Identifying Sponges

Key to California Porifera (Page 077)

( From page 076 A) Greatest spicule length between 200 and 480 μm or greater.
[A]
Oxeas: 380 - 530 μm, most 440 - 480 μm.
Skeleton of vertical multispicular tracts with confused echinating cross-connections.
cc077A.jpg
Hymeniacidon tuscarus Ristau, 1978)
Sponge: Thick encrusting to about 1.5 cm thick or more. Consistency: slightly spongy, compressible. Surface: very hispid. Oscula: very irregular, 0.4-1.0 mm in diameter and dispersed irregularly over surface.
Color: Alive: Light to medium dark brown exterior, dark chocolate brown interior.
Spicules: Megascleres: (1) Oxeas -slightly curved or irregularly bent: 380 - 530 um. x 10 - 22 um. most 440 - 480 x 18 μm.
Skeleton: Ectosomal membrane, 10 μm thick with brushes and spicules projecting in various directions throughout membrane. Choanosome of vertical multispicular tracts with confused, echinating cross-connecting spicules. Tracts often masked by confusing echinating arrangement. Note: When alive, interior is gelatinous and skeletal structure difficult to discern..
Distribution: Central California, Carmel to Bodega Bay.
Depth: Intertidal (on wrack) to 7 m.
Note: Was Axinomimus tuscaris.
[B] GO TO PAGE 078
Oxeas to 300 - 400 μm, never as large as 440 - 480 μm.
Skeleton halichondriid - OR -Mixture of halichondriid structure and loose tracts OR -Heavy reticulation of multispicular tracts; very dense, often with rock-like consistency.
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