Identifying Sponges

Key to California Porifera (Page 125)

( From page 123 B) Styles to 450 μm or less.
[A]
Styles: means < 350 μm (262 - 343 μm).
Oxeas: means < 400 μm (268 - 365 μm).
Skeleton with parallel columns 90-120 μm apart;
cross-bracing composed of only 3 - 6 spicules.
cc125A.jpg
? Dragmacidon sp. [of Lee]
Sponge: Encrusting thick to 1.5 cm. Surface: similar to Acarnus erithacus; rugose, granular. Oscula: numerous, slightly elevated, round to irregular, 1-2 mm wide.
Color: Alive: Exterior: scarlet to orange-red. Interior: yellow to beige.
Spicules: Megascleres: (1) Styles bent at head end: 176 -262-343- 394 um. x 5 -10-20- 27 um. (2) Oxeas bent at center: 176 -268-365- 412 um. x 5 -8-22- 27 um.
Skeleton: Dermal membrane dark, 30-61 μm thick. Choanosome plumo-reticulate. Columns 90-120 μm thick and dominated by Styles. Cross-bracing 3-6 spicules, usually Oxeas, wrapped loosely with spongin. Basal skeleton more condensed with basal layer of spicules embedded in spongin.
Distribution: Southern to Central California.
Depth: Subtidal, 7.6 - 21.3 m.
Note: Could be a variant of D. mexicanum but needs study of variation over its range.
[B]
Styles: means > 350 μm (390 - 400 μm).
Oxeas: means > 400 μm (437 - 465 μm).
Skeleton of parallel columns 152 - 212 μm apart;
cross-bracing composed of multiple spicules.
Dragmacidon mexicanum (de Laubenfels, 1935) [of Sim & Bakus, 1986]
Sponge: Encrusting. Consistency: spongy to fragile.. Surface: resembles that of Acarnus erithacus.. Oscula: numerous, 1 mm in diameter..
Color: Preserved: Drab..
Spicules: Megascleres: (1)Styles* bent at head end: 273 -390-400- 473 um. x 16 -25- 27 um. (2)Oxeas* bent at center: 300 -437-465- 473 um. x 16 -23-25- 28 um. (*of de Laubenfels 1935)
Skeleton: Dermal membrane not evident.. Choanosome plumo-reticulate with multispicular columns 152-212 μm thick. Cross-bracing thick, made up of multiple spicules wrapped in thick spongin..
Distribution: Gulf of California, Baja. Reported from Southern California by Sim & Bakus*
Depth: Deep water, 140 m. The reported depth is suspect.
Note: * Appears more like Dragmacidon sp. above as Sim & Bakus report Styles, 210 -262- 310; Oxeas, 220 -268- 310 μm; depth, subtidal, 6 m. Picture of type material. Was Axinella mexicana.
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