Identifying Sponges

Key to California Porifera (Page 177)

( From page 175 B) Monacts include one type, Styles-Acanthostyles, with 2 size classes.
Sigmas of 1 size class.
[A]
Acanthostyles mostly fully spined.
Smallest size class tear drop-shaped.
cc177A.jpg
Myxilla (Ectomyxilla) parasitica Lambe, 1893
Sponge: Encrusting to 10 mm. Consistency: firm, compact. Surface: uneven and rough. Oscula: large, 5 mm diameter.
Color: Preserved: Greyish, yellow-brown.
Spicules: Megascleres: (1) Styles-Acanthostyles (tear- drop shaped)*: 29 - 43 - 65 um. (2) Styles-Acanthostyles: 170 - 240 - 314 um. (3) Tornotes: 149 - 165 - 209 um. Microscleres: (1) Anchorate Isochelae: 13 - 17 - 26 um. (2) Anchorate Isochelae: 37 - 65 - 71 um. (3) Sigmas: 12 - 16-18 - 26 um. *Sizes based on review of Syntype.
Skeleton: Ectosome: Dermal layer of Tornotes parallel to the surface. Choanosome: Spined Styles- Acanthostyles forming irregular hexagonal meshes with spicules radiating outward towards the angles of the hexagons. Small echinating Acanthostyles in clusters. Tornotes scattered throughout.
Distribution: Canada and West Coast
Note: DeLaubenfels, 1932 describes similar forms from Southern and Central California. They differ by not having tear-drop Acanthostyles. Acanthostyles 179 - 200 μm, Tornotes 170 - 210 μm, Sigmas 22 - 52 μm, Isochelae 14 - 18 μm and 48 - 68 μm.
[B]
Acanthostyles with few spines.
Smallest size class NOT tear drop-shaped.
Myxilla (Ectomyxilla) sp. 3 [of Lee]
Sponge: Encrusting, irregular to amorphous. Consistency: firm. Surface: appears granular due to spicule bundles barely penetrating surface. Oscula: few, 1.0 - 1.5 mm in diameter.
Color: Alive: Deep chrome.
Spicules: Megascleres: (1)Styles - Acanthostyles: 48 - 82-105 - 133 um. (2)Styles - Acanthostyles: 145 - 189-190 - 219 um. (3)Tornotes: 152 - 174 - 195 um. Microscleres: (1)Anchorate Isochelae: 19 - 25-26 - 36 um. (2) Anchorate Isochelae: 32 - 36-40 - 47 um. (3)Sigmas: 10 - 19-20 - 28 um.
Skeleton: Ectosome: Dense, with Acanthostyles and Tornotes parallel to surface. Choanosome: Reticulation super-imposed over ladder-like skeleton. Highly complicated.
Distribution: Central to Northern California.
Depth: Intertidal.
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