Identifying Sponges

Key to California Porifera (Page 079)

( From page 078 A) Typical halichondriid structure, may have multispicular tracts as well.
[A] GO TO PAGE 080
On open coast.
Surface with regular reticulation of multispicular tracts.
Surface opaque.
Pores closely spaced in areas between tracts.
Oscula borne on ridges.
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Halichondria (Halichondria) panicea (Pallas, 1766)
Sponge: Encrusting, sometimes more massive. Oscula: with rows of oscules borne on ridges.
Color: Alive: Chrome yellow, yellow-tan, and, in well-lighted situations, olive or green at surface.
Spicules: Megascleres: (1) Oxeas: 160 -313- 420 um. x 1 -5- 12 um.
Skeleton: Typical halichondriid structure, irregular and indistinct meshwork formed of loose bundles of spicules and of individual spicules mixed with occasional tracts.
Distribution: Southern to Northern California.
Depth: Intertidal to deep water, 113 m, the latter reported by Bakus & Green, 1987. On open coast..
Note:May be represented by a number of closely related species. These two species difficult to separate. See page 80 for further comparisons between these species.
[B] GO TO PAGE 080
In bays/harbors.
Surface with more widely spaced multispicular tracts tending to run parallel to one another. The areas between the tracts are further subdivided by a pattern of overlapping individual spicules.
Surface translucent or nearly so.
Pores more widely spaced.
Oscula scattered.
Halichondria (Halichondria) bowerbanki Burton, 1930
Sponge: Encrusting or, more often, branching or in flattened lobes. Oscula: scattered. In bays and harbors.
Color: Alive: Yellow-tan, gold, or olive-brown..
Spicules: Megascleres: (1) Oxeas: 170 - 300 um. x 5.0 - 12.0 um.
Skeleton: Typical halichondriid structure, irregular and indistinct meshwork formed of loose bundles of spicules and of individual spicules mixed with occasional tracts.
Distribution: Central California.
Depth: Intertidal. In bays and harbors.
Note:These two species are difficult to separate. See page 80 for further comparisons of these two species.
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