: 17 -38-58- 109 μm.
Note: In the following dichotomies the term Sh/LMax is used. This refers to a measurement of the relative length of the shaft to that of the full length of the spicule. It is determined by dividing the length of the shaft (Sh) as seen between the free ends of the head and foot by the total length of the anisochela (LMax) [see Section 4, Pg. 73, figure 5].
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