Identifying Sponges

Key to California Porifera (Page 234)

( From page 001 D) NO skeleton, no fibers, no spicules.
[A]
Choanocyte chambers large and elongate, 200 - 280 μm in length.
Pinacocytes without flagella.
Color alive, Tan.
cc234A.jpg
Halisarca sacra de Laubenfels, 1930
Sponge: Encrusting. Consistency: very soft. Oscula: 100 - 200 μm in diameter.
Color: Alive: pale tan to yellow tan.
Spicules: None
Skeleton: Ectosome: 20-40 μm thick. Made up of rounded cells, darker than those in the choanosome. Has subdermal cavities 20 μm in diameter. Has elongated tubular chambers.
Distribution: Central California.
Depth: Intertidal.
Note: Possibly conspecific with Halisarca sp. of Hartman, 1975, for which little information is given. No confirmed sitings in California since it was originally found in Elkhorn Slough, Monterey Bay. This is a poorly known group and species determination is exceptionally difficult. See Hartman,1975.
[B]
Choanocyte chambers ovoid or round.
Pinacocytes flagellated.
Color alive, Pale brown to rusty red.
Oscarella carmela Muricy & Pearse, 2004
Sponge: Thin smooth, soft, slimy, sheets to thicker, with uneven bumpy, microlobate surface. Differences that do appear are related to growth stages.
Color: Alive: Pale brown to rusty orange.

Spicules: None
Skeleton: Ectosome: Thin, less than 100 μm thick. Basal cavities large, separated by septa without Choanocyte chambers. Ovoid to spherical choanocyte chambers, eurypylous (with large opening) choanocyte chambers, 25-50 μm in diameter, organized around exhalant canals, and with very thin mesohyle between them. Proportion mesohyl to chambers from 0.51:1 to 1.2:1.
Distribution: Central California.
Depth: High intertidal tide pools and in sea water systems.
Note: See Muricy and Pearse, 2004.
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