Identifying Sponges

Key to California Porifera (Page 091)

( From page 090 A) Sponge massive. Spicules only coring fibers.
[A]
Sponge massive, subspherical.
Thickness of primary ascending fibers > 50 μm.
Range of spicule length within a single specimen is narrow (<35 μm).
cc091A.jpg
Niphates lunisimilis (de Laubenfels, 1930)
Sponge: Massive, subspherical, attached to corraline algae or encrusting 5 - 30 mm thick. Consistency: tough, spongy. Surface: superficially smooth. Oscula: crater-like with raised rims or flush. Diameter to 4 mm, distance apart > 1cm.
Color: Alive: Pale buff, lavender pink, pale rose- gray. Preserved: Pale buff.
Spicules: Megascleres: (1) Oxeas: 70-160 um. x 3.3 - 10.6 um. Range: Usually the actual range is narrow but the mean may fall within the range listed
Skeleton: Anastomosing spongin fibers filled with Oxeas. Ascending fibers 70 - 100 μm cored with many rows of spicules. Transverse fibers 70 - 100 μm, cored with many rows of spicules. Isodictyal secondary reticulation. .
Distribution: Southern and Central California.
Depth: Intertidal to subtidal.
[B]
Sponge massive to ramose.
Thickness of primary ascending fibers < 50 μm.
Range of spicule length within a single specimen is moderate (>35 μm).
? Callyspongia californica Dickenson, 1945 [of Sim & Bakus, 1986]
Sponge: Massive to somewhat ramose..
Color: Preserved: Brown.
Spicules: Megascleres: (1)Oxeas: 84 -105- 132 um. x 2.4 -5.3- 7.0 um.
Skeleton: No information given.
Distribution: Southern California.
Depth: 3.6 to 18 m.
Note: In the Dickenson type, many Oxeas were 150 x 5 μm but the average was 80 x 3 μm. The choanosomal skeleton is a well-developed spongin fiber reticulation, regular, and producing rectangular meshes of about 130 x 220 μm and 100 μm square. Ascending fibers are 25 μm wide and contain fibers with up to 20 rows of spicules. With no description of skeletal structure, the Sim & Bakus identification of this species must remain suspect at this time.
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