Identifying Sponges

Key to California Porifera (Page 137)

( From page 131 A) Microscleres include Asters.
[A]
Megascleres Strongyles and Styles-Subtylostyles.
Microscleres are Spherasters and Tylasters.
cc137A.jpg
Tethya californiana (de Laubenfels, 1935)
Sponge: Globular or subglobular to 6 cm in diameter. Consistency: spongy. Surface: warty with flattened mushroom-shaped elevations about 2 -4 mm wide, and 1-2 mm high, crowded over the surface. Surface regosity varies with degree of sponge contraction. Oscula: not evident. .
Color: Alive: Red-orange, orange, yellow-green, yellow-ochre or gold.
Spicules: Megascleres: (1) Fusiform Strongyles (Anisostrongyles): 1250 - 2300 um. (2) Fusiform Styles - Subtylostyles: 500 - 1800 um. Microscleres: (1) Oxyspherasters-rays often bent or mucronate: 30 - 90 um. (2) Strongylospherasters: Diameter 8 - 25 um. (3) Tylasters: 27 um.
Skeleton: Ectosome: 2 layered cortex about 1 - 2 mm thick. Choanosome: fleshy with radiate fascicular tracts 250 - 800 μm thick.
Distribution: Southern to Northern California.
Depth: Intertidal to deep water.
Note: Was Tethya aurantia californiana.
[B]
Megascleres Tylostyles and Styles.
Microscleres are Tylasters ONLY.
Timea authia de Laubenfels, 1930
Sponge: Amorphous, massive, encrusting. Consistency: spongy, fragile. Surface: superficially smooth to minutely tuberculate. Oscula: not evident.
Color: Alive: Orange. Preserved: Drab.
Spicules: Megascleres: (1)Tylostyles - Sub- tylostyles: 210 - 463-536- 790 um. x 7 -10- 18 um. (2)Styles: 200 - 487- 840 um. x 4 -7- 11 um. Microscleres: (1)Tylasters-smooth to minutely roughened: 6 -19- 25 um.
Skeleton: Ectosome: dermal membrane to 80 μm thick, contains dark cells. Choanosome fleshy, with ascending tracts of densely packed megascleres, points upward, 100 - 125 μm in diameter. Tracts spread into terminal brushes at surface. Microscleres distributed throughout.
Distribution: Southern California.
Depth: Intertidal to deep water.
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