Identifying Sponges

Key to California Porifera (Page 057)

( From page 056 B) Styles equal width until point--no narrow "handle" at head end; Skeleton ladder-like or nearly so.
Sigma-like microscleres. May be juvenile anisochelae with low arch/straight back.
Anisochelae of 1 size class.
Mycale (Mycale) hispida (Lambe, 1894)
Sponge: Encrusting generally small. Consistency: Soft, fragile, spongy. Surface: hispid. Soft to the touch. Oscula: 1.0 - 2.5 mm elevated to 1 mm or more.
Color: Alive: Light Yellow, buff, tan, gold beige to bronze.
Spicules: Megascleres: (1) Styles: 170 -210-269- 412 um. x 5 -7- 13 um. Microscleres: (1) Sigmas: may have wings and look like juvenile Isochelae. Reports from pacific Northwest show no wings: 23 -27-52- 59 um. (2) Anisochelae: 26 -31-50- 68 um. May occur in 2 size classes (Pacific Northwest-2 size classes -about 24 μm. and 43-46 μm.)
Skeleton: Tracts of 2 - 6 Styles radiating to surface with lateral connections forming loose ladder-like skeleton.
Distribution: Central, Northern California.
Depth: Intertidal to deep water, 153 m.
[B] GO TO PAGE 058
Sigmas: Either normal with moderate arch/curved back OR unusual with a thickening at the center of the shaft.
Anisochelae of 1 or 2 size classes
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