Identifying Sponges

Key to California Porifera (Page 069)

( From page 068 B) Microscleres do NOT include Anisochelae.
Tylostyles < 300 μm.
Microscleres: Sigmas and may include Diancistras.
Hamacantha (Vomerula) hyaloderma (de Laubenfels, 1932)
Sponge: Thinly, encrusting to 1-3 mm thick. Surface: soft, fleshy, smooth.
Color: Alive: Deep blue-violet, gray-lavender; yellow-brown.
Spicules: Megascleres: (1) Tylostyles: 142-171-187-227 um. x 5 -7 um. Microscleres: (1) Sigmas: 12 -23-25- 65 um. (2) Diancistras: 23-30-33-41 um. May be scarce.
Skeleton: Ectosome fleshy, packed with microscleres. Choanosome with scattered plumose tracts of Tylostyles, points upward and outward. These form terminal brushes at surface.
Distribution: Central, Northern California.
Depth: Intertidal to subtidal.
Note: Was Zygherpe hyaloderma.
Subtylostyles - Tylostyles > 500 μm.
Microscleres: sigmas only.
Desmacella vagabunda Schmidt, 1870
Sponge: Amorphous. Consistency: fragile.
Color: Alive: Drab.
Spicules: Megascleres: (1)Subtylostyles to Tylostyles: 255 -308-372- 1006 um. x - 15 - um. Microscleres: (1)Sigmas: 13 -23-61- 72 um.
Skeleton: Ectosome:Thin, detachable, fleshy dermis with a few microscleres. Choanosome of short plumose columns of megascleres with points toward the surface.
Distribution: Southern, Central California.
Depth: Deep water, 700 to 1243 m.
Note: De Laubenfels originally decribed this species as occurring in California on the basis of one small piece of a specimen. Review of more recently collected material suggests that there may be more than a single species of Desmacella from California. In addition, the status of the legitimacy of D. vagabunda is in question. These species need much more extensive review.
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