Identifying Sponges

Key to California Porifera (Page 237)

( From page 235 A) Dendritic spongin fibers arise from a basal plate of spongin. Fibers may branch but do NOT anastomose. May have a special ectosomal reticulation.
[A]
Color: olive-tan, salmon pink or coral.
Primary fibers: 80 - 255 μm - no inclusions.
Cells NOT packed with purple granules.
cc237A.jpg
Aplysilla glacialis (Merejkowsky, 1878)
Sponge: Encrusting to 3 mm thick. Consistency: Soft, slippery. Surface: Conulose, conules 1-2 mm high, 2-3 mm apart. Oscula: round and scattered, 1 mm in diameter. Oscula not evident as distinct from pores.
Color: Alive: Olive-tan, salmon pink or coral.
Spicules: None
Fibers: Primary fibers: 80 - 255 μm with no inclusions and with concentric layers.
Skeleton: Ectosome: Fleshy, slimy dermis, 8 μm thick. Choanosome: Dense mass of flagellated chambers permeated by canals and dendritic fibers. Fibers arise from a basal plate, are dendritic but do not anastomose.
Distribution: Central California.
Depth: Intertidal.
[B]
Color deep purple.
Primary fibers: 80 -180 μm - packed with foreign spicules.
Cells packed with purple granules.
Aplysilla polyraphus (de Laubenfels, 1930)
Sponge: Encrusting to 5 mm thick. Consistency: Spongy, soft. Surface: Superficiallly smooth with scattered conules 1 mm high. Gives off purple pigment when collected.
Color: Alive: Deep Purple.

Spicules: None
Fibers: 80 - 100 μm, packed with foreign spicules
Skeleton: Ectosome: Fibrous reticulation in one plane. Meshes with openings 120 - 300 μm in diameter. Choanosome: Minimal protoplasm and large numbers of foreign spicules. This permeated by dendritic fibers.
Distribution: Southern California.
Depth: Intertidal to deep water.
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