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Claude Levi
Ed i tor

Pierre Laboute, Georges Bargibant, Jean-Louis Menou


Photographs and diving research

of the Ne'N Caledonian Lagoon

Editions de l'Orstom
INSTITUT FRANC;:AIS DE RECHERCHE SCIENTIFIQUE
POUR LE DEVELOPPEMENT EN COOPERATION

Collection Faune et flare tropicales n° XXXIII

paris, 1998
Preparation de copie
Yalande Cavalazzi

Maquette interieure
et fabrication
Catherine Richard

Coordination
Catherine Richard
et Elisabeth Lame

Maquette de couverture
Michelle Saint-Leger

La loi du 1er jUillet 1992 (code le la propriete intellectuelle, premiere partie) n'autorisant, aux termes des alineas 2 et 3 de
I'article L. 122-5, d'une part, que les « copies ou reproductions strictement reservees ill'usage du copiste et non destinees il
une utilisation collective .. et, d'autre part, que les analyses et les courtes citations dans le but d'exemple ou d'illustration,
« toute representation ou reproduction integrale ou partielle faite sans le consentement de I'auteur ou de ses ayants droit ou

ayants cause, est illicite .. (alinea 1er de I'article L. 122-4).


Cette representation ou reproduction, par quelque procede que ce soit, constituerait donc une contrefagon passible des
peines prevues au titre III de la loi precitee.

© Orstom editions, 1998


ISSN : en cours
ISBN: 2-7099-1354-2
AVQ nt-propos

Cel ouurage est le resu/lat d'une longue erude reolisee en collabora- Le preseFlt ouuroge est consacre aux Spongiaires ou Eponges. Ces
tion entre speciolisres de la taxonomie, de 10 chimie er de 10 biologie animaux se sont reueles de tres interessants producteurs de molecules
des Spongiaires, appartenant Cl plusieurs loboratoires de Nouuelle- originales, dont certaines ant montre diuerses et parfois puissantes
Zelande (Professeur Potricia Bergquist, Michel/e Kelly-Borges, Chris a<tiuites pharmacologiques. Cest la raison pour laquelle un effort rour
BattershiJI), d'Australie (John J-Iooper, Jane Fromont, Cliue Wilkinson), parliculier de recolte et d'etude a ete fait dons cette region du pacifique
du Bresil (Radouan Borojeuic) et de France (Claude Leui, Jean vaceJet, sud-ouest aLl la diuersite des especes est tres gronde.
Cecile Oebitus).
Ce type de liure illustre a plus ou mains un caraetere hybride. /1 ne
s'agit pas d'un gUide de terrain ou !'image prime lorgement sur le lexre,
Lorsqu'en 1976, Je pragramme d'etude de substances naturelles
ni d'une monographie scientifique. 11 permet de faire connaltre, auec
d'origine marine (Snom) fur decide et finance eonjointement par
towe la rigueur scientifique necessaire, les especes les plus carocteristiques
l'brstom et le CNRS en partenariat auec la eompagnie Rh6ne-Poulenc.
des milieux recifaux de Nouuelle-Caledonie.
il apparut rapidement neeessaire de proceder Cl une large exploration
des lagons et des recifs de la Nouuelle-Caledonie, notamment autour On 0 long temps pense que la plupart des especes marines de la faune
du cenrre Orstom de Noumea, La composition des principaux tropicale de la mer Rouge, de /'ocean Indien, des mers de l'orchipel
groupes zoologiques de la faune marine de cette region etai/. dons le indo-malais et de /'ocean Pacifique etaient largemenr distribuees dons
meiJIeur des cas, mal connue ou meme presque totalement inconnue. eet immense domaine marilime, On sait aUjourd'/lui qu'i/ n'en est rien
Apres une prospection de plus de quinze ans, /'equipe des plongeurs et que la composition specifique de la faune uarie considerabJement
Cl laquelle fut confie le soin de proceder aux collectes d'animaux, suiuant les regions. Cependont, si les especes uorient, les genres
composee de Pierre Laboute, Jean-Louis Menou, Georges Bargibant, dominants sont Cl peu pres les memes; c'est un panorama de ces
a permis le recensemenr de la grande majorite des espeees presentes genres, Jes plus fn'(juemment reneonrres dons les milieux coral/iens,
dons cetre region. aUjourd'hui une des mieux connues du. monde que nous pre-c;entons au leeteur,
tropica/' L'identificotion des especes, due aux meilleurs specialistes,
a deja perm is Cl 1'0rsrom de publier deux ouurages de la serie Nous lui opportons en oulre W1C introduction rres documentee sur Ja
"Faunes trapicales", consacres aux Echinorlermes et oux Ascidies. structure et le foncrionnemcnr rles Spongiaires, indispensable D la
O'autres sonr en prepararion. Ces liures sont iJIuslres por des photo- connaissonee de cc groupe d'animaux, donr la uariere des formps et la
graphies en couJeur prises sur place por les membres rle I'equipe de riche diuersite cles couleurs attirent le regard de tout explorateur cle la
plongee scientifique. faune recifale.

8
In memoriam
Pierrette Leui
(1924-1987)
by her strong
personality.
her knowledge
of sponges and
marine fauna and
her human qualities
has greatly
contributed to
the deuelopment of
a long collectiue
work which
began in J 976
in New Caledonia.
a work which
this book beautifully
illustrates.
F0 rewo rd

This work is the result of a long study conducted in collaboration with The present book is devoted to Porifera or Sponges. These animals
specialists in taxonomy, cllemistry and biology of Porifera from New proved to be very interesting producers of original molecules, some
Zealand (Professor Patricia Bergquist, Michelle KelIy-Borges, Chris of which showed various and sometimes powerful pharmacological
Battershill), Australia (John Hooper, Jane Fromont, Clive wilkinson), activities. Therefore, a very special effon was made to collect and
Brazil (Radovan BorojeviC) and France (Claude Levi, Jean Vacelet, study these animals in this area of southwest Pacific where the spe-
Cecile Debitus) cies diversity is very great.

Wtlen in 1976, tile researcll programme about tile marine natural Tllis type of illustrated book is more or less liybrid. It is neither a field
products (Snom) was launched and financed jointly by Orstom and guide where the picture prevails largely over the text, nor a scientific
CNRS in partnership with the Rhone-Poulenc company, it seemed monograph. It allows to bring to light the most characteristic species
necessary to explore on a large scale the lagoons and reefs of New of the New Caledonian reefs with all the scientific rigor necessary.
Caledonia, mainly round the Orstom centre in Noumea. The composi- For a long time it was thought that most of the marine species of
tion of the main zoological groups of the marine fauna in this area the tropical fauna from the Red Sea, the Indian Ocean, the seas of
was, in the best cases, badly known or even nearly unknown. After a the Indo-Malaysian archipelago and the Pacific Ocean were largely
prospecting of more than fifteen years, the team of divers which was distributed in this vast maritime area. Nowadays, it is known that
entrusted with collecting animals and was composed of Pierre SUCl1 is not the case and that the specific composition of the fauna
Laboute, Jean-Louis Menou and Georges Bargibant allowed to record varies considerably with the areas. Howe\'er, although species vary,
tile great majority of the species present in this area, which is nowa- the prevailing ewnera are nearly the same; the reader is given a general
days one of the best known in the tropical world. The species which outline of these genera which are the most ffL'quently found in the
were identified by the best specialists already allowed Orstom to coral reefs.
publish two works belonging to the series "Faunes tropicales" and Moreover, a well documented introduction gives information on the
devoted to tile Echinoderms and the Ascidians. TIlese books are structure and function of Porifera Wllich is necessary to know this
illustrated with colour photographs taken in situ by the members of group of animals whose various shapes and rich colour diversity draw
the team of divers. the attention of any explorer of the reef fauna.

9
Acknowledgements
We gladly acknowledge the support and encouragement of Orstom without whom
this project would not have been possible, especially successive Directors of the
Noumea Orstom Centre, the crews from the "Dawa", "vauban" and "Alis" ships. We
thank the Australian government Department of Ditard and the French Embassies in
Canberra and wellington, through their scientific and cultural attaches, who provided
us with funds for a series of workshops on the taxonomy of sponges in New
Caledonia.
we thank our institutions for supporting our respective participation in this project:
Australian Institute of Marine Science, Townsville; University of Auckland,
AuckJand; Queensland Museum, Brisbane; Sir George Fisher Centre at James Cook
University, Townsville; Museum national d'histoire naturelle, Paris; Centre
d'Oceanologie de Marseille; Centre national de la recherche scientifique, Paris;
National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research-Oceanographic, wellington.

11
Author profiles
Chris Battershill is a marine biologist with the New Zealand Oceanographic
Institute (NIWA), now specialising on chemical ecology, aquaculture and population
biology of sponges which produce pharmacologically interesting compounds, Over
the past decade he has worked extensively throughout New zealand, the South
Pacific, Australia, the Subantarctic and Antarctic waters looking at aspects of the
ecology of sponges, particularly recruitment patterns and responses to anthropo-
genic disturbance, and is particularly interested in rocky reef communities, both
marine animals and plants, that elicit anti-tumour and anti-viral active chemicals.
Patricia Bergquist is Professor of Marine zoology at the University of Auckland,
Auckland, Her research interest has been directed towards sponges since 1958,
having published over 100 papers, monographs and books on different aspects of
sponge biology ranging from taxonomy to molecular biology, Her particular interest
lies in using multidisciplinary approaches to study the problems of sponge systematics
and phylogeny, in particular corroborating traditional morphologically-based taxonomic
decisions with informative molecular and ecological data obtained from a diversity
of techniques,
Radovan Borojevic, Professor of Cell Biology at the Institute of Chemistry, Federal
university of Rio de Janeiro, Brasil works on cell differentiation and evolution of
multicellular systems, Principal interests in systematics are Calcareous Sponges.
Cecile Debitus, is a research officer at the Orstom Center in Noumea (New
Caledonia). The main subject of research programs led in Orstom's laboratory are
the bioactive compounds isolated from marine Invertebrates, with a special interest
on Sponges from the New Caledonian lagoon and the surrounding seamounts.
Jane Fromont is a Research Scientist and Curator at the Department of Aquatic
zoology, western Australia Museum, Perth, Australia. She has been working on
sponges in Australia and New Zealand since 1981, with her principal interests being
the taxonomy and systematics of sponges, their reproductive biology, ecology and
distribution. Jane's most recent project has been to document haplosclerid and petro-
sid species occurring in tropical Australian waters, in particular the Great Barrier Reef
region, and to investigate the role of reproductive mode (ovipar-itylviviparity) as a 13
mechanism of niche separation amongst sympatric sibling species. Author
profiles
John Hooper is Senior Curator of the Queensland Museum, Brisbane. He commenced
studies on sponges in 1981, working firstly in the northwestern Australian region,
subsequently in various parts of southeast Asia, Micronesia, southwest Pacific
islands and more recently along the length of the east coast of Australia. He is
currently attempting to comprehensively document the northeastern Australian tropical
and subtropical sponge faunas in collaboration with commercial pharmaceutical
interests, and in orchestrating a publication project to make sponge taxonomy
available to the non-specialist community. His main research interests concern the
exploration of (prospecting fOr) sponge biodiversity, particularly the coral reef and
inter-reef faunas; documenting the heterogeneity in sponge distribution patterns
throughout tropical Australasia; tinkering with ideas about the biogeography of
sponges throughout the Indo-west Pacific; and publishing on the systematics of the
orders Poecilosclerida, Axinellida and Halichondrida in particular.

Michelle Kelly-Borges is a Senior Scientist at UNITEC Institute of Technology,


Auckland, New Zealand, and is also currently a consultant to the Coral Reef
Research Foundation in Micronesia. Her main research interests lie in the reproductive
and benthic ecology of common reef sponges, the molecular, morphological and
biochemical systematics of tetractinomorph sponges, especially the desma-bearing
"lithistid" families, and sponge genome structure and characterisation. She has
extensive field experience in sponge populations from both the Caribbean and
northwest and southwest Pacific island regions, and is presently involved in the
establishment of a commercial bath-sponge aquaculture industry in Micronesia.
Claude Levi is a membre correspondant of the French Academy of Sciences. He
was Director of the Laboratory of Biology of Marine Invertebrates, Museum national
d'histoire naturelle, paris, France. He has mainly studied development, metamorpho-
sis, normal and experimental morphogenesis and taxonomy of tropical and bathyal
sponges.
Jean Vacelet is Director of Research CNRS at the Centre of Oceanology of Marseille
(Station Marine d'Endoume), University of the Mediterranean, Marseille. He has
studied the taxonomy, biology and ecology of sponges in the Mediterranean and
various tropical seas, including extensive field observations, since 1956. His main
interests are in sponge reproduction, cytology, skeletogenesis, symbiosis with
micro-organisms, the fauna of submarine caves, and exploitation of commercial
sponges (including pathology and culture), and in particular studying recent hypercal-
14 cified sponges ('sclerosponges'), relicts of the once Widespread main Mesozoic and
Sponges palaeozoic reef builders (sphinctozoans, stromatoporoids, chaetetids).
of the New
Caledonian
Lagoon
Clive WiIkinson is Principal Research Scientist at the Australian Institute of Marine
Science, Townsville. His research has focused on the ecology and physiology of
coral reef sponges on the Great Barrier Reef and how populations compare with
other coral reef regions. Specific themes are on determining the role of symbiotic
algae that occur within many coral reef sponges and how reefs are affected by pollu-
tion. Clive's current interests include reef disturbance pattems and processes.

15
Author
profiles
Introduction
Only the upper levels of the world's seas, the first fifty metres or so, are yet consid-
ered to be relatively well studied by marine biologists. In fact, our knowledge of
Earth's marine fauna largely derives from life in these zones. Even so, only rela-
tively small sections of the vast tracts of all coastlines have been investigated by
curious naturalists and scientists, and these usually include only the more poten-
tially interesting areas for our scientific explorations. Areas selected were based on
many and varied criteria, largely dependent upon particular objectives of each
study, but usually concerning such factors as the regions' physical and chemical
properties, turbulence of coastal waters, tidal amplitude, geographic location, and
origin of circulating currents.

The first recorded explorations of the marine environment were conducted on the
Mediterranean coasts. For a long time these studies were conSidered to be 'typical'
marine environments and used as references or baselines to the studies of marine
life in other localities. But, very soon, attention was captured by the coral-rich reefs
in the tropical oceans with their mega-diverse faunas, firstly in the Caribbean and
then later in the Indo-west Pacific. The intrepid naturalists of the 18th and 19th cen-
turies often reported dramatic encounters with reefs. They often illustrated their dis-
coveries with hand-prepared colourful illustrations, revealing a variety of shapes
and pastel colours. These early reports were of great importance to the develop-
ment of scientific knowledge concerning the sea, notably including the pioneering
insights of Charles Darwin from the "Beagle" voyage concerning the formation and
evolution of coral reefs.

In the early years, animals were mainly collected by walking along the beach, on
open reefs during low tides, free diving with the help of the talented indigenous
populations, or using remote instruments such as light dredges towed behind small
boats. These methods were in use for about two centuries, essentially prOViding a
random sample of marine life and slowly contributing to the grOWing scientific
knowledge of coral reefs. The main area investigated was the rich reef belt contained
within the tropical seas, including the Red Sea, Maldives, Seychelles, Indonesia and
Caribbean. Only much later did we acqUire information on the vast tracts of reefs 17
scattered across the pacific, following in the paths of the navigators. With the Introduction
advent of scuba diving and underwater photography this new world finally became
more accessible, and our knowledge of these shallow seas has since increased
dramatically.

Today there is a vast library of specialised publications concerning the biology,


physics and chemistry of the sea, but unfortunately many of these documents are
unintelligible or at best difficult to comprehend for the non-specialist audience.
There are also many popular, more general books on coral reefs, but these are
often too simple, too general, and usually only display the more obvious or spectac-
ular reef species, concentrating in particular on mobile animals. Reef fishes were the
first to attract public interest, with their beautiful colours, shapes and behaviours,
and there are now many popular books on these animals. Corals, the reef builders,
were considered only as background scenery to these mobile animals, and most of
this "scenery" remained relatively poorly known to all but specialists. Visitors to
aquariums rarely stop to contemplate a fish-free pool, even if this pool contained a
rich assemblage of corals and other sedentary fauna - it is probable that we are
first attracted by motion and not immediately by beautiful colours or curiosity as to
"what are those"?
Gradually, divers became more interested in the "scenery", and started studying the
sedentary fauna which they had at first ignored. Subsequent developments in
underwater macrophotography and more structured collection protocols eventually
produced a superb documentation of many species within these faunas. We are
slowly but surely discovering further aspects of their biology, their preferred places
to live, their roles and interactions within ecological systems, and other characteris-
tics not preViously possible before the advent of scuba. Without doubt, for this "sce-
nery" of corals and other shallow water sedentary fauna, the use of scuba has
contributed more than any other technique to our scientific knowledge.
But the submarine world is not only a showcase! AS in the aerial world it contains a
number of distinct ecosystems. In these ecosystems, such as coral reefs, the liVing
animals, plants and microbial organisms interact with each other. These interac-
tions are varied and complex. Coral reefs are large ecological systems but we now
recognise that they are composed of innumerable smaller, distinct parts or subsys-
tems, each with their own particular faunas (e.g. soft bottom habitats on the lagoon
floor, deep canals or spur-and-grooves on outer reefs with their many small caves).
Nevertheless, each discrete part contributes to the entire reef system. Similarly,
18 relationships between coral reefs and other external systems are also of major
Sponges interest, particularly areas that are now subject to increasing human impact and
of the New
Caledonian
Lagoon
threat of destruction. Coral reefs exchange products with the seas and oceans, and
in turn the oceans ultimately determine the climatic and hydrological conditions that
are essential to the reefs' continued wellbeing. Understanding the global behaviour
of such reef systems, which for example produces enormous amounts of carbon-
ates, is now recognised as being essential to a greater understanding of the major
world processes such as weather patterns, sea level changes and global warming.
To fully comprehend these systems we need to analyse the indiVidual components
- the organisms - that comprise the system, as well as determining the cycles of pri-
mary production, energetic balances and carbon flux associated with their interac-
tions. ThiS is the role of the large scientific institutions.
Prior to the early observations of Or Catala the marine fauna of the Noumea lagoon
and the coral reefs of New Caledonia were almost completely unknown, apart from
commercial species such as shells and edible fishes. Rene Catala's greatest wish
was to present the "marvels of the sea" to the public in an aquarium. TO achieve
this he required specialists to identify the most common species of the lagoon and
the most hardy species that could survive in the aquarium. His passion for this
exceptional fauna inspired many of us.
A decision was taken in 1976 by the Director General of Orstom, Professor Georges
Cam us, to develop in conjunction with CNRS a research program on marine natural
products in the Noumea region. This led to an intensive exploration of these coral
reefs and careful documentation of the marine fauna using contemporary methods,
including underwater photography. These collections of marine animals have
rapidly accumulated over the years, reflecting the exceptional diversity of marine
species now known to live here. Many scientific monographs and other publications
that describe thiS fauna demonstrate this incredible diversity. That thiS knowledge
now exists is a direct consequence of the decision to establish Orstom in Noumea.
Undoubtedly the marine fauna of New Caledonia will soon be one of the best
known faunas of the tropical world.
A group of specialists from Australia, France, New Zealand and other countries
have all contributed to these taxonomic studies, and this book is a culmination of
their efforts. Similar books on fishes, echinoderms and ascidians have already been
published for the New Caledonia region, and studies on gorgonians and nudi-
branchs are currently in preparation. The present book on sponges, or phylum
Porifera, is based on a selection of approximately one hundred species from the
many hundreds of species found in the coral reefs and associated habitats of New 19
Caledonia. AS demonstrated in this book, most of these sponges are unique to Introduction
New Caledonia. not found anywhere else on this planet like so many others of its
marine animals. Books like the present one are so important in educating the world
community about the unique biodiversity contained within isolated island ecosys-
tems. and we hope that they contribute in some way to careful management and
preservation of these unique environments.

20
Sponges
of the New
Caledonian
Lagoon
ost divers and reef explorers have undoubtedly seen these amazing,

M apparently very simple animals. They are particularly prevalent in the


upper levels of New Caledonian reefs, providing a spectacular mosaic
of diverse shapes and vibrant colours. But perhaps few people
actually knew what they were looking at. Sponges remain poorly known even today,
although people are familiar with commercial "bath" sponges mainly from the eastern
Mediterranean and Gulf of Mexico. Yet even in these commercial species only the
skeleton is used and consequently few people are aware of the structure, function
and diversity of the living sponge animals.

N.W. Lagoon. lie des Pins


(plloto C. Levl)

22 116t Canard In front of Noumea peninsula


Sponges (photo P. Laboute)
of the New
Coledonion
Logoon
Sponges are fascinating. Each sponge is composed of millions of cells and has a
unique cellular and skeletal organisation. They appear very early in the fossil record
of the history of life, and studies of both fossil species and those living today allow
us to better understand how the first multicellular animals may have functioned.
Living sponges play a vital role in filtering seawater, essential to the equilibrium of
marine ecosystems. They are generally unable to move, living more or less firmly
attached to the seabed, and consequently they have developed a variety of defen-
sive systems against various predators and parasites, including bacteria and fungi.
This is why many studies searching for pharmacologically active substances, such
as antibiotics, have targeted sponges in particular. Teams of chemists and biolo-
gists all over the world are currently studying many active compounds extracted
from these animals and the diverse tropical faunas have provided a rich source of
these compounds, some of which have already provided commercial products.

Grand recif, Passe de Mato 23


(photo P. Laboute) Sponges
This book does not attempt to provide a complete description of the sponge fauna
of New Caledonia, which is certainly five or six times more numerous than presented
here, with a large number of species collected and yet to be described. In particular,
there are many small species, often no more than thin crusts, cryptic in coral reefs
and other habitats, rarely seen during our relatively brief incursions into the lagoon.
The species described in this book represent the most common or eye-catching
examples from the various biotopes within the New Caledonia reef system.
Throughout the world's tropical oceans one may find similar species of sponges in
similar habitats, many of which are relatives of those living here, but the isolated
reefs of New Caledonia contain many unique species.

24 Canal woodin. Baie Nord


Sponges (photo P. Laboute)
of the New
Coledonian
Lagoon
~ Identification of sponges is very difficult. requiring long experience. and this is panic-
~~' , .
.,.....~.,','. ..
~
.

,.;" '.~ ,~ --".


ularly true for areas like New Caledonia and other faunas in the southwest Pacific
,

.. ,
Ocean which are still relatively poorly known,

.~~ ~,'.' '~,.~~",


--:~.
-,
. '--"-~.~~
,
-;<"
',,'
",
..
~~ .
'
•,~
... ".,.,
... - - •." It is with great pleasure that we thank those who accepted the challenge to partici-
.1);'
,"'\if, ,.' "", .' ' ~.• 1Y~,• pate in the arduous task of making this book a reality, We gratefully acknowledge
. ~.', ..\ ....,.:. " " the tremendous contributions made by Georges Bargibant, Pierre Laboute and
.,;,)1./ - ' ;..' Jean·Louis Menou. who have explored the reefs of New Caledonia and Loyalty
. ,-
.4<" ~f w: Islands for so long. Photographs in this book are testimony to their competence
-A and talent.
Outer reef slope, 6 rn
(photo p, Laboute)

Baie des TOrtues. New-Caledonia 25


(photO P. Laboute) Sponges
What
a sponge 2 .-
IS
A sponge is a multicellular, filter-feeding animal, without organised
tissue or organ systems, with a peculiar layer of collared cells or
choanocytes.

Clloanocytes in situ
(photo De vos et 01.)

Sponges are part of the benthos or benthic fauna. They live in all areas of the
marine world, from the shallow coastal seas to the deepest oceanic trenches.
About 5500 species have so far been described by scientists, but perhaps there
are three times as many more species awaiting to be discovered. They are particu-
larly diverse in warmer seas and there is a special fauna associated with coral
reefs, where a remarkable range of colours and shapes can be found. Generally
there is a lower overall diversity of species in cooler waters, although populations
of individual species may be locally abundant, but we are discovering that local dis-
tributions may be extremely patchy - abundant in one area and scarse in another -
and this is particularly true for the coral reef associated sponges.
The phylum Porifera is perhaps best known to the lay person from commercial
"bath" sponges. These useful sponges, including the genera Spongio and
Hippospongio, have been harvested by mankind for thousands of years. Their utili-
Cll0anocytes in Situ sation is still important, mainly because of the high quality of the product, even 27
(photO P. R. Bergquist)
though they have been partially replaced by synthetic sponges. Major sponge fisheries What is
a sponge?
are still centred around the Mediterranean and Caribbean although there are several
commercial or potentially commercial "bath" sponge species in the Pacific.
In the past there have been attempts to harvest commercial sponges throughout
the Indo-Pacific. with active fisheries at the turn of the century in northern Australia.
Indonesia and parts of Southeast Asia. but in all cases. so far. the Pacific commer-
cial sponges only occur in small populations and only provide a mediocre quality
commercial producT. Nevertheless. there are still some active sponge fisheries in
this region. particularly harvesting of wild popuJations in the Philippines and an
attempt at a commercial farm. culturing sponges. in Pohnpei in Micronesia. but no
such attempt has yet been made in New Caledonia. There are two potentially com-
mercial species in the New Caledonian lagoon. Spongio oustro}is and
Coscinodermo mothewsi. but these are neither abundant nor of sufficient quality to
support a wild-harvest commercial industry.
There are three major classes of Porifera: Calcarea or calcareous sponges.
Hexactinellida or glass sponges and Demospongiae or siliceous sponges.
Hexactinellida. or glass sponges. have substantially different structure and function
than the other two classes. now recognised as distinct from the other two at the
subphylum level. But most of these glass sponges live in deep waters, inaccessible
to divers. and consequently they are not dealt with in this book. Calcarea are primarily
found in shallow waters, particularly abundant and diverse in coral reefs.
Demospongiae, which represent most of the liVing species today, can be found at
all levels in the sea and also in fresh water, with large populations known from
some rivers and lakes.
Porifera have had a long geological history. Most of today'S liVing species can be
traced back directly to ancestors living in the mesozoic terrains from the Jurassic
(208- 144 million years ago) and Cretaceous eras (144-66 mya), but some can be traced
back to the Cambrian era (570-505 mya). conversely. other sponge groups that
existed during the ancient palaeozoic eras (older than 250 mya) totally disappeared
during the Permian-Triassic crisis (260-225 mya). Many fossil sponges, particularly
those with rigid-bodied composed of interlocking spicules Clithistid" sponges). show
well preserved skeletons in the fossil record. But for the most part these fossils
belong to minor groups. and most soft-bodied sponges had poor fossilisation
28 potential. Their Skeletons disintegrated before fossilisation occurred, and for many
Sponge. of these groups we lack definitive information to track their history.
of the New
Caledonian
Lagoon
Sponge
s
ponge adults are generally incapable of locomotion, although we now
know of some remarkable exceptions to this rule. Survival largely
depends on the quality of the surrounding water and the loads of sedi-
structure ments that rain down upon populations. The sponge animal obtains its
oxygen, nutrients and minerals for its skeleton from the ambient water column and
it excretes organic or mineral waste generated by its metabolism back into the
water. Since water moves continuously through the sponge its oxygen, mineral
salts and organic nutrient levels can change and vary qualitatively as well as quanti-
tatively. Each sponge species has a shape and an anatomy that is aptly suited to its
particular environment and prevailing hydrodynamic conditions. For example, in
shallow coastal waters with strong currents, surge and swell we find predominantly
soft-bodied species or flexible, whip-like growth forms that can literally bend with
the currents. In deeper waters where there is less dramatic movements of water
bodies hard-bodied, rigid sponges abound.
Porifera have a unique anatomy. Contrary to most other animals they have no
digestive tract, mouth or anus, nor any specialised organs or tissues. The sponge is
bounded on its exterior surface by a unicellular layer (exopinacoderm), composed
of special epithelial cells (pinacocytes). Some of these epithelial cells form small
external pores (ostia) through which water passes into the sponge, and others form
larger pores (oscules) through which water is expelled. Internally (the choanosome)
the sponge is excavated by water current canals, also lined by a single layer of
pinacocyte cells forming the endopinacoderm. The thin exterior layer of the
sponge, containing cells, the mineral and organic skeletons, is called the
ectosome. 'Water pumping stations' (choanocyte chambers) are found at certain
locations along the water canals, lined by special collar cells with a flagellum
(choanocytes), unique to the Porifera.
Sponges actively pump water into and out of their bodies using the differential
water pressures inside and outside the sponge. A water current is created by the
beating of many thousands of choanocyte f1agellae. Water is drawn in through the
multitude of small ostia or pores, with diameter less than a few tenths of a milli-
metre, and pumped through the water filtration system with its series of sieves or
filters of diminishing size, which serve to extract larger particles from the seawater. 29
These water canals connect directly or indirectly to choanocyte chambers, in which Sponge
structure
water slows down thus enabling the choanocytes to absorb available nutrients and
oxygen. Similarly, waste products are expelled into excurrent canals which have a
larger diameter, and finally jettisoned into the surrounding seawater through the
oscules which are larger than inhalant pores. The water flow in the inhalant and
exhalant canals varies from place to place, being fastest in the area of pores and
oscules and slowest in the areas of absorption (choanocyte region). Water circula-
tion can be further controlled by the sponge by diverting the flow into additional,
non-choanocytic chambers and sphincter-like sieves or filters, to slow down or
increase flow rates as required. Water flow can also be halted completely or redi-
rected to other parts of the body, if there is a particle overflow in the network, for
example. It is easy to observe this water flow using fluorescein injected into the
water system and subsequently ejected by the sponge. The generation of a strong
exhaled current through the oscule is important as it minimises contamination
between inhaled and exhaled water, the latter containing no food and molecular
waste of no further use to the sponge.
There is a great diversity of aquiferous systems in Porifera. Some are relatively
simple with short inhalant canals, a single choanocyte chamber and a single
oscule, but most are much more complex reflecting particular ecophysiological
adaptations. A hierarchy of complexity of the aquiferous system has its own termi-
nology asconoid, syconoid, leuconoid, from simple to complex. These various
modes of water canal systems were at one time considered to be the most impor-
tant criteria in the taxonomy and evolution of the class Calcarea, whereas it is now
recognised that these different grades of body organisation have developed inde-
pendently in several lines of calcareous sponges, now haVing little importance to
their taxonomy. In the oemospongiae all known species are of the complex (Ieuco-
noid) construction, although recent discoveries indicate that some deep sea spe-
cies lack choanocytes and associated water canal systems completely, being
instead carnivorous.
The distribution and size of pores and oscules, and the drainage canals associated
with these are frequently related to the general shape of the sponge. The morphology
and organisation of the aquiferous system often clearly reflect adaptation of the
species to environmental hydrodynamic conditions. For example, in foliose
30 sponges the pores are often on one side and the oscules on the other. In cup or
Sponges vase-shaped sponges the pores are on the external surface and the oscules are
of the New
Caledonian
Lagoon
within the cavity on the concave side. In most encrusting and massive species
oscules are placed on the ends of small stalks or conules, above the level of the
surface and away from the pores, to allow the excreted water to be flushed away
from the sponge.
Within the sponge the living 'tissue', bounded on all sides by the pinacoderm, is
called the mesohyl, which includes all the area between the pinacocyte layers, or
between pinacocytes and choanocytes, and between the canals and choanocyte
chambers. The mesohyl contains a matrix or ground substance composed of a
striated protein called collagen, an organic skeleton composed of spongin fibres,
and/or an inorganic skeleton composed of mineral spicules. Within this mesohyl
are found mobile totipotent cells, capable of changing function as required. Cell
., types can vary between taxonomic groups, although their recognition and cytological
taxonomy is still poorly understood. These cells include generalised amoebocytic
'stock' cells (archaeocytes) with large lobopods capable of active phagocytosis,
as well as many other types that have become specialised to carry out particular
functions within the sponge. Cells that produce the precursors of spongin
fibres (collencytes) have filopods; those that secrete spicules (sclerocytes) are
capable of incorporating silica or provoking a calcium deposit, and these migrate
to the area within the mesohyl where the mineral skeleton is being deposited;
contractile cells occur around excurrent oscules (myocytes). Of the many sorts of
cells in sponges, known by their characteristic shape and organelles, only few so
far have a known function or chemical structure. Attempts have been made to
use these cytological characters in a taxonomic framework but with limited
success. In addition to these native cells many species have symbiotic bacteria
and cyanobacteria which play an important role in sponge nutrition in these
species.
The distribution of cells within the mesohyl, the deposition of collagen and location
of water current canals are more or less homogeneous within the sponge. In some
massive sponges, however, it is possible to see a differentiated external layer several
millimetres thick, which contains no choanocyte chambers. This ectosomal
layer is strengthened by collagen fibrils and often also a special mineral skeleton,
clearly differentiated from the deeper choanosomal region. AS a consequence of
Matrix cyanobacleria lacking developed tissues or organs sponges also lack a nervous system, nerve 31
(photo J. Vacelet)
cells, coordination centre, head end or brain. They have only a low level of cellular Sponge
struc:ture
functional integration, such that any physicochemical information received by a cell
is transported within the sponge by contact reactions between non-specialised
cells. This process is very slow and is often localised. However. the sponge is not
completely without organisation as there is a lot of continuous local controls that
can have an effect on the whole sponge, such as contractile oscules and tempo-
rarily halting water flow.
Because they have no organised tissues or central nervous system sponges are
usually less impacted by minor damage than other animals. A sponge partially
eaten by a predator may heal rapidly, with archaeocytes migrating to the site of
damage and transforming into specialised cells as required, and normal operation
will eventually resume in this region. It is also very easy to isolate sponge cells and
let them settle individually. Within a few hours these cells will reassemble randomly
and form small spheroid heterogeneous aggregates. These spheroidal aggregates
slowly reorganise themselves and spread out to form a new sponge. This remarkable
capability of Porifera to reorganise from dissociated cells is unique in the animal
world. It is an interesting experiment to combine dissociated cells from two or more
species and watch them sort themselves out into distinct species, illustrating the
molecular specificity of cell systems, and "self versus not-self" recognition (an
important concept in human immunology). This ability to recognise "self" is a key
phenomenon in the biological evolution of multicellular animals.
There are no "characteristic" shapes in sponges. as in many other animals. The
diverse morphological shapes seen amongst sponges are relatively consistent
within individual species and are largely genetically determined. Although these
growth forms are subject to phenotypic modification, in response to prevailing
environmental conditions, with few exceptions variability in shape is relatively well
defined. That is, modifications to 'typical' growth forms in particular species are
usually still recognisable as being those species. Sponges grow by marginal
extensions in all directions, vertically off the substratum or horizontally across it.
Encrusting sponges cover the substrate, with most growth directed horizontally,
maximising surface area, whereas massive sponges. including spherical and
cushion-shaped species, have predominantly vertical growth with a greater
volume to surface area ratio. Between these forms is a whole continuum of
32 shapes, erect, lobate, digitate, cups and fans. Shape is maintained by a mineral
Sponges and/or organic skeleton. The organic skeleton is supported by collagen fibrils,
of the New
Caledonian
logoon
whiCh are always present irrespective of other components, and often also with
spongin fibres. Commercial "bath" sponges have a reticulate skeleton of spongin
fibres and once treated and cleaned of sand and other foreign particles, this is all
that remains in the commercial product.

The mineral skeleton in Porifera is composed of hydrated or opaline silica (Si0 2 ),


characteristic of the Demospongiae and Hexactinellida, or calcite (CaC0 3 ) found
in the Calcarea. There are some demosponges, previously referred to as
"sclerosponges", with hypercalcified skeletons containing both a rigid calcitic basal
skeleton as well as free siliceous spicules. During bygone eras hypercalcified
species were particularly important reef builders, as can be seen easily in the exposed
Devonian fossil reefs of central Australia (older than 360 mya). Today hypercalcified
sponges remain important contributors to the process of reef accretion, especially
in reef cave and deeper water faunas.

Apart from the relatively few living hypercalcified species sponge skeletons are
mostly composed of discrete elements called spicules, with amazing morphologies
and size ranges, and the skeletal patterns sponges construct have been used as
models of strength by many architects. Very often there is a mixed skeleton, with
spicules associated in many ways with spongin, enveloped within it, protruding
from it or completely outside of it. Some spicules are clearly functional, especially
the large ones that provide structure and strength to the body, whereas the function-
ality of other smaller spicules is often less obvious. Some sponges are able to
leave part of their skeleton behind during growth, bUilding a new one in a new area,
and this gives the impression of mobility. Other species may change from a basal
skeleton to an apical-based growth strategy. Some hypercalcified sponges have
lost their free siliceous spicules and only produce a basal, compacted, reticulate
skeleton of calcite or aragonite. Other species have only collagen in their skeleton,
lacking a mineral skeleton completely.

Sponges have a great range of both sexual and asexual reproductive mechanisms.
In sexual reproduction some species are gonochoristic with separate sexes,
with individuals producing either eggs or sperm, and some have alternating sexes
(protandrous hermaphrodites). Many sponges are OViparous, synchronously releasing
male and female gametes into the sea, where fertilisation and development are 33
external to the parent. Other species have internal cross-fertilization, whereby Sponge
structure
sperm fertilizes eggs retained in the female until they develop into ciliated larvae, at
which stage they are freed from the parent by evacuation through the exhalant
canals and oscules.
Embryonic development ends when the larvae swim, using their flagellated exter-
nal cells for locomotion. This mechanism for dispersal is probably severely limited,
given that all known larvae are short-lived (from a few hours to a few days), and
some are predominantly demersal (crawling) with a very brief swimming phase.
Larvae have been observed swimming in a spiral course: they are polarised and
rotate along their anteroposterior longitudinal axis. During this phase larvae may
first swarm and then scatter with passive dispersal in the prevailing currents.
Around the end of the swimming period larvae slow their movements and become
completely demersal. They explore the seabed with their forward swimming pole
before settling down and attaching to a suitable substratum. This metamorphosis
phase is characterised by the transformation of a polarised, ciliated, mobile larva
with no aquiferous system, to a fixed sponge with no anteroposterior axis but with
a fully operational aquiferous system. This transformation takes only a few hours.
The young, settled sponge is only about a millimetre in diameter, and subsequent
growth and survival greatly depend on the particular hydrodynamic conditions
operating at the time and other biotic factors, such as predatory grazing nudibranchs,
or competition from other organisms competing for limited space. There are many
known patterns and strategies of larval behaviour, and there are also many species
for which no larvae have yet been recorded.
Asexual modes of reproduction include internal or external budding and fragmenta-
tion. These strategies are ideal mechanisms for dispersal and recruitment in local
populations, and in some habitats, such as HaJimeda beds and other soft sub-
strates, they are thought to be predominant modes of reproduction. Thus, like
corals, local populations may consist mostly of clones from single individuals.

34
Sponges
of the New
Caledonian
Lagoon
How con you
s
ponge identifications, to be accessible to the non-specialist, must be
based on observable morphology, probably with recourse to a light

identi fy
microscope. Some morphological characters vary substantially between
widely separated populations, or those living in different habitats,
indicating no more than ecophenotypic variation within the species. Other features

o sponge? are much more consistent between individuals irrespective of their geographic
distribution. unfortunately, we are still not completely sure which of these "variable
characters" indicate population variability within a single species and which are
consistent in the evolution of species, and thus are more important in sponge
taxonomy. This variation and its relevance to species determinations must be
assessed by specialists - who appraise a wide range of characters, biochemical,
ultrastructural, ecological and reproductive - and incorporated into a classification
which can be interpreted in accessible terms.
Over recent years many advances have been made in sponge biology, providing
new suites of non-morphological characters discovered from genetic, biochemical
and ultrastructural studies. Some of these characters have been useful in supporting
or refuting current ideas on morphological-based sponge taxonomy, but in other
instances it is difficult to find any morphological characters that correspond to these
new schemes: ultimately taxonomy must somehow be related to the morphology
of the sponge to be of practical value. Consequently, most sponges are not easy to
identify, even for experts, and require specialised techniques as well as an intimate
knowledge of the morphological characters. Some of these techniques are outlined
below, including the preferred methods for collection, documentation, histological
preparation, and a brief explanation of many of the features used to identify
sponges. Unfortunately there is, as yet, no taxonomic literature that provides a
review or summary of all the morphological characters and all the major groups of
sponges below the family level of classification, although such a reference work is
in preparation. Knowledge of the vast specialist literature is still essential to effective
sponge taxonomy. There are, however, three general books that provide useful
insights to sponge classification (see Further Heading).

3S
How can
you identify
o sponge?
Scientific
terminology
It is inevitable that in a book like this, which attempts to explain complex scientific
phenomena in simple terms, some scientific words or phrases must be used.
Wherever possible these words and phrases are highlighted in bold upon their first
citation, and they are defined in the glossary at the end of the book.
Following convention, words given in italics refer to proper scientific names of ani-
mals, either derived from the Latin or Greek languages or words from other lan-
guages with latinised endings. These proper scientific names are given to every
species of animal described in the scientific literature. Each name is unique, allowing
an accurate 'tag' for any particular species. Sometimes a particular species is given
more than one name, for one reason or another, in which case the older, first-used
name is usually the valid one, and the younger names are called junior synonyms.
There is a hierarchy of names used in biological classification, starting at the bottom
with the "reproductively viable biological unit" - the species; a collection of species
with common ancestry - genus; and then the "higher taxa" - family, order, class, and
phylum. Again by convention, only the genus and species names are italicised.
Often a person's name and date follow the proper scientific name - e.g. Ceratopsion
clauara Thiele, 1898. This refers to the person who originally described the species,
Or Thiele, and the date when the description was published. Species names
become 'available' for use in biology, to 'tag' a species, once they have been
published in the scientific literature, together with a recognisable description of the
species. These data, author and date, become important to taxonomists when a
conflict arises in choosing the correct proper scientific name for a particular species
- such as when a single species has been given several names (synonyms) or
when the same name has been used more than once for different species. By
convention, when the author's name and date appear in brackets (e.g. Clathria
uulpina (Lamarck, 1814)), this means that someone has removed the species uulpina
to another genus (i.e. in this case the species was originally described by Lamarck
in th{' genus Spongia, but now appears in Clathria). The convention governing this
protocol, referred to as the International Code of zoological Nomenclature, is detailed
36 and complex, but its major, ultimate purpose is to avoid the possibility of any particular
Sponges species having more than one valid 'tag'.
of the New
Caledonian
Lagoon
Collection
MOst sponges are soft-bodied, many are fragile and colours are generally unstable
(e.g. aerophobic and soluble pigments). Many sponges are also harmful to humans,
producing physical damage (e.g. from sharp spicules protruding through the surface)
and/or with an irritating mucus and other chemicals, sometimes causing severe der-
mitis (such as Biemna hanmani). Consequently, special care must be taken when
collecting to minimise damage to both the sponge and collector. Sponges may be
removed from the substrate with a knife or chisel, preferably using protective gloves
and clothing. Although identifications are possible from small pieces of sponge
these may be less accurate and whole individuals are ideal for taxonomy.
Collections of sponges intended for identification should be accompanied by in situ
photographs and adequate documentation (locality, habitat, surface features, colour
notes, etc.). In many species both colouration and morphology may change dramat-
ically following collection and preservation, and identifications, even by specialists,
are often greatly facilitated if there are adequate colour photographs of live material.

Fixation
and
preservation
Sponges may be frozen immediately upon collection, which to a certain extent fixes
the colour, or material may be placed directly in 80-90% ethanol solution (the
sponges dilute this concentration themselves). Buffered formaldehyde is a less
preferable alternative for fixation, and should be used for only brief periods
(e.g. 24 hours), after which specimens should be transferred immediately to
ethanol. Calcareous sponges should not be fixed or preserved in formalin at all.
Sponges may also be air-dried in the sun, although many may lose their shape,
most lose their colouration (but few lose their noxious smell!). For several groups of
sponges (i.e those which have strong fibre skeletons such as the commercial 'bath
sponges'), specimens may be rotted in freshwater and subsequently washed in
Soft parts of the sponge solutions of potassium permanganate, sodium metabisulphide and hydrochloric 37
(photo J. Vacelet)
acid to soften and clean the fibrous skeleton of incorporated sand particles. How can
you identify
o sponge?
Preparation
for spicule
identification
and histology
Usually sponge identifications require two forms of preparation: one, a spicule
preparation (for those species with a mineral skeleton), to determine the structure and
geometry of spicules in the skeleton; and second, a perpendicular section through
the sponge cut at right angles to the surface to determine the structure and disposition
of the skeleton, the water-canal system, and other aspects of its 11istology.

Spicule preparations dissolve leaving only on slides have the advantage cautioned that these are
For spicule preparations the mineral skeleton. that spicules do not have to noxious. It should also be
several simple methods are The bleach must then be be pipeijed, and hence noted that the acid is
available, none of which carefully diluted and minimising the potential for evaporated rather tran
requires extensive experience eventually washed from loSing and missing burnt, so low heat is
or sophisticated equipment the spicules several times, the smaller spicules. preferable leg using
although these certainly help replaced firstly with water an alcohol flame rather than
and then with ethanol If -Acid digestion gas) Once dry and coal,
• Bleach digestion bleach is not completely This technique prOVides preparations can be
This technique is useful for removed preparations cleaner, permanent mounted immediately without
rapid surveys of spicules become crystalline. Finally, preparations, but washing. Siliceous spicules
within a sponge, although clean spicule suspensions the process involves noxious are bonded directly onto
preparations are not as are aspirated and pipeijed chemicals and should be the glass by this technique,
clean as those obtained onto a gloss slide, undertaken only with which makes it useful for
through an acid digeslion the ethanol allowed 10 suitable facilities both light and scanning
process. Sponges with evaporate, and mounted. le.g. protective clothing, electron micrascopy.
calcareous spicules are It is important to note that fume extractianl. This Alternatively, Ehrlenmeyer
routinely prepared in during each stage of pipette process uses nitric acid flasks can also be used for
this manner because acid wash the suspension should instead of bleach. Fragments acid digestion without heat,
dissolves their calcitic be left to settle for about of spange are placed in which case fragments
spicules. Small fragments of 10-15 minutes, priar to directly on glass slides lar should be left soaking in
sponge 'tissue', including decanting the supernatan!, glass cover slips for electron acid for 24-48 hours, in
portions from both to ovoid accidental micrascapyl Several drops a fumehaod, and spicule
the surface and deeper decanting of smaller of acid are placed on the residues should be washed
parts, are placed in small spicules. Using flasks for fragment, gently heated over and centrifuged as
Ehrlenmeyer flasks or directly the actual digestion process, a flame until bubbling and described above. Spicule
on microscope gloss slides. instead of slides, has all organic maijer is digested preparations obtained from
A small quantity of active the advantage that Ithis is easily ascertained by both techniques are now
bleach (sodium hypochloritel a centrifuge can be used to eyel. The heat-accelerated ready far covering using
is added to the fragment, eliminate the settling time of digestion process produces a suitable mounting medium
38 and after a short period the supernatan! Conversely, various OXides, including leg Depex, Canada balsam,
Sponges the arganic components preparations made directly nitrous oxide, and it is Euparol, Durcupon, etc.)
of the New
Caledonian
Lagoon
Sponge section cleared in a clearing agent the section, which eliminates Fragments of preserved
For sponge sections there le.g. toluene, xylene, the need for an alcohol sponges should be passed
are more complex procedures phenol-xylene, Histosol, dehydration series. Clearing through a dehydration series,
involved, using micro- lactophenol creosote, etc.l. may take between cleared in toluene, and wax
tome-sectioning ar ot leost A perpendicular section 4-24 hours, depending on embedded for at least
thick, hond-cut sections. through the surface and the extent of collagen 2 hours. Sections should be
The object of these deeper skeleton is cut from development in particular cut from trimmed wax blacks
techniques is to observe a larger, preserved species. Cleared thick so as to include both
skeletal structures and sections can be mounted the outer surface and inner
fragment of sponge by
cytological characteristics so skeleton. For most species
hand, using a new, clean directly on slides, but cover
wax embedding techniques, relatively thick sections are
scalpel or razor blade. glasses should be supported
staining and/or simple reqUired [>50 ~m), so as to
Relatively even, thick sections with glass slivers or card to
clearing agents are avoid breaking the spicules
(between 50-1 00 ~m provide an even pla~orm.
required. Several techniques in situ, but for 'keratose'
thicknessl are pOSSible using
are available, most ·Wax embedding (non-spiculaus) sponges both
hand-cuhing techniques, but
requiring specialist To produce a perfectly thick and thin sections are
success is certainly linked required. Cut sections are
histological facilities. uniform section thickness,
with practice. Cut sections and for thin sections to again dehydrated, placed in
• Simple clearing are placed directly in observe detailed cytological clearing agent far
The easiest method to a saturated mixture features such as choanocyte an adequate period to
determine the structure of ofphenol and xylene (which chamber structure, wax dissolve wax and clear
the mineral skeleton is has been matured for at embedding and microtome the 'tissue', f100ted onto slides
to use thick hand-cut sections least 1 weeklto clear techniques are required. and mounted

Sponge
identification
A simple analogy of a sponge is a flexible balloon or sac containing a gelatinous
ground substance, a roving cell population, water canals and water pumping sta-
tions, and organic and/or inorganic structures producing a definite body form. The
'simple sponge' is in fact a very complex histological unit, which even today is not
well understood.
There are many morphological characters which can be used to aid in sponge iden-
tification including shape, distribution of surface pores, colour, ornamentation of the
surface, texture, structure and composition of the organic skeleton and water canal
system, and the structure, composition, size and geometry of the inorganic skele-
ton. In addition, several non-morphological features have proven useful practical
tools in sponge taxonomy.

Shape plastiC, with individuals and and colouration depending lntraspecific genetic differences
Many sponges are thought populations potentially on a complex series of local ldines) are also associated 39
I to be morphologically I differing widely in shape I environmental conditions. I with geographic range and How can
you identify
a sponge?
populotions, and thus shope closely related Isiblingl of these pigments obtained Texture
lor hobitl is not species, and is less important and modified from the diet, To on experienced field
a porticulorly reliable as on absolute taxonomic mainly from the plankton, biologist sponge texture
absolute descriptive feature. there may be some slight often provides good clues
character. However, variability between os to the nature of
this 'problem' is perhaps populations of porticulor the skeleton and water·canal
overemphasised in Colour
species from different system inside. A sponge
the literature, and in only Certain groups of sponges
localities. Sometimes which is rubbery,
few instances have species Isuch as the Verangidal.
these differences con be compressible but difficult to
been shown to be truly hove peculiar pigments that
attributed to different tear or cut may contain no
darken upon contact with air
polymorphiC. Generally specimens having different or few spicules but 0 well
species' growth forms can laeraphobic pigmentsl. and
light regimes. Sponges de/eloped spongin fibre
be defined within others (such os many
growing in caves or system le.g. Ircinial.
reasonable limits, and used Mycalidae and Tedaniidae,
overhangs are paler than o sponge that is soft, friable
with a certain degree of order Paecilascleridal
specimens of the some and easily torn probably
caution sponge shope may produce 0 pigmented mucus
species growing in full light. has both fibres and spicules
be informative for particular that stains or irritates human
In contrast, 0 few species reduced (eg Holiclonol.
species determinations. ski". Some groups of
ore truly polychromatiC, with one that has 0 hard, stony
The range of possible sponges are characteristically
individuals, sometimes but easily crumpled texture
shapes seen in sponges is brigkly coloured
growing side by side, may lack spongin fibres
enormous, extending from le.g. Nilcracionidae, order
showing dramatic differences altogether but hove
thin encrustations to massive Paeciloscleridal whereas
in colourotion without any o closely compacted spicule
volcano shapes, finger·like others are typically drab
obvious ecological skeleton (eg Pe/ros;al.
or whip·shapes, 'golf balls', leg. Halichondriidoe, order
differences. By and large, sponges incorporating sand
fans and so on. Ho,chondridal. but there is
however, colourotion into the skeleton ore also to
genelally no complete
is 0 useful descriptar for o large extent brittle,
correlation between
species identifications, and easily crumbled and
Size calouratian and taxonomic
The size to which particular placement. Nevertheless, when used cautiously colour incompressible
specimens may grow may be these characters ore useful illustrations, os presented le.g. Chondropsisl. and
influenced by several factors, for field identifications, in this book, con be useful sponges that ore hard,
such as the individual's age, particule, h, to different'c,'e tools for field identifications incompressible, difficult to
the prevolling envirOnCfl'3ntal closely related 'iJecies, and As noted above, colour cut or break may lock
conditions (current, therefore colour notes may be fixed to 0 certain spongin fibres but have
sedimentation, light ced/or ccher photogrnphs extent in live mate 101 by interlocking spicules
availability, etc.! and of ore now considered to be freeZing specimens prior to Idesmasl. and/ar 0 dense
course particular species' essential for accurate preserving them, but most surface crust of spicules
genetic potentials. identification. The range of sponge pigments ore leg Desman/hus, Geodia)
Some species ore capable sponge pigments is alcohol soluble and The permutations are
of growing into huge volcano enormous, var (ing from colouration will be leached endless. Similarly, the texture
shapes (e.g. Xes/ospongial drab, colou',ess forms out into the preserving fluid of a sponge, the degree
whereas other closely related Iblack, beige or whitelto to a greater or lesser extent. to which it con be
species ore merely thinly very colourful species Thus, care should be token cam pressed , and ·.. hether it
encrusting on dead coral (vibrant reds, greens, when preservi ng retains its shape after it has
(eg Pe/rosial. Size is more yellows and blues, etc.! several species of sponges been removed from
important 05 0 descriptive Sponge colouration con in the same container, the water may prOVide
taxonom ic character, such often be attributed to particularly with a good indication of
05 when comparing the presence of particular the aerophobic verangids the histology and water·
40 populations of porticular carotenoid pigments, and that tend to stain 011 other canal system (the size of
Sponges species or comparing due to 0 large proportion sponges 0 dark purple colour. chaanacyte chambers,
of the New
Coledonian
Lagoon
the development of mucus production moy (slellale radiatinglleoding fibres. Spicules ore constructed
the skeleton and mesohyl in protect or even repel competi ng away from the pores. of either opaline silico or
relation to the size of woter- species, predators Surface microconules, ridges calcite, and the shope,
canals and chaanacyte ond parosites. ond undulations are common ornamentation, size, origin
chambers, and the density With experience a field feotures in many groups, ond arrangement of these
of the roving cell populationsl. biologist may also be able whereas some species spicules inside the sponge
These features are porticularly to recognise particular have characteristic, more are also important characters
useful os both field and chemical smells emitted by specialised surface processes used for classification.
laborotory characters for particular species of leg Myrmekioderma with
the orders Dictyoceratida, sponges. Not many of palygonal plates, producing Foreign particules
Dendroceratido and these aromas have yet been o pineapple-like texture, ond Mony groups of sponges
Verongida (all of which lock documented, nor has this apical pore sieve plates; incorporate foreign particles
a minerol skeletonl. feature yet been quantified, Spheciospongia with large into their mesohyl, porticularly
but there are several groups oscules on the ends of long sand particles and spicules
Mucus production of species that do have papillae poking through from other sponges, but also
and smell unique aromas (e.g. acrid the substrate; many CIa/hria including shell debris from
Many sponges produce smell of Ircinia, pungent with stellate radiating canals Foraminifera, Mollusca,
mucus: usually clear, I smell of Xestospongial Bryozoa, and filamentous
surrounding ascules;
sometimes pigmented, and Cal/yspongia and Dysidea algae. Fareign debris may

Spongin fibres some with detritus


in many cases toxic or Surface with 0 cobweb-like surface be found inside spongin
incorporated (photO J. N. A. Hooper)
irritating to the human skin. ornementation ornamentation composed of fibres, actively token into
This feature is certainly The presence and distribution fibres by 0 curious exchange
spicules or sand, respectively).
characteristic for porticular of surface pores, ridges, process whereby in some
species leg Aplysi/la microconules, stalks, digits, Organic species there is 0 complete
sullureal, sometimes protruding spicules and and inorganic loss of native spicules which
characteristic for a particular other processes are often skeletons are replaced by debris. In
genus (e.g Thorectandral, important descriptive To provide 0 structure for other species foreign
but only rarely consistent characters, and sometimes the mobile cell populations particles are found within
at the family level useful features in recognising inside the sponge, the proteinaceous mesohyl
(eg Desmacellidae, particular genera. Small the small choanocyte water of the sponge but only
with the well known toxic inhalant surface pores (ostial pumps, and the water- outside fibres, or they may
sponges Neolibularia ond are seaMered or aggregoted canals there ore often be restricted to the exterior
Biemna). Some species into clusters (sieve plales or two types of skeleton surface of the sponge only
characteristically hove poracalycesl. They may be present, both of which (sand cortexl. There are
o sticky surface when olive, confined to one side of are secreted by several groups of sponges
such os in Xes/ospongia the sponge specialised sponge cells' that are notorious in being
exigua which sticks to [inhalant surfacel, with able to organise foreign
o An organic Ispongin
the fingers when touched. the larger exholant pores particles into a 'foreign
fibre) skeleton composed
Mucus prodUCtion is (osculesl only on the other skeleton', partially or
of collagen, usually forming
particularly common in side (exhalant surfacel. This completely replacing
stronds. The construction of
interlidaltropical species is sometimes seen in vose- the 'native skeleton'
the fibres themselves,
and may serve a physiological or cUfFshoped species (egDysidea,
the paMerns they form, and
role in protecting le.g Xes/ospongial. Oscules Hyrtios, Phoriospongia,
the material contained
(eg. coalinglthe sponge may be raised on stalks Psammoclemma,
within the fibres are
when exposed to the sun and Ifistulesl or flat against the
important characters used in
CIa/hriopsamma) .
air. Certainly some sponges surface ond often have a These so-called
classification
literally drip mucus when surrounding membranous lip, arenaceous sponges ore
exposed to the sun during which mayor may not be oAn inorganic (spiculel usually easily detected in

I ~o~can
3pongin fibre
low tides (e.g Cla/hrial, but contractile, with or without mineral skeleton found the field by their harsh,
phOtO J. vaceiet)
probably more importantly subsurface drainage canals within and outside spongin sandy texture.
you identify
a sponge?
Skeletal structure the mesenchyme of higher skeletal architecture
Structurally the sponge may multicellular animals!, recognised lalthaugh
be divided into two maiar including the water current combinations and
skeletal regions: system. Bath spicules and intermediate farms of these
spongin fibres may be may also occur!.
- The outer surface of
the sponge lectosome, present in the chaanosome, I Branching and rejoining
dermis or cortex) bounded although one or bath may network Ireticulate!,
by a single layer of be lost in same groups. producing regular triangular
epithelial cells on Traditionally the chaanosamal meshes [isodictyal rericulatel
the external surface. In same region near the periphery is or quadrangular meshes
groups there may be called the subeetosome. (myxillid rericulatel
a specialised skeleton on The patterns in which 2. Repeatedly branching but
the surface [the ectosomal the organic and inorganic not rejoining (dendriricl
skeleton!, composed of bath skeletons grow are
3. Diverging, expanding,
or either spongin fibres and informative at all levels of
spicules. but not branching
sponge taxonomy and
[plumosel.
-The inner region of generally useful in
the sponge (choanosomel their identification. A special 4. Diverging, simply
terminology has been concentric (radial).
includes all organic partians
of the sponge inside produced to define S. Disorganised
Perforated ostial surface of ectosame, with renieraid (isodicryal) tangential surface spicule skeleran
the epithelial cells (mesohyl, this range of skeletal structures, cri ss-crossed spicule
(photo P. R. Bergquist)
comparable to with several categories of [halichondroidj

ThiCk sponge cortex. with spherasters embedded in ectasame


42 Reticulate spicule skeleton and perforate ectO$ome
(photo P.R. Bergquist) (photo J. N. A. Hooper)
Sponges
of the New
Caledonian
Lagoan
Spongin fibres not this spongin was "sclerosponges", but is now
and filaments deposited evenly interpreted as a grade of
In several orders of sponges Ihomogeneous fibres) or construction lound within
the mineral skeleton has periodically Istrotilied fibresl both Calcarea ond
been last completely, and Demospongiae. The species
Sponges with heavy
lar these groups fibre concerned le.g. As/roscleral
spongin fibres, often termed
characteristics are importont usually live in coral reefs
'horny' or 'kerotose'
in their classification. In and their calcareous
sponges, belong to
other groups, where there is skeletons contribute in a
the orders Dictyocerotido,
both spongin fibres and minor way to the overall
Dendrocerotido ond
spicules, the latter may be accretion of these reefs.
Verongido. The most simple
portiallyor fully contained fi bres are homogeneous in o Spicules
inside the former, and thus cross section without These are classified according
the skeletal architecture is o centrol core [or visible to five major criteria:
predominontly dictated by pithlle.g. Spongia!.
the form of the organic 1 Chemical composition -
whereas the most'complex'
These may be silicate or
skeleton. In some groups fibres are stratified in cross
calcitic, indicating division
(e.g. some Hoplosclerida) section, composed of
between the classes
there ore no fibres but concentric rings of protein
Demospongioe
spicules ore cemented I'bork'!, with on optically
ond Calcarea.
together with granular diffuse pith in the centre
collagen. Mostly, though, of eoch libre 2. Spicule size -
spongin fibres are useful le.g. Aplysinal. Intermediate larger spicules, called
in identification. forms are also common, megosderes, contribute to
Spongin fibres vary both in such os Iaund in species the skeletal fromework within
o hierarchy of size and of Thorec/a with slightly the sponge, whereas smaller
construction. Three size stratified [laminated) fi bres ones, microscleres,
categories of fibres are Inot bark-like!. are packed between tracts
generolly recognised with 0 granular pith. of megoscleres, supporting
[primory, secondory, tertiory the soft parts. Spicule sizes
fibres!. sometimes Mineral skeleton are essentiol criterio in
differentiated by both size, The inorganic or mineral defining species, in some
construction, and skeleton is traditionally examples providing the only
the moteriol contoined the most important feature easy clues to distinguishing
within eoch type of fibre. for identifying sponges. related species, whereas
In addition to these fibres Th is skeleton moy consist of absolute spicule dimensions
some groups hove collagen a fused, coral-like basal are less important at higher
filaments (eg Ircinio!. skeleton and/or individual taxonom ic levels.
which are long, thin, components called spicules
3. Spicule fusion -
convoluted, terminally o Basal skeleton Most spicules ore free within
swollen collagenous Some groups of sponges the mesohyl or bound
structures dispersed within secrete 0 secondory, together by the orgonic
the mesahyl. colcareous Ihypercolcified!. skeleton, whereas some are
Several other classes of fibre spicular bosol skeleton, in characteristically fused
construction are recognised, addition to free siliceous or together, producing
based an the amount of calcitic spicules. This feature an interlocking or articuloted
spongin protein deposited was once considered skeleton. These spicules
44 when the fibre was diagnostic for a class of consist of rigid monospicular
Hypercalcified I)asal ('sclerosponge') skeleton
(photo J.N.A. Hooper)
Sponges secreted, and whether or sponges known as skeletons composed of
of the New
Caledonian
Lagoon
Plumose ectosome (exterior), reticulale choanosomal
skeletons (inlerior) (photo J.N.A. Hooper)

Plumose skeleton. witl1 embedded detrilus


(photo J.N.A. Hooper)

Irregularly reticulate spongin fibres nnd embedded spicules


(j,I,olo J.N.A. Ilooper)
Radial chonnosomal skeleton
(photo J.N./\. HOOper)
ReCtangular reliculate skeleton
(phOtO J.N.A. Hooper)
43
How can
you identify
a sponge?
modified triaxons los in the fibres, scattered within
the Calcorea order the mesohyl and/or iust
Murrayonidal, or special below the surface I, and
spicules called desmas 105 echinating spicules
in the Demospongiae (or accessory spicules,
polyphyletic order lithistida) poking through the fibres,

4. Spicule distribution - perpendicular to theml.


Only few groups of sponges
localisation of spicules to
hove 011 four categories of
porticular regions is
spicules.
o relatively common
phenomenon. These include 5. Spicule shope or
Oxea Style ectosomal spicules geometry - - There is
(photo J.N.A. Haoper) (photo J.N.A. Hooper) lor cortical spicules, found on extremely diverse range
on the surface of the of shapes known for
spongel, principal the phylum, and this is
spicules (forming the maior probably the single most
structural trocts, or found importont choracter in
exclusively inside spongin the current system of sponge
fibresl, auxiliary spicules toxonomy. Even in 0 single
(or interstitial spicules species there may be many
located outside sorts of spicules.

Microscleres

Meniscoid or sigmoid microscleres include 0 diversity of CUfYed,


symmetrical and asymmetrical spicules (cheloe and sigmosl

Monaxonic microscleres include spicules with only 0 single axis and


one or two rays

Asterose microscleres ore tetroxonic, with more than one axis and
more than two rays.

Megascleres

Number of central axes (oxonsl: monoxonic spicules with no more


than two rays Ipoints of growth); triaxonic spicules with three
perpendicular axes; telraxonic spicules with lour rays, each with 0
central axis

Number of rays lac~nesl: monac~nal spicules hove one ray with


asymmetrical ends [I.e the spicule is secreted by one or more cells
commencing at one end and finishing at another); diactinol spicules
hove two rays, with symmetricol ends Ii.e. the spicule is secreted in
both directions by one or more cells, commencing at the centre);
Typical spiculation of rhe poeciloscterld family Microcionidue: macrosclen os: sublylosryles, acanrhosubtylostyles and
microscleres: isochelae and toxas (photo P,R Bergquist)
tetrarnnol spicules hove more than two rays. 45
How can
you identify
a sponge?
Acanlhoslyles Acanlhoslyle 5lrongylc
(phOlO P.R. BergquiSI) (pholo J.N.A. Hooper) (phOlO J.N.A. Hooper)

Verticillate acanthostyle
(pll0l0 J.N./\. Hooper)

Tylole
46 Acanlhoxea
(phOlO P.R. Bergquisl) (pholo J.N.A. Hooper)
Sponges
of the New
Caledonian
Lagoon
~ ...
c C ..
0
"
.
:l! c
Cl)
to-. ~
lI::I'
:>
0
:t >-
. &.
0
Palmate Isochelae palmate isochelac
(photo P.R. Bergquist) (photo J.N.A. Hooper)

Arcuate anisochela
(photo P.R. Bergquist)

48 palmate anisochela
(phOtO J.N.A. Hooper)
Sponges
of the New
Caledonian
Lagoon
Anchorate isochela Arcuate isochela
(pl,oto P.R. Bergquistj (photo J.N.A. Hooper)

ArCuate isochelae Palmate anisochela


(photO P.R. Bergquistj (photo P.R. Bergquist)
49
How can
you identify
Q sponge?
Toxa Birotulate isochela Forceps
(photo J.N.A. HOOper) (photo J.N.A. Hooper) (photo J.N.A. Hooper)

Bipocilla isochela
50 (photo P.R. Bergquist)
Sigma
(photo J.N.A. Hooper)
Sponges
of the New
Coledonian
Lagoon
:': '.:~\\ ,"1,.Lt.
',(;.'
',I'
.' ,

,.:'.-.~\~','/'; ..
.".::---:.'
.=---.. ~. . \'". ' .-~
. -
.....
,.-..-,ttUI'." ..:-...~-...
"/~
.r1',!'~~~' ~~
, ':t
·J/O~I~
11,'i ~ ~
~
20um
Anlhaster euaster Oxyspheraster Anthospherasler euasrer
(photo P.R Bergquist) (photo J.N.A. HOoper) (photo J.N.A. HOOper)

Spiraster
(photo P.R Bergquist)

Oxyaster euaster
(photo J.N.A. Hooper)
51
How can
you identify
a sponge?
TriaCfines. tetractines. diactines and sphaerule-like microdiactlnes
(pholo J. vacelel)

Diactines and telraclines


52 (phOtO N. Boury-Esnault)
Sponges
of the New
Caledonian
Lagoon
Cytology leg cells with inclusionsl, Several reproductive taxonomic descriptions,
have so far been found 10 characters have been although sadly they
Several cytological
be of limited value, possibly important in the detection of are lacking from most of
characters hove been
because they are still cryptic Sibling species, such the earlier literature
instrumental in providing
documented for only as whether laNae are that described many of the
further understanding of
few species and poorly brooded within the parent known species.
the relationships within
understood. or gametes are broadcast These dolo are most useful
the Porifero, particularly at
into seawater, and at the species level,
higher taxonomic levels.
Larvae and the periodicity of spawning with proven success
Foremost amongst these are
reproductive strategy events. For example, in differentiating living
choanocyte ultrastructure
sympatric populations populations of closely
[including the presence, lONoI morphology is known
of closely related species related (morphologically
absence and position of for only relatively few
of Xestospongia were similarl species when
the nucleus within species, but in these cases
found to have markedly it is not always possible
the choonocytel, and il appears 10 be 0 consistent
different reproductive to do so from preseNed
the distribution of character useful for sponge
strategies, possibly seNing specimens.
choonocytes and shope of taxonomy
as a mechanism for niche However, it is still difficult,
choonocyte chambers laNal shape le_g solid
separation (so-called or impossible in some
le.g. spherical, sac-like or parenchymello, hollow
Parenchymella larva sympotric speciation). cases, to reconcile many
elongate and branching). omphiblostulol, pollern of
(photo P.R BergquiSt) Some of these characters
The characters have been ciliation leg partial, of the older nineteenth
have also been used at
particularly useful in complete) and mode of century species descriptions
higher levels of classification,
describing relationships locomotion le.g_ swimming with living populations,
particularly oviparity versus
between the 'keratose' or versus creepingl are all and clearly thiS is one
viviparity, although
aspicular sponges, and useful descriptive features_ of the moior challenges
our knowledge of such
more recently in resolving Mode of reproduction, facing sponge biologists for
strategies is still incomplete.
taxonomic problems including sexual and years to come.
amongst the Calcarea. asexual modes, has been Th is present book goes some
Other cytological characters, particularly useful in
Ecology way towards dOing this for
such as the possession developing taxonomic Ecalogical data are the prominent sponges in the
of particular cell types hypotheses for sponges_ I essential
in modern sponge New Caledonian lagoon.

Partially ciliated parenchymella sponge larva


with bare posterior pole (phOto P.R. Bergquist)
53
How can
you identify
a sponge?
The role
s
ponges play important roles in the biology and geology of coral reefs:
they contribute to reef construction, which is a role they played more
prominently in geological times; they are amongst the most active
of sponges agents in coral reef destruction, due to the boring activity of a few
species; and they play a unique role in the food chain of a coral reef.

In carol reefs
Sponges as
Reef Builders
The role sponges play in reef construction has changed considerably throughout
geological time. In present seas the framework of reefs is mostly built by the
scleractinian or stony corals. Sponges now play a minor role, because the mineral
content of their skeletons is relatively small compared to the soft parts, and
generally spicules and fibres are dispersed after death. The situation, however,
was very different in the Paleozoic and Mesozoic periods when many sponges had
solid calcium carbonate and/or siliceous skeletons that remained as stable fossils.
These sponges built impressive reefs up to several hundreds of metres thick.
'Sponge reefs' were actually the dominant structures in some periods, such as the
early Cambrian (about 550 million years - MY; with the calcified archaeocyathids),
during the Permo-Triassic (290 to 210 MY, with calcified stromatoporoids, chaetetids
and other 'sclerosponges' being the major constructors) and during the Jurassic
(2 10 to 140 MY; with siliceous 'lithistids' and hexactinellids) The bulk of these
sponge reefs were made of calcium carbonate, like the current coral reefs
around New Caledonia. We know that the ecology and morphology of those
ancient reefs differed markedly from current reefs, but there is no way to determine
if they were comparable to the magnificent reefs growing around New Caledonia
today.

The major construction role of sponges in ancient reefs was overlooked until
recently. It is only since the 1970S that the sponge identity of these major reef
builders has been confirmed. Previously it was considered that all fossil calcified
organisms were ancestral corals, until 'liVing fossil' relatives were found deep within 55
caves on modem reefs and in some deep ocean habitats. Some of these 'living fossils' The role
of sponges
occur on New Caledonian reefs, but are generally difficult to find. Two species,
Astrosclera wiJleyana and Acanthochaetetes weJlsi have been included because of
their evolutionary significance.

Why the construction role of sponges diminished after the Jurassic remains a
mystery. However, it appears to be coincident with the time that corals acquired
their symbiotic zooxanthellae. The corals appeared to have a distinct advantage
because they were able to grow faster with the greater supply of energy from the
symbionts and, hence, lay down more skeleton.

Although sponges are no longer major reef builders they do continue to play a
significant role in reconstruction processes on coral reefs. Sponges are important
because they can consolidate fragmented coral rubble, especially broken coral
branches, by holding the pieces together prior to the rubble being cemented in
place by a combination of chemical and algal processes. Another important func-
tion is the infilling of cavities of the reef framework by the fine, silt-sized sediments
that are produced by boring (excavating) sponges.

Sponges
and Reef Destruction
One important function that sponges play on coral reefs results from the ability of
some species to bore into (bioerode) coral skeletons and weaken the calcium car-
bonate framework. These specialised sponges spend most of their lives within the
solid calcium carbonate and spread by burrOWing through the skeleton. Species of
the Families Clionidae and Spirastrellidae bioerode skeletons of both living and
dead corals, making them more fragile, and at the same time producing large quan-
tities of silt-sized sediment (50 to 70 IJm diameter). Sponges are the most important
bioeroders of corals, although cyanobacteria (blue green algae), fungi and poly-
chaete worms are significant during the early stages of erosion of new corals.
Parrot fishes and sea urchins play a major role in breaking down the outer surfaces of
corals in the process of graZing on encrusting algae. Most bioerosion of living corals
originates in the dead parts of the skeletons, particularly at the base of branching
56 staghorn (Acropora) species, such that they become more fragile and susceptible to
Sponges breakage during storms. ThiS reduces the vertical growth of corals and results in
of the New
Coledonion
Lagoon
the production of much coral rubble, but also assists in the reproduction of some
coral species, because many of the fragments re-attach and continue to grow.
Frequently the multiplication of corals by fragmentation is more important than
sexual reproduction in occupying the bare space that occurs after storms.
The production of rubble and fine sediment is important in the reef consolidation
process. The rapid upward, but loosely structured, growth of corals is transformed
into more gradual, but solid formation of reef rock as the rubble and fine sediment
become incorporated into the reef framework. These fine sediments are particularly
important as they both fill in all the gaps and also pack tightly, like setting concrete.
Sponges play a significant role in promoting the upward growth of reefs, which is
approximately 4 cm per decade. Therefore reef growth is a dynamic process of
upward growth, erosion and breakage followed by infilling, with the sediment and
rubble being consolidated by algal and chemical cementation.

Role of Sponges
in Reef Food Chains
The importance of sponges in coral reef ecology depends on both the abundance
and their activity as filter feeders. Sponges are able to filter enormous volumes of
water while removing almost all of the fine food particles.
The abundance of sponges on coral reefs varies considerably, depending on the
location of the reef. In general, populations of obvious sponges in the Caribbean
are much larger than those on Indo-pacific reefs; an average of five times greater
(whereas in the numbers of species the Indo-Pacific is much more diverse, possibly
also by a factor of 5). In New Caledonia, populations on reefs in the lagoon are
comparable to those on the Great Barrier Reef. but the populations on the outer bar-
rier are much smaller. The size of sponge populations on Pacific reefs is a direct
reflection of the amount of food material in the water. This is probably why
sponges are far more prevalent and diverse on the 'dirty' water reefs on the west
coast of Australia than in the relatively 'clean' waters of the Great Barrier Reef.
Similarly, on the Great Barrier Reef, sponge populations on reefs near the land are
about four times greater than populations further out in clean water. On some oceanic
reefs of the Indo-Pacific region, sponges are often rare and small, such that they 57
would play a relatively minor role in reef ecology. The role
of sponges
Around New Caledonia, sponges vary considerably from the large populations of
sponges in the lagoon, which may be spectacularly shaped or coloured, to sparse
populations on the outer barrier reef. Surveys were conducted aboard the Orstom
research vessel ALlS in 1989 around the Grand Isle and on one reef in the Loyalty
group of New Caledonia. Sponge biomass at 20 m depth on reefs facing the ocean
was generally less than J 0 glm 2 with I or 2 sponges per m 2 as compared to a
range of 100 to 600 glm 2 and 3 to 6 sponges per m 2 on the Great Barrier Reef. In
the lagoon of New Caledonia, however, populations were five to ten times larger
and comparable to many parts of the Great Barrier Reef.
It is possible to find sponges in all areas of a coral reef, where there are stable hard
surfaces for larvae and fragments to attach, and where the waves and currents are
not too strong. Sponges also occur on some unstable surfaces such as in the
lagoon, where they can settle on small lumps of coral or shell or amongst the sea
grass beds. Here, many species often do not attach, but can be found rolling
around with the gentle currents like 'tumbleweeds' of the prairie (e.g. Reniochalina
condylia, PseudaxineJla debitusae, Higginsia tanekea, Raphoxya sytemma, Acarnus
caledoniensis, GrayeJla papjJJosa). Sponges are rare on the exposed parts of the
reef front, particularly in depths less than 10 m, where strong wave action appears
to limit their distribution. Populations are larger on lagoon and back reef slopes
where turbulence is less, but where there are still sufficient currents to ensure the
supply of food and removal of wastes. These habitats are probably more advanta-
geous because organic food produced by corals and algae on the reef front is often
carried back across the reef. Sponges are often the most prominent animals
between 15 m and 50 m. Exploration by submarines hundreds of metres down the
deep slopes on the front of reefs has shown that this habitat is a paradise for
sponges. unfortunately, the beautiful deep cliffs of New Caledonia are rarely visited
and remain poorly known.
Sponges play a role in the food chain of coral reefs by recycling much of the dead
organic matter. Sponges are efficient filter feeders on the small-sized food fractions,
being able to remove approximately 99% of bacteria from seawater, as well as dis-
solved organic matter, such as sugars and amino acids. It has been estimated that
in the Caribbean (Jamaica), where sponges are much more abundant than in New
58 Caledonia, the sponges between 25 and 40 m on the deep slope are able to filter the
Sponges complete water column above them every day, removing almost all of the particulate
of the New
Caledonian
Lagoon
food material of plant and animal origin. After the sponges have digested this
material, the waste nitrogen in the detritus is converted to ammonia and nitrate,
providing a large proportion of this fertiliser for the growth of reef algae.
It seems likely that populations of sponges may act as indicators of pollution, from
either farming or sewage, because sponge growth is usually enhanced when there
is more organic matter in the seawater. This is becoming evident in the lagoon
immediately adjacent to Noumea, where there appear to be more sponges and
possibly increased rates of burrowing into live corals by the clionid sponges. Many
large coral colonies are dying, because of 'attack' by these boring sponges, which
are probably benefiting from increased amounts of food matter.
Many coral reef sponges in the Indo-Pacific region use the same strategy for living
in clean, low-nutrient (oligotrophic) waters as do corals, i.e. they host symbiotic
algae in their tissues to assist in tile input of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorous.
The major difference is that sponges harbour bacteria-like algae (cyanobaeteria or
blue-greens), whereas corals have more complex, dinoflagellate symbionts
(zooxanthellae). The one major exceptions are the boring (bioeroding) species,
which also have zooxanthellae symbionts (Cliona orientalis, p. 91; Spheciospongia
inconstans, p. 92). The enigma is that in corals, the zooxanthellae assist in building
coral skeletons, whereas in these sponges, the zooxanthellae probably stimulate
the destruction of these skeletons. The major benefit that all of these symbiont
algae provide is energy in the form of organic carbon to supplement the small
amounts of food filtered from clean, coral reef waters. The content of these algae
varies markedly between species. Some sponges have relatively few algae, and
these can be seen as a dark red-brown skin on the exposed surfaces. These
sponges obtain only a small amount of additional nutrition to supplement that
gleaned from the water (an example is xestospongia bergquista, p. 154). There are,
however, some specialised species that obtain most of their nutrition from their
symbionts - these are called phototrophs (food directly from photosynthesis). Such
sponges are particularly prevalent on reefs of the Coral Sea and on the Great
Barrier Reef, whereas they are rare on Caribbean reefs. Around New Caledonia,
phototrophic sponges are represented by Cymbastela concentrica from the lagoon
and the encrusting oysidea herbacea throughout the region.
Sponge populations are generally constant and unchanging. We know very little 59
about low predation in sponges on Indo-Pacific reefs, and the sponges are usually The role
of sponges
slow-growing and long-lived. In the Caribbean, hawksbill turtles (Eretmocheles
imbricoto) are major predators on sponges and probably are significant predators
on sponges in the Indo-Pacific region. Fishes, molluscs (especially nudibranchs),
starfish, plus many small reef animals will occasionally feed on sponges. While
large predators may be absent, there are often large popu]ations of small predators
living on and in sponges. If you cut a large sponge open, there is usually a large
assortment of small animals living inside. Therefore, the sponge appears to serve
as a hotel, sheltering many small mobile animals. Little is known, however, of the
relationship between the 'guests' and the 'host' sponge. Some of the guests may be
using the sponge as a safe haven, whereas others could be feeding directly on the
sponge tissue or stealing food as it comes into the canals.
Throughout the long period of sponge evolution, it is probable that sponges have
evolved mechanisms to prevent predation and competition. Some of these involve
the production of many compounds, which may be distasteful, thereby deterring
other animals from feeding, or the compounds may be toxic to potential predators.
These compounds have recently attracted the attention of scientists in the search
for drugs against human diseases or agricultural pests. This has led to considerable
interest by Orstom, which is concentrating on sponges in the search for drugs to
combat cancer, and diseases like AIDS and the common cold. The discovery of
some compounds, which have such useful activity has stimulated much interest in
the taxonomy of sponges and has been at least partly a catalyst for the production
of thiS book.

60
Sponges
of the New
Caledonian
lagoon
The
s
ponges and the chemicals they produce are now attracting substantial
interest globally, both from scientists and the general public as their
application as pharmaceuticals and other exciting products becomes a
fascinating reality. New Caledonian sponges as for other tropical reef faunas are rich
sources of these compounds which are new to science. Orstom scientists together

world of with international collaborators are at the forefront of this growing research area.
Sponge chemistry has two major focal points at the present time, marine natural

sponge products research, where the search is for compounds which have biological
activity, often of an anti-tumour or anti-viral type, and research which seeks to
determine the pattern of occurrence of metabolites which can be used in sponge
chemistry classification. Both these investigative themes are relatively new and out of them
has developed the study of allelochemistry or chemical ecology of sponges.

and Research into the chemical structure of secondary metabolites of sponges is not
new however, as discussion of novel sponge metabolites and their taxonomic distri-

chemical bution dates from studies commenced in the 1940S. It is only over the last twenty-
five years however, that research into novel chemicals which exhibit biological
activity, in particular those sUitable for applications as pharmaceuticals, has been

ecology extended from the traditional terrestrial sources to the sea. Sponge metabolites
discovered thus far exhibit a high incidence of anti-viral, anti-tumour, anti-fungal,
anti-microbial activity and activities which modify immune responses. Today the
potential applications of natural products from marine sponges to medicine and
industry are seen to be vast. Indeed, there is a number of compounds already in
commercial use and others approaching the final phases of drug development.
Commercial development of most of these compounds as drugs, industrial biocides
or anti-foulants is however often hampered by the complex nature of the chemicals
themselves, many of which cannot be synthesised economically with present
technology, and many of the compounds are highly toxic in human systems.
The novel metabolites now known from sponges range from very simple to
extremely complex molecules which exhibit unusual chemical arrangements. Many
of the compounds are halogenated and some have double bond configurations
that can be difficult to reproduce synthetically. It is known that certain structural
types of sponge metabolite occur in certain sponge families or orders. Hence targeting 61
of particular sponge groups assists in the search for new chemical variants and it Sponge
chemistry
and chemical
ecology
has become important that taxonomic and chemical programs proceed together.
Particular bioactivities are known to correlate with eco-morphological characteristics
and ecologists also have a role in this now multidisciplinary undertaking.
Research involving such multidisciplinary teams is well established in New
Caledonia based at Orstom with assistance from international collaborators. To
highlight this effort, the discovery of a new anti-tumour compound, Girolline (or
Girodazole), from the sponge CymbasteJa canthareJla has provided strong impetus
to the research effort in marine natural products carried out at Orstom and focused
interest on New Caledonian sponges. In recent summaries of marine natural
products work carried out at Orstom, a wide range of biological activity has been
demonstrated for New Caledonian species. Sponges constitute a major target
group for this programme as it was found that sixty-nine percent of all sponges
screened elicited biologically active metabolites (226 species submitted for anti-
microbial activity and cytotoxicity bioassay). ThiS compared with 14% of al1 other
phyla combined being active (120 species representing most other groups of
marine invertebrates). This is one of the highest rates worldWide. For example,
Australian, New Zealand and American data suggest that not more than 40% of
sponges screened yield bioactive extracts. New Caledonian sponges also exhibited
a high incidence of ichthyotoxicity and immunomodulatory activity (38.3% of
sponges possessed ichthyotoxic compounds and 20.6% immunomodulatory com-
pounds compared to 3.0% and 5.5% respectively, of species with this activity from
all other phyla submitted for screening at Orstom).
It is possible that many of the marine metabolites which are of pharmacological inter-
est may be used by the organism in the natural environment as chemical defenses
to prevent overgrowth and predation. Much of the chemical ecological research to
date aims at addressing this possibility and has focused on sponges. Already
Bergquist and co-workers have discovered evidence that leads them to think that the
presence of bioactive metabolites and the degree and type of activity exhibited
should be highly correlated with microenvironmental biological and physical condi-
tions influencing each sponge indiVidual in situ. Different ecological roles have been
proposed for metabolites which have different types of activity. These hypotheses
have been developed by examining the occurrence of bioactive metabolite producing
62 species from a range of habitats from the tropics to Antarctica and contrasting the
Sponges associated physical and biotic community differences between various habitats.
of the New
Coledonian
Lagoon
It was originally assumed that species from the highly diverse tropical reef communities
would demonstrate the highest incidence of biological activity in extracted metab-
olites as "chemical warfare" and competition for space was deemed to be most
severe for tropical encrusting invertebrates. Early works produced data which
supported these ideas as high numbers of active compounds were discovered from
tropical species. In fact these results reflected the intensity of work within the tropics
as an equally high incidence of bioactive species has now been reported from
temperate and polar regions of the world. In situ and laboratory experiments
designed to test these chemical ecological hypotheses still remain to be done.
The increased awareness of the potential of marine biological resources, most of
which remain as yet undiscovered, has highlighted the need for nations to become
aware of biological diversity and the importance of conservation of these
resources. Given the present success in finding novel chemicals with potentially
valuable biological activities, there is now intense effort to collect representative
specimens from as many different parts of the world as possible and from as many
different phyla and habitats. This has focused global attention on biodiversity and
the need to ensure that the loss of marine habitats and the species within those
habitats, is halted. AS with the search on land in rainforests for plants and other
organisms which may yield compounds for pharmaceutical applications, so it is
with marine environments. It now appears likely that many species do not have the
wide distributions preViously assumed to be characteristic of marine organisms
which have potentially long larval life cycle stages. In fact the opposite is the case
and most progeny of marine invertebrates and vertebrates alike, settle near
parents. These factors together with the increasing impact that pollution and non-
sustainable fishing techniques are having on tropical reefs have caused many envi-
ronmental agencies and researchers to signal a need for habitat protection in an
effort to conserve present biodiversity. As the immediate supply of bioactive com-
pounds for assay and development is likely to be obtained directly from natural
sources, there is a clear need to gather information about the distribution and abun-
dance of organisms at the species level to provide accurate systematic information
and to permit sustainable development.
AS mentioned above, many sponge natural products are complex making artificial
synthesis impossible or uneconomic. Although harvesting from the wild can some- 63
times supply extracts in sufficient quantity for testing drugs, often the rarity of host Sponge
chemistry
and chemical
ecology
organisms precludes large-scale collections. Consequently, the need to supply
compounds of interest in order to continue testing and development of potential
pharmaceutical products has led to research into other modes of sponge biomass
production. Mariculture techniques, essential to the development of a marine natu-
ral product industry, are being evolved with molecular genetic manipulations and
cell culture development remaining options for the future.
It is central to much research on marine chemistry to establish whether the sponge,
its symbionts or both are responsible for synthesis of the metabolites of interest. Once
again this area of research is developing qUickly and has led to many ultrastructural
and fractionation studies of sponge cells and their microflora. Recent evidence
suggests that in many cases, it is sponge cells themselves which are responsible for
the synthesis of the novel compounds. Some sponges have massive concentrations
of cyanobacteria and other microorganisms in their tissue and in some, metabolites of
algal origin coexist with compounds synthesised by the sponge.
It is important to stress that the success of any research into marine natural product
chemistry, chemical ecology or biogeography and biodiversity assessment relies
on credible biosystematics. Accurate identifications and descriptions of species are
essential to all disciplines.

64
Sponges
of the New
Caledonian
Lagoon
Sponge
W
hy do sponges live in some places and not in others? How do
sponge patterns of distribution compare to those of other phyla,
such as corals? And what is the relationship between the sponge
diversity, fauna of New Caledonia and those of adjacent provinces? These
questions concern the study of biogeography, and they involve a very complex

distribution mosaic of many factors: some concerning physical and chemical features of the
sea, the seabed, and currents surrounding New Caledonia; some with the biologi-
cal features peculiar to sponges, including their ecology and evolution; and others
and are related to the ancient geological history of this region such as movements of
the seabed. unfortunately we cannot yet adequately answer many of these sorts of

biogeography questions because we still know so little about sponge biology, ecology and evolu-
tion. However, there is some eVidence and we do have many ideas.

To understand patterns of distribution in the species liVing today, and why these dif-
fer from other types of marine invertebrates, we firstly need to understand the fea-
tures associated with sponge dispersal, recruitment, survivorship and growth rates,
and the availability of particular habitats in which to grow. Similarly, to develop ideas
about the biogeographic relationships between adjacent sponge faunas we must
examine the palaeontological and historical affinities of the species themselves.

Dispersal
potential
Some phyla of marine invertebrates, such as hard corals, have pelagic larval strate-
gies that enable many species to disperse across wide areas of the Indo-west
pacific. In other phyla, such as echinoderms, larval strategies can be either demer-
sal or pelagic, with corresponding major differences in the dispersal abilities and
particular distributions of the species concerned. conversely, we suspect at this
stage that gametes and larvae of most sponges are relatively short-lived (usually
less than 24 hours longevity), and during thiS time larvae have only a brief swim-
ming phase after which they become demersal, creeping across the substrate.
Consequently most sponges are thought to have very limited potential for disper-
sargassum and limestone platform sal, restricted to short ranges, supporting our current ideas that regional popula- 65
(photo P. Laboute)
tions have high levels of species endemism, being isolated from adjacent faunas. Sponge
diversity,
distribution ond
biogeogrophy
Sexual reproductive products are undoubtedly effective in recruitment of reef
sponges, over Sllort distances and short periods of time. However, it is suspected
that asexual (clonal) modes of dispersal are Widespread, particularly in tropical
sponge populations, where adult sponges fragment into small pieces of tissue (called
propagules) and reattach. Pelagic rafting of sponge fragments is thought to be
minimal, but this is not yet certain. From our limited knowledge the longevity of
propagules is variable and possibly not extensive, in which case the potential for
rafting may be limited to very few species, if any. Similarly, there appears to be
very little mixing between deeper water and shallow water populations, and it is
unlikely that sponges can migrate across major depth contours. Consequently, we
currently think that the dispersal of sexual reproductive products and asexual
propagules may be effectively blocked by wide oceans and deep water barriers, so
that shallow-water populations of sponges surrounding islands like New Caledonia
may be truly isolated and species consequently evolve into new forms over time.

Conversely, there are other species of shallow-water sponges, possibly up to 5% of


species, that have relatively wide distributions throughout the Indo-west Pacific - or
more accurately, populations of some species from widely separated, isolated localities
do not appear to differ from each other in their morphology. However, there is not
yet any chemical or genetic data to confirm or refute these ideas concerning
conspecificity of Widely distributed populations. Interestingly though, many of these
apparently Widespread species are associated with the specialised coral reef fauna,
and it is speculated that perhaps these may have some special ability to disperse
over longer distances (e.g. through asexual methods), but there is still very little
empirical support for this idea.

Survivorship
and growth
Soft-bodied sponges are susceptible to breakage and fragmentation through natural
causes (storms, currents), with fragmentation probably a predominant mechanism
for local recruitment of shallow-water species. Predators including fishes and turtles
are also effective in dispersing fragments within the local area, altllough it is not cer-
66 tain what proportion of these fragments remain viable once voided by the preda-
Sponges tors. Their fixed, sedentary lifestyle does not enable sponges to actively evade
of the New
Caledonian
Lagoon
predators. Nor do many have adequate physical protection such as an armoured
surface, although some are thought to be capable of defending themselves using a
diverse array of noxious chemicals. These chemicals are also possibly active
agents in competition for space against other sedentary animals, such as corals
and ascidians.
Growth rates have been documented for a number of species, and are generally
slow in comparison to other sessile marine invertebrates. This is at least partially
due to the fact that most sponges are heterotrophs, obtaining their nutrients from filter
feeding suspended particles in the water column. Heterotrophic species may be
efficient in surviving high silt, high energy environments, like those found on the
floor of the coral reef lagoon with strong current and high sedimentation, but they
are poor competitors against the fast-growing autotrophic (phototrophiC) reef building
corals. In clear waters corals utilise nutrients produced by the photosynthetic activities
of their symbiotic zooxanthellae. There is also a special fauna of autotrophic
sponges that obtain some of their nutrients from the photosynthetic by-products of
symbiotic cyanobacteria (blue-green algae). Like reef building corals these autotrophic
sponges grow relatively quiCkly, being the dominant sedentary organisms in some
clear water reef habitats (e.g. reef flats), but this fauna has a very restricted distribution
confined to shallow, clear waters. Consequently, the mode of nutrition and the
presence or absence of symbiotic microorganisms clearly influences the competitive
advantage that a particular sponge may have, and where it can effectively grow
and survive.

Habitat
availability
Sponges are generally not evenly distributed within all habitats. Some sponges are
Widely distributed throughout adjacent habitats and are called opportunistic or
generalist species, whereas the greatest diversity of species appear to be 'special-
ists', having very strict ecological requirements (e.g. only found in HaJimeda beds; on
shallow-water beach rock; burrOWing into mud; bioeroding dead coral; reef-bUilding
coralline species, etc.). Within any coral reef system, like New Caledonia, there are
many different habitats, and thus patterns of species distributions are generally 67
heterogeneous or patchy, largely determined by the presence or absence of these Sponge
diversity,
distribution ond
biogeography
habitats. In some cases particular habitats are absent from some reef systems com-
pletely, with the consequence that some specialist species are absent from the
entire reef system. This heterogeneity may be at least partly explained by different
geological histories of different reefs, reflected in major differences in reef geomor-
phology. It also has serious conservation implications, whereby the erosion or
destruction of particular habitats may exterminate the speCialised species, in which
case their genetic resources are irretrievably lost to the system.

Biogeographic
aHinities
In addition to these complex patterns of habitat distributions and the particular
ecological requirements of species is an historical aspect that also influences species
distributions. This is the early geological and biological history of the seabed, coast-
lines and past environmental conditions in these regions. What is the geological
history of the region, what are the present patterns of sponge distributions, and how
are these related (i.e. where did the ancestors of these living species come from)?

Geology and
oceanography of
the New Caledonian region
Past geological and climatiC events are considered to be the main reasons why
New Caledonia has an exceptionally high diversity of living plants and animals,
both terrestrial and marine, many of which are unique to this region.
New Caledonia, as we know it today, is a small emergent land mass that is part of
a much more extensive ridge, the Norfolk Rise. This ridge sits on one edge of the
huge Indo-Australian tectonic plate which terminates on its eastern side at an 8 km
deep trench near Vanuatu. About 80 million years ago this plate was once part of
the larger, ancestral, Gondwana continent, containing the fused land masses of
present-day Australia, New Zealand, Antarctica and parts of New Guinea and South
68 America. Although most of the Norfolk Rise is now under water, much more of it
Sponges may have been emergent from the middle of the Mesozoic era (from 175 MYA),
of the New
Caledonian
Lagoon
where its life forms were capable of dispersing widely across Gondwana. or
around the circumference of its shallow seas. During this time (the Late Cretaceous.
85 MYA). the earth was also virtually circled by a broad. tropical Tethys sea. with
the only barriers to sponge dispersal being the great distances between adjacent
land masses. This Cretaceous sponge fauna was relatively similar across the broad
expanse of the Tethys Sea. at least compared with the many different faunas found
in Recent seas.
The subsequent drift of continents and spreading of the sea floor over many millions
of years tore apart the austral land mass. and together with substantial volcanic
activity there were ridges pushed up from the sea floor. new islands and island
arcs emerging or submerging from the seas. and continents and coastlines were
reshaped into their present day forms. These events also produced the closure of
the once-contiguous Tethys Sea. isolating the sponge fauna initially into two com-
ponents (lndo-west Pacific and Atlanto-east Pacific regions). and later into many
more smaller regions with their own peculiar currents and climates in which separate
sponge faunas began to evolve in isolation from each other.
New Caledonia itself is one of the older land masses of the tndo-Australian plate.
thought to have been emergent the entire time since the Cretaceous. and was pro-
duced by uplifting of a ridge through collision of three separate blocks or arcs on
this plate. These islands subsequently became isolated from the other fragments of
the Gondwanan supercontinent through the formation of the Tasman Sea and Coral
Sea. thought to have occurred from spreading of the seabed. This geographical iso-
lation restricted or perhaps completely blocked the recruitment of many species
from adjacent land masses and their coastlines. New species of animals and plants
subsequently evolved from these now isolated. once Widespread ancestors
through the mechanisms of natural selection and adaptation to the particular envi-
ronmental conditions now present on these islands and their coastal seas.
During the Tertiary period (60-1 .6 MYA). when New Caledonia became increasingly
isolated from other land masses. there were also marked global changes in climatic
conditions and sea levels. and local effects produced by changes in ocean currents
around New Caledonia obViously influenced the biological development of these
areas. In particular. cycles of glaciation. with associated fluctuations in sea levels.
undoubtedly had profound effects on the formation of marine habitats (such as the 69
development of reef structures). and biogeographic patterns (such as opening or Sponge
diversity,
distribution and
biogeography
closing passages that might act as routes of dispersal and faunal exchange
between permanent land masses). Similarly, during this period there were several
periods when temperatures changed substantially, particularly during the Eocene
(58-37 MYA), Miocene (24-5 MYA) and Pleistocene (1.6-0.1 MYA) eras, partially due
to the gradual northwards movement of the whole Indo-Australian plate into the
tropics but also to the periodic events of glaciation and consequent sea level
changes, and changes to sea circulation as a result of opening or closure of major
passages between land masses.
It is these tectonic processes of rifting, drift, uplifting, isolating and the subsequent
oceanographic and climatic changes which have influenced the development of the
living sponge fauna of New Caledonia. Nevertheless, this fauna may not be completely
isolated, with some marine species still continually migrating into thiS region riding
the sea currents or perhaps rafting on the surface of the sea attached to other floating
objects. The biogeographical histories of marine invertebrates are especially
influenced by the dispersal of these 'foreign invaders'. For some groups of animals,
such as reef-building corals, continual colonisation from adjacent provinces is a
major feature of present day distributions. Conversely, for animals like sponges
with apparently more restricted means of dispersal the present day distributions
may be influenced less by 'invasion' than by subsequent evolution of the once
widespread ancestors. In fact both mechanisms are true, as will be shown below.

Present patterns
of sponge distribution
and abundance
Within the New Caledonian lagoon ecosystem and its outer reefs and deeper
waters surrounding these reefs it is estimated that there may be up to 600 species
of sponges. So far, however, we only know the identity of about half of these, and
it is likely that many of the others are new to science (undescribed). Generally,
including all the described species of sponges from all habitats, most (71 %) are
unique (endemic) to New Caledonia, whereas only a smaller proportion also lives in
adjacent waters surrounding neighbouring land masses. A few species (perhaps 5%
70 of the fauna) may be truly widely distributed within the Indo-west Pacific region,
Sponges apparently closely linked to the distribution of coral reefs.
of the New
Caledonian
Lagoon
Actual proportions of endemic species may vary greatly between different groups of
sponges. Some species are obviously capable of maintaining relatively widespread
distributions, perhaps due to more successful dispersal mechanisms of their
reproductive products. These include several species of xestospongia. in the
family Petrosiidae. which are very Widely distributed in shallow waters throughout
the Indo-Malay region. Other groups of sponges. such as Mycale and Clathria. both in
the order Poecilosclerida. have many hundreds of species in shallow-water habitats
within the Indo-west Pacific. Only few of these are truly Widespread. suggesting that
their ancestors colonised these coastal waters and subsequently speciated in them
relatively successfully.
The sponge fauna of New Caledonia is also clearly stratified in relation to different
depth distributions. There is very little apparent mixing between deeper and shal-
low-water faunas. and each of these faunas has distinct biogeographical relation-
ships. These two faunas are considered separately.

Deeper-water species Recently, 0 remarkably rich thought that the living and some crustacean
fauna of desma-bearing 'Iithistids' from New groups, which also hove
Although there ore
sponges l'Lithistida') was Caledonia hove evolved numerous "living fossils"
undoubtedly mony more
described from the deeper from this ancient Tethyan
deeper-woter species Many deeper-water,
waters of the Norfolk Rise, fauna, unchanged in their
(>400 m depthl yet to be 50ft-bodied [non-lilhislidl
discovered in this region, to the south of the island. morphology over the 80- demasponges from New
our knowledge of this founo These 'Iithistids' are firm' 100 million years that they CoIedania are similar 10
is relotively good, thonks bodied sponges with rigid hove been separated. That those that lived during the
largely to the work of interlocking skeletons formed these lithistids now exist and Late Eocene fauna
Orstom, in comparison to by desma spicules, are isolated, 'relict' species 158-37 mya) of New Zealand.
adjacent provinces, such os producing 0 relatively good of 0 once widely-dispersed This evidence comes from
Australia, New Zealand fossilisation potentiallunlike founa 0150 suggests that comparisons between these
and other southwestern many of the soft-bodied oceanographic conditions in living deeper-woter
Pacific islands (where fewer speciesl. This fossil record these deeper waters may be populatians and isolated
comparable deeper-water gives us the ability to similar to those of ancestral fossil spicules in uplifted
sponge faunas hove been compare species living seas, and these conditions sediments from southeastern
investigated I. ApprOXimately today with those that lived in are relatively stable New Zealand. The New
72% of deeper-water the more diverse Cretaceous compared with the more Caledonian and New
sponges are endemic to the fauna, during the time of the transitory shallaw-water Zealand papulations were
New Caledonian region, Tethys Sea. Fossil 'Iithistids' habitats of the lagoon. This probably in contact prior to
and we already hove some (from western Europe) show ideo is confirmed by the this time but hove since
good ideas on their remarkably close relict distribution of other become isolated by
biogeographical resemblance to living groups in deep waters off geographiC and/or
relationships, supported to species from New New Caledonia, such os oceanographic barriers os
some extent by Caledonia, certainly related crinaid echinoderms, indicated by the high 71
palaeontological evidence. at the generic level, and it is bryazaans or lace corals proportion of endemiC Sponge
diversity,
distribution and
biogeography
species in both faunas species in the literature, when the relatively small, highly each other in small but
In addition, comparisons described from several competitive shallow-water significont morphological
between these deeper-water localities. Nevertheless, there habitats than in mare stable features. In some cases
sponges from New is some recent evidence from deeper-water environments. these findings hove genetic
Caledonia and populations three families of Some species found in the and chemotaxonomic
of living species from the demosponges that provides New Caledonian Iogoan supporting evidence,
bathyal zone of the Azores, some information on po~erns are also known to live in but much still remains
western Atlantic, show that of species distribution and southern New Guinea, to be done in solving
although species endemism faunol relationships. These several islands in these questions
is exceptionally high they data come from studies of Micronesia, southern IHooper and Levi, 19941.
are clearly similar in their living populations from widely Indonesia and the Great The existence of many
generic composition, separated provinces within Barrier Reef, indicating that endemic species in New
supporting the ideas that the Indowest Pacific land not there is currently, or has Caledonia, and
deeperwater sponges, at merely reliant on the recently been, genetic marphological comparisons
least, are morphologically sometimes misleoding contact between these between these species and
ultraconservative and hove descriptions in the literaturel. dispersed populations. their closely related sister
clearly evolved from widely Generally, there appears to Conversely, relatively few of species from adjacent
distributed Tethys Sea be for fewer (about 45%1 these shallow-water species provinces, lells us that 0
ancestors. endemic species in the also live in New Zealond. certain degree of genetic
shallawwater fauna, Some species [perhaps 5%) isolation now exists between
Shallow-water species although this number con appear to be very widely these populations and other
In comporison to the deeper- vary for particular families of distributed across the Indo- shallowwater faunas of the
waler spange fauna we still sponges Iperhaps indicating west Pacific, although this Indowest Pacific. These
know relatively li~le about the their greater or lesser observation is based on shallowwater sponges
shallowwater species of potentia Is for dispersal or morphological interpretation appear to hove c1asest
New Caledonia, even differences in actual ages of and not genetic data. I affinities with, and hove
though this fauna is much porticular speciesl. The However, several probably evolved lram,
more diverse and may be taxonomic campasition of contemporary studies species that originally come
found in many varied habitats shallow-water species also indicate that these 'widely from the tropical western
throughout the extensive clearly differs from the distributed species' of Pacific Icentral west Pacific,
lagoon system and outer deeper-water fauna, with shallow-water sponges may southwest Indonesia,
reefs. Our current ideos on some families highly be far fewer than previously Philippines, Japon). This
shallowwater species successful and extremely recognised in the ofder suggests that these shallow-
distributions and their diverse in shallow literature, sometimes quoted water species probably
biogeographical relationships environments but poorly os 15-20% of species. colonised the coral reef
are mostly speculative, and represented in deeper Closer examination of some habitats around New
there is virtually no waters, indicating li~le or no of the cited cases of Caledonia only relatively
carroborative genetic mixing between 'cosmopolitan' or 'widely recently, unlike the deeper-
palaeontological evidence. In both these faunas. It is likely distributed' species show water fauna that has been
fact, in many cases we that there are much higher that they consist of two or in place during the islands'
cannot even be certain that rotes of speciation and more isolated [allopatricl northward migrations over
we are deoling with the some evolutionary divergence in sister species, differing from millions of years

72
Sponges
of the New
Coledonion
Lagoon
Order Family
Clathrinida Clathrinidae I Clathrina sp.

hese calcareous sponges have a skeleton composed exclusively of free

T
External
spicules, without hypercaleified non-spicular reinforcements or spicule tracts. and anatomical
Characters
Spicules are usually regular triradiate, with the rays and angles between The sponge is formed by
the rays being equal, and sometimes include parasagillal or sagittal triradiate thin hollow tubes, copiously
spicules. The basal system of tetractines is similar to a triactine bearing a fourth ramified and anastomosed.
Each tube nos a thin wall,
actine perpendicular to the plane of the basal system. Young sponges may have whose inlernal surface is
only triradiate spicules. Choanocytes have a peculiar structure with the spherical lined by chaanacytes, and
nucleus of the cell in the basal region, and the basal body of the f1agellum is not the external port is sustained
by a simple layer of Iriac·
adjacent to the nucleus. Larvae are entirely ciliated hollow blastula (coeloblastula). ; tines. The wall is regularly
I pierced by pares.
Dimensions
ITubes diameter: 1,5-2 mm.
Colour
I Bright yellow.
Skeletal Characters
The Iriacfines are
equiangular and equira'
diate, with cylindric ocfines,
somewhat irregular at their
distal parI.

Ecology and Habitat


I 25-30 m. Canal Woad/no

Distribution
Yet unknown. This sponge
belongs to the group of
Clalhr/na clathrus (Schmidtl
and Cia/hr/no ourea
Barojevic & Kloutau
Delailed genetic studies will
be necessary to identify it at
the species level and
determine its relationship
with other species of
the same group.
74 ;al11rino sp.: Canal woodin. 28 m
Sponges (photo li. I:larglballl)
of the New
Caledonian
Lagoon
Family Leucaltis clathria
Leucaltidae Haeckel, 1872

External Colour
and anatomical Pale pink to white in life;
Characters white to yellowish grey
Sponge a clathrate mass of in alcohal
large, ramified and
anastomosed tubes, with Skeletal Characters
numerous oscula at the end Corticaltriaclines,
of the tubes. Texture firm, equiangular, actines
friable. Surface even, shiny. 400·600 ~m x 30·50 ~m
Cortex, 0.4 mm deep, Corticaltetraclines, aclines
maintained by tongentially 800-1200 ~m x 100-150 ~m.
disposed large triactines Reduced choanosomal
and tetractines. Choanosome and atrialtriactines and
maintained by the apical tetraclines, regular to
ray of the corticaltetractines. porasagittal, actines
It is composed of elongated, 30·70 ~m x 2·3 ~m
ramified choonocyte chambers
and a central atrium, both
Ecology and Habitat
witha reduced skeleton of
Abundant in Canal
small triactines and letractines
Woodin and
Dimensions Banc Gail, 26-40 m.
Tubes 2·5 mm in diameter,
building a mass of Distribution
10 to 15 cm. I Ci rcumtropical
Leucalris clurhria Haeckel: Canal woodin, 22 m 7S
(photo G. Bargibant) The Calcareous
Sponges
Family Ascaltis grisea
Leucascidae (Dendy and Frederick, 1924)

External Dimensions
and anatomical Approximately 10 cm in
Characters I maximum length.
Sponge mossive,
Colour
forming lorge folds,
brittle and harsh.
I White in life, grey in alcohol.

The external surface is Skeletal Characters


regular, with very small Equiangular and equiradiate
inhalant pores. triaclines, larger in the
The large flat atrium external surface skeleton
has 0 smooth brilliant (1 31 ~m x 15 ~mL and
surface, with large circular smaller in the internal
openings of exhalant moss of the sponge
cavities. The sponge is (98 ~m x 10 ~ml
covered by 0 continuous Tetractines with the basal
AscoJriS grisea (Dendy and Frederick): Canal woodin. 36 m thin cortex sustained by system similar to triactines,
(ph010 G. Bargibant) trioclines. and 0 thin apical ray
The aquiferous system is 11 08 ~ml protruding into the
composed of anastomosed central cavity of the tubes.
Caution: on the photo, Ascoltis grisea irregularly arranged
Ecology and Habitat
is the massive sponge in the center. clathrate tubes, sustained
The photo includes 0150 another Calcarea by 0 thin skeleton of
I Canal Woodin, 26-36 m.

76 forming small tubes, which is probably triactines and rather rare Distribution
Sponges leucoltis clathria. tetractines. IAbrofhos Islands, Australia.
of the New
Coledonion
Lagoon
Family Leucetta chagosensis
Leucettidae Dendy, 1913

External the larger exhalant conals.


and anatomical Smolltriactines: aclines
Characters 100-180 ~m x 12-20 ~m,
A massive, subspherical or bend in the spicules
pyriform sponge with surrounding the oscular
o smooth surface. Large margin. Large triactines,
oscules, 1-2 mm in located only in the corticol
diameter, are surrounded by skeleton: conical
an elevated margin. aclines up 10
Subcortical cavities often 600 ~m x 50 ~m
visible. The consistency is Tetractines: basal aclines
compact, firm, but friable. 60-120 ~m x 8-1 2 ~m,
apical actine thinner.
Dimensions
Maximum diameter Ecology and Habita.t
Iapproximately 10 cm I Common in the lagoon

Colour Distribution
Yellow in the living stale, I Indo-Pacific.
I white in alcohol.
Possible Confusion
Skeletal Characters Leuceffo microrophis
Equiangular triactines of [Haeckell, also present in
vorious sizes, lying New Caledonia, is more
tangentially in the cortex irregular in shape and has
and irregularly scallered giant Iriactines lactines up 10
throughout the choanosome. 2 mml, which are found
A variable number of both in the cortex ond
tetractines surround throughout the choanosome.
Leucello chogosensis Dendy: Canal woodin, 36 m
(photo G. Bargibanl)

77
The Calcareaus
Sponges
Order Family Sycon gelatinosum
Leucosoleniida Sycettidae (Blainville, 1834)

.~I"~"- _.~.-n
• ,._.r
. ~,', ;~ .8. .- <'-. . ... \, "'" ..h..-..'
-!i';(
, . . ·.
'.' ;'. ~
• .".; . .".;r-

hese calcareous sponges have a skeleton ,"


,
.. ' __ •
. "i •. f '
!.:.'
I
I!!!I#),
J

~ .....
·r·'·
.<t-. ,
~ ~.
. . ,

•. ,.'
. " ,'
,

T composed of only free spicules, which are


diactines, triactines or tetractines. The latter
two categories are sagittal, or only rarely nearly regular.
.
,

.••
('f1-j.~ ~~
: ·:--'i.'"
•--1
.r'-

...~.
~..""~,,,.
il.·-&
. • ~.
,- ....

,' "',=,::'" .
,.
I ,..

" • • :. ~.
. '!Y

.. \"",,-'
:

'.'
I

:,;!".:; .>. ..... .,... "i'>'ik j"','.'


The larva is an amphiblastula, with a flagellated anterior . ' , .' ":0.... ....... ,:I: ..
rr(."'-' f.: • ~"''\..
pole, and a non flagellate posterior pole. The first r~. ~.:'
~:~ .... ~~,.,"..,.. ' ~
\V1;"::"~P' #

"-;'-' ~
'. , -
.,.
, .'
,.-
'. ~l:~" ..... .• '. ,- .s'.~;."':~l
spicules to be produced are diactines. The choanocytes
are generally elongate, with an apical nucleus. The
basal system of the flagellum is always adjacent to the
~ ,, y . . I
. ,,:~.' .Jf1": ' .

I. •
-,'

• .... _.;tl! .
.- f)'
.
nucleus.
r .
"I •

.'

I~
' -", .. •
.' ::;j..,-,'
4.. ,
-/.,-......

Sycon geJatinosum (Blainvitlel: canal woodin, 25 m


(photo P. Laboute)

External the distal cones of radial the wall of the tube is Skeletal Characters in its portion adjacent
and anatomical tubes form a regulor thinner. The sponge wall is Triactines sagittal, with to the centre of the spicule
Characters hexagonal pattern on the composed of regularly equal actines (80 ~m x I 0 ~ml.
Sponge tubulor, external surface of the arranged radial tubes that 170 ~m x 10 ~ml. Alternatively, they con be
branching, 2.5 cm high sponge. Each tube has a end in distol cones, or with the unpaired actine of equal thickness,
with 0 short peduncle cylindrical central atrium, protected by very dense tufts longer than the paired irregularly bended ar curved
104 cm) The cormus into wh ich protrude of distal dioctines. ones! 122 ~m x I 0 ~ml 1176 ~m x 10 ~ml
is formed through regulor the lorge apical octines of Atrialtetractines sagittal,
ramification of the major the atrial tetractines, cUNed Dimensions with apical actine Ecology
basal tubes inlo Ihe smaller towords the osculum The individual tubes are ! 147 ~m x 10 ~m) much and Habitat
apical ones. They ore occaSionally long approximately I cm long longer than the basal ones Common in the
A single osculum is found enough to attain the central and 0.3 cm in diameter, 160 ~m x 10 ~ml New Caledonia lagoon,
at the end of each tube, port of the atrium and reach bUilding an arbuscle of Up Diactines of distol cones of especially in Canal
ornated with a short fringe those arising from to 2.5 cm. radial tubes of very irregular Woodin, 26·30 m.
of trichoxeo. the opposite side of size and shape,
Surface regulor and smooth. the atrium. The atrium is Colour The proximal actine can Distribution
78 The terminal tufts of dense slightlyenlorged in the Yellowish·brown in life and be thinner than the distal Indian Ocean,
Sponges short diactines that ornate subosculor region, where I after fixation. one, which is often enlarged Indonesia, Australia.
of the New
Caledonian
Lagoon
Family Leucascandra caveo/ata
Jenkinidae Borojevic and Klautau, 1998

External The atrial surface is curved in the direclion


and anatomical sustained by only rore opposite 10 Ihe unpaired
Characters tangentioltetracfines, acfine. Smaller triacfines of
The sponge has 0 form of orienled like the corfical o similar form, unpaired
rather loose meshwork ones. The choonoderm acfine I 08 ~m x I 0 ~m,
composed of delicate tubes, forms rather shallow folds, paired acfines
the lorger ones up to I cm delimifing coveoli of 176 ~m x I 0 ~m. Large
in diameter. The smaller and approximotely equol depth tetracfines with the basal
thinner tubes (in general no and Width, giving 10 the system similor to large
more than 2 mm in choanoderm 0 honeycomb Iriacfines, and the apical ray
diameterl rise ospect The choonosome shorter than the basal ones.
perpendiculorly from folds ore sustained by small Small triacfines of
the large ones; they ore subatrialtriacfines. Ihe chaanoderm
ramified in their dislal port, The paired acfines ore folds with 0 straight
and only occasionally slighlly curved to fit inlo unpaired actine, and paired
anastomosed, bearing on the woll of the caveoli, actines curved in their distal
osculum at the end. embrocing the basis of each port in the right angle with
The wall of the tubes caveolus. Each caveolus the unpaired acfine; 011 the
is thin lup to 0 2 mm, opens directly to actines are
surrounding 0 large alriuml. the cenlral alrium. of the some size
It is sustained by 0 stronger 178 ~m x 10 ~ml.
Dimensions
cortical and 0 thin atrial
skeleton. The cortex has
I Up to 25 cm x 25 cm. Ecology and Habitat
Common on the east coast
o confinuaus layer of Colour of New Caledonia,
triacfines and lelracfines, Brown in life, white in 15·40 m.
orranged parallelly, with alcohollalcohol is stained
the impaired acfine placed green by algal symbionts). Distribution
longitudinally, and
I New Caledonia.
the unpaired angle open Skeletal Characters
towords the oscule. Large triacfines of Possible Confusion
The opicol acfine of the external wall with Leucosolenia lucasi and
the corficol tetracfines o straight unpaired ocline Leucasalenia stalontrer,
crosses the sponge wall ond 1382 ~m x I 0 ~mL with from Australia; both hove
its distal port is free in o widely open unpaired diacfines in their skeleton,
the otrium, slightly curved in angle and the paired and different forms of Leucascondra cuueo/oro Boroje\'ic and Klaulau, poindimie, 30 m 79
Ihe direcfion of the osculum. acfines (264 ~m xl 0 ~ml Iri· and lelracfines. (pholo P. Laboulel The Calcareous
Sponges
Order Family Cinachyrella tenuiviolacea
Spirophorida Tetillidae (Pulitzer-Finali, 1982)

pirophorids, or golf-ball sponges. have a typically

S spherical growth form, with tetraxonid (triaenes)


megascleres and large monaxonid megascleres.
usually oxeas. producing a radiate pattern. Protriaenes are
most common and often protrude from the surface, forming a
prickly felt-like layer. Microscleres are contorted microspined
sigmaspires. Reproduction is oviparous without a larval stage,
or Viviparous with production of small, perfectly formed
sponges within the parent. Common genera are CinachyreJla
and ParotetWa.

External Characters Dimensions spicules and


Subglobular shope, slightly Height 20-60 mm, the surface is rough.
OVOid; higher than wide. diameter 20-50 mm; The megascleres of
These massive sponges poracalyces the radial skeleton ore
often open up and split to 2-5 mm diameter, mostly 2.5-3 mm long oxeas
display their internal 3-5 mm deep. and 4 mm long
structure, mainly after being protrloenes with three short
Colour clods. Anatriaenes with very
pulled out of the water.
Pinkish brown in situ, short clods con also be seen
At the apex longitudinal
exhalant canals merge in
I reddish brown in olcohol. in the ectosome and in the
o compound oscule. wall of the paracalyces.
Skeletal Characters
On the surface, near Sigmaspire microscleres
Skeleton rodial, with
the maximal diameter, 8- 12 ~m chord length
columns of spicules
are found in variable
numerous apertures are radiating in 011 directions
concentrations throughout
sconered. They ore shallow, from 0 sort of central
the skeleton.
wide and evenly distended nucleus, located near
in situ at night; they con be the sponge basol anach- Ecology and Habitat
collapsed during the day ment, to the surface. Found under the rocky
and often not very visible. These tracts of spicules overhangs, Belep Islond,
These inhalant apertures bend, which is how 5-10 m depth.
with reticulated membrane, the skeleton gets its
called porocalyces, ore spiralled shope, ending up Distribution
82 the entrance vestibules tangentiol to the surface. Heron Island, Great Barrier CinachyreJla renuiuiolacea (Pulitzer-Finali): I. Belep, 6-10 m
Sponges for sea water. There ore protruding IReef, and New Coledonia. (photo G. Borgibant)
of the New
Coledonian
Lagoon
de ~amily Cinachyrella schulzei
Spi rophor ida TetilHdae (Keller, 1891)

External Characters numerous anotrienes, with


Hemispherical or intervals between them. All
subglobular sponge. bundles radiated from
Surface covered by fine a centrobasal "nucleus",
yellow sond, mingled with very dense. There are
the projecti ng part of protriaenes near
spicules, mostly the openings of
broken oH. The open ings of porocolyces. Small oxeas
the scattered oscule and are scattered between
porocalyces are small, the radial bundles. Oxeas
circular. When the sponge 4-5 mm x 30-50 ~m wide;
is cut open the porocalyces anatriaenes with hair-like
are seen 10 be elongated, shaft and recurved clads,
deep and narrow, and lined 3-5 mm x 6-18 ~m;
by a reticulate membrane. protriaenes with long shaft
Texture is firm and compact. and clads 40-50 ~m;
The ectasome is soh, with prodiaenes with two clads
a 1 mm thick cortex. 120 ~m; small oxeas,
slightly roughened,
Dimensions 130-250 ~m,
Diameter 60-80 mm, height spinispires 12-18 ~m. CinachyreIla schulzei (Keller): Banc Gait, 33 m
40-60 mm; porocalyces (photo P. Laboute)
10-25 mm deep Ecology and Habitat
Rock and coral rubble,
Colour 25-38 m depth, Banc Gail
Yellowish grey, and Canal Woodin.
Ieclosome light grey.
Distribution
Skeletal Characters New Caledonia, northern
The skeleton has a radiate Australia, Red Sea
arrangement. It consists of and several other Indian CinachyreIla schulzei (Keller): I. Mato: canyon 83
bundles of large oxeas and Ocean localities. (photo P. Laboutel, (by nigl1t) The Siliceous
Sponges
Order Family Stelletta (Rhabdastrella)
Astrophorida Ancori nidae globostellata Carter, 1883

strophorids. also known as

A choristids. are triaene bearing


sponges characterised by the
possession of asterose microscleres.
although these have been lost in a few
groups, as well as microxeas and micro-
rhabd microscleres. Megascleres are
tetractinal, usually triaenes together
with oxeas but sometimes including
calthrops or short-shafted triaenes.
The skeleton has radial architecture,
which is normally obvious at the surface
if not throughout the entire body.
Reproduction is oviparous although
gametes have only been described for
very species, and laNal structure is not
yet known. Common genera include
SteJletta, Geodia and Dorypleres

84 I SteJlerro (RhobdostreJlo) globosteJloto Carter: Baie de Canala. 10 m


Sponges (phOtO P. Laboute)
of the New
Caledonian
Lagoon
8

External Characters curved oxeos ore numerous


A massive sponge which is and radial in the subcortical
onoched by 0 brood base; part and these are mare
the neorly sphericol shape irregularly disposed in
may be rendered quite the internal port Isize range:
irregulor by the substrate 700-1 000 ~m x 12-17 ~ml
orchitecture ond by slight Orthalriaenes ore
sconered pratuberances. only found in the subcortical
Surface smooth, roised into part of the choanasame.
law ridges; oscules They ore few and often very
congregated into superficial rare (size range:
depressions. A thin main ray or rhabd:
ectasomol cortex covers 500-1 000 ~m x 25 ~m;
the whale of the sponge, dislal rays or clads:
with the exception of 100-160 ~m x 25 ~m
the oscular areas. The soft Cortical spherasters with
choonosame includes radial 10 to 15 conic rays,
exhalont canals converging sometimes with small distal
to oscular depressions spines (size range:
30-40 ~m in diameter).
Dimensions Chaanasomol oxyasters,
This large sponge is up to with 7 to 10 slender rays
14 cm high, 5-12 cm in ended by few spines
diameter above the attach- (size range: 25-60 ~m
ment base. Oscular aperture in diameter). numerous
is 1 to 5 mm in diameter; in walls of exhalant canals.
asculor depression is 5 mm
deep; ectasamal cortex is Ecology and Habitat
0.2-03 mm in thickness. Occurs under rocks and
boulders and in reef corals
Colour cavities 0-35 m depth.
External colour in life
yellowish or reddish brown, Distribution
internally yellow; in ethanol Indian Ocean, S.W. Pacific
dark and light brawn. Ocean (New Caledonia,
Solomon Island Idescribed
Skeletal Characters by lendenfeld, 1888, under
The skeleton is not dense. the name Stelletto Srellella (Rhabdasrrella) globostellata Carter: Poindimie. 20 m 85
I In the chaanasame, sligthly tethyoides). (photo P. Labaule) The Siliceous
Sponges
Order Family Dorypleres splendens
Astroonorida Coppatiidae de Laubenfels, 1954

External Characters Skeletal Characters


Massive sponges forming The disorganised skeleton
cushions with raised hollow is mode up of large
irregular digits, 20-S0 mm intermingled oxeos and
high, 1·2 mm diameter. many microscleres.
Slightly pulpy texture, The megoscleres are curved
crumbly consistency. The oxeos 600-650 ~m x 10 ~m.
whole surface is finely The microscleres are very
conu;ose. An isolated numerous microxeas and
spicule protrudes on each oxyosters that con be
conule. The surface is separated into three size
entirely perforated by categofles: oxyosters
regularly spaced ostia. with 4-5 actines and
These are SO-I SO ~m distal spines (actine size
diameter openings 14-20 ~ml, oxyosters
separated by cellular with 6-1 0 ~m long octines
partitions called trabeculae also with terminal spines
S0-7S ~m diameter, full of (diameter is about 15 ~ml,
microscleres. The thin polyactine oxyosters
ectosome is perforated by with terminal spines
ostia and covers the Idiameter is 10 ~ml;
longitudinal superficial the curved microxeos
canals. At the top of each are ohen centrotylote,
digit is 0 Single oscule 100-150 ~m x 2-3 ~m
surrounded by 0 pulpy
ectosomol annulus. This is
the aperture of 0 deep axial
Ecology and Habitat
In boys and lagoons,
exhalant canal.
in sediment-rich areas,
Dimensions shallow water.
4S-115 mm high,
75-90 mm wide,
25-60 mm deep.
Distribution
New Caledonia,
Colour Vanuotu ISantol,
Sharp orange, and Ponape
I brownish ocre. Icentral western Pacificl.
86 Dorypleres spJendens de Laubenfels: Grande Rade de Noumea. 16 m
Sponges (photo P. Laboule)
of the New
Caledonian
Lagoon
Order Family Diacarnus levii
Hadromerida Latrunculiidae Kelly-Borges and Vacelet, 1996

.,
,':~,i1t' . ".
-:>:". . .'. .
~" r:~}.......
':-~' ~
~....... !.~).t .. -~..:_~~· adromerida are a relatively cohesive group of sponges with uniform

H
. '-" :,._ ' ", ..
. /'t"f;."'"'....~,'<~ w;,..~~::;. spiculation of mostly pin-like tylostyles. These spicules are arranged in a
".. ..,,~.:;.:~. '. .~:~.~~~~;{!t'- .. ~, ..,
" ~~; -J.~.~;.:..A~ ,"' ' . ,,;~. . . •{! .F:'J!!
radial pattern within the skeleton. and this radial construction is always
.;1' .•.; . ";a~' "'."""~., " ..?"l''''
.~ .•~~.dL.~
. .:. ~~
~~:J. .J':~~ . ~9?
. . ~ . . . 'E·.~·.-:')~'.~'
,:~k..~
'.....
obvious at the surface if not in the choanosome in some species. Spongin fibres
are poorly developed if at all present. At the surface the ectosomal spicules are
. . "'~"
.
-~,.
"!D.
. ~ -,,~, \~.-.....
".~'.''<.~' (:'002. -1t..L .......
.. typically smaller than those in the choanosomal skeleton. and usual standing

.1,.~;~ ,_;;.aj!\;~:"-""~ •.
perpendicular to the surface and protruding for a short distance. Microscleres. if
present. consist of euasters. streptasters and derivatives. spirasters or spiraster-
:~ f;'.'. " . ..:.~~''''J~"'.~.
• "I " . :"
",1I
,', •. I:.f . : ; ; -;
" 1, '. "'
like spirules. or peculiar asterose,like discorhabds.
t::~ ',~ Where known. all groups are OViparous. with development of a parenchymella
\. J.
... ' '- J,."
."...'-"
;L .'", 'S'.- J~ larva (in one case blastula larva) directly in seawater. On coral reefs there are two
".' .::r.~f' r ~
families both important to the bioerosion of dead coral substrate. the spirastrellids
" ..:y....
',l"'\~
r-"; ~ . "ca;... ' ~ (whiCh are massive) and clionids (whiCh are thinly encrusting and burrow into coral

-- ~~IIo. "~"
- • ' •• .. chambers). Hadromerids are often brightly coloured. yellow. orange or greyish-
•.•' JJ
yellow. and found in many parts of the reef but particularly on dead coral.
Common genera are Spirastrella. Spheciospongia. Cliona and Tethya.
Diacarnus leuji Kelly-Borges and Vacelet: I. Art. 4-20 m
(photo G. Bargibant)

External Characters Surface with rounded Dimensions fibres, 700-1 125 ~m in palisade at the surface. usually more developed
Thick erect digitotions or depressions containing ostia Lobes 30-45 mm in diameter, joined Interstitial megascleres are near the apices, always
lobes, onostomosing in in stellate arrangements. diameter, mosses of more occasionally by small abundant. Thin spinulote rare, may be absent in
large mosses. Texture tough, The cortex is thick than 10 cm. short secondary fibres rhabds Ispinorhabdsl are some specimens: 58 ~m
just compressible, elostic. 1500 ~m x 1100 ~ml 250-375 ~m at right angles rare and when present 153-60 ~ml x 0.5-2.4 ~m
Colour
Surfoce with low rounded and composed of parallel to the primary fibres. are found only in the
Colour in life oak brown,
conules, approximately collagen fibrils The fibres radiate toward superficial layers of the
darker in ostial depressions,
2 mm high and 2-5 mm .in wavy bundles. the surface where they end choonosome. Ecology and Habitat
mottled with cream in
apart. Ostia 50 ~m in The choonocyte chambers in large blunt conules. Megascleres: strongyles 4-35 m. Lagoon and fore-
patches on the surface and
diameter, are found in are from 20 to 25 ~m At the tip of the fibre small with 0 slight swelling at reef zone. Fairly common in
around the oscule margin;
small, darker depressions in diameter, Large embryos dendritic tracls 30 to 50 ~m the proximal end, 258 ~m New Caledonia.
cream interior, uniformly
of the surface, Oscula at the or parenchymella larvae, in diameter divide and 121 0-300 ~ml x 1-5 ~m.
while in ethanol.
apices of the digitations up to 1.5 mm in diameter radiate through the cartex Microscleres: spinulate
surrounded by 0 white and white or yellow in Skeletal Characters to the surface where they rhabds Ispinorhabdsl. Distribution
margin. 10 mm diameter colour, are frequently Plume-reticulate arrangement form narrow brushes. straight, with swellings New Caledonia, north- 87
in preserved specimens. observed in the choonosome. I with very thick multispicular Megascleres form on erect or small, irregular spines I eastern Great Barrier Reef. The Siliceous
Sponges
Family Acanthochaetetes wellsi
e Aea nthoehaetetidae Hartman and Goreau, 1975

External Characters Ithesocytesl, involved in diameter, corresponding to


Massive calcified sponge, regeneration, are stored in fascicles of collagen fibrils
most ahen globular, variable number in the anchoring the living tissue in
hemispherical or pyriform, pseudacolicles under the the skeleton. Basal ports ore
rarely subcylindrical. After tabulae. Symbiotic bacteria covered by on epitheca.
on encrusting stage, the ore not abundant and Composition: high-Mg
young specimens generally belong to 0 Single calcite. Microstructure:
become pedunculate, with 0 morphological type micralamellar, with crystal
dead skeletal stalk 01 Spherulaus cells with dense, fibres, 3 ~m/0.1-0.2 ~m,
variable thickness. In the homogeneous spherules disposed in wavy layers in
largest spec imens from fore- present. Reproduction the wall, in longitudinal
reef tunnels, the shope may unknown. layers in the spines and the
be subspherical with 0 thin, tabulae. Siliceous spicules
short stalk hidden by the Dimensions are usually not entrapped in
Usually 0.5 to 3 cm, up to the calcareous skeleton.
head margins growing
down towards substratum.
I30 cm in diameter. However, some microscleres
A well developed epitheca may hold to the crenulate
Colour margin of the pseudocalicles.
provided with concentric
Clear orange to yellow, Siliceous spicules:
growth lines covers the
internal calcareous skeleton megascleres: tylostyles,
lower sunace of the
white. 20 1-400 ~m/26-7 ~m,
calcareous skeleton. Traces
of regeneration or budding head 6.2-] 0 ~m in width,
Skeletal Characters
ore often visible on the microscleres: thick spirosters,
Mossive calcareous
upper surface, with dead 6-28 ~m/5-20 ~m
skeleton, formed of
mosses of skeleton covered contiguous, vertical tabulate Ecology and Habitat
by discontinuous living tubes or pseudocalicles, Cryptic habitats of the front
zones often at 0 level above 250 to 550 ~m in internal reef 11-35 ml, continental
the previous living surface. diameter. At the surface the margin of New Caledonia
Texture stony. Surface edges of the tubes are up to 288 m.
regularly mammillate, crenulate. Conicol spines,
disploying mostly hexagonal 35 to 130 ~m in length, Distribution
pseudocalicles, 250 to
550 ~m in internal diameter.
protrude lrom the walls into
the tubes. Under the
IPacific Ocean.
Oscules small, from 100 to choanosame zone, 1.2 to Possible Confusions
I 30 ~m in diameter, 2.0 mm deep, the tubes are The calcified sponge
draining astrarhizal system horizontally subdivided by Astrosclera willeyana, in the
etched into the skeleton and tabulae with 0 spaCing of some habitat, has 0 roughly
varying Irom 20 to 50 mm. approximately 150 ~m. The similar shope. It differs from
Choonocyte chambers small tube walls, 65 to 140 ~m in A wellsi by 0 darker colour,
88 118 to 24 ~m in diameter) width, are perforated by the absence of regular Acanthochaeretes wells; Hartman and Goreau: Touho. 30 m
Sponges Mosses of storage cells holes, 1./ to 3.5 ~m in pseudocalicles and spicules. (photo G. Bargibant)
of the New
Caledonion
Lagoon
Family Cliona cf jullieni
Clionidae Topsent, 1891

External Characters Skeletal Characters development with a veneer


Sponge is visible os a Spicules are robust of tissue only visible above
veneer over dead caral tylostyles, straight, gently the calcareaus substrate inlo
substrate, beneath which the curved or kinked, with which it actively bores. The
sponge bores to a depth distinct spherical heads. resultant disintegrated coral
of several centimeters Size ronge is bound within the matrix of
degrading the coral 307-413 ~m x 12-19 ~m, the sponge. The sponge is
framework. Oscules averoge 373 ~m x 16 ~m. common within a depth
surrounded by a thin inflaled The choanosome is crumbly range of aboul 5-35 m in
membrane are 5-10 mm with abundant spicules Iogoon patch reefs and on
diameter and are packed in confusion. outer reef-front walls in
occosionally scattered over At the surface Iyloslyles are smaller patches.
the sponge surface or radiolly arranged producing
grouped. Surface nodulose a felly texture. Spirosters of Distribution
following contours of coral two sizes are abundant in a New Caledonia, southern
substrate. Sponge is corky thin crust at the surface and borrier reef of Papua New
or velvety to the touch and is are scattered below this. Guinea.
incompressible. Size range of the largest
The surface layers contain spiraster 36-65 ~m x 2-4 ~m,
Possible Confusions
zooxanthellae, 4.8-7. 2 ~m average 50 ~m x 2 ~m,
None. The identification with
in diameter. The sponge these spicules are slender
C jullieni, from La Reunion,
may be associated with and faintly twisted with
which was described in the
zoantharians. 3-4 spirals of thin sharply
alpha stage and with
pointed spines. The smaller
Dimensions smaller spirasters is tentative.
spirosters have 1-2 spirals
Patches are olten 10-20 cm The name Cfiono schmidti
of tubercules rather than
in size unless the sponge Ridley has been used for
sharp spi nes and can be
has completely covered a various violet burrOWing
irregularlyangulate.
piece af coral rubble or an sponges from numerous
The size range is
outcrop, in which case the areas in tropical and
10-24 ~m x 1-2 ~m,
encrustations can be much temperate seas. A revision is
average 14 ~m x I ~m.
larger lup to 1 ml needed for these sponges,
and the New Caledonian
Colour Ecology and Habitat specimens may prove to
GUona cl. jullieni Topsent: Baie ctu Plony Deep violet alive and in This species of Cliono belong to on undescribed 89
(photo J. Vacetet) I alcohol. I achieves the beta stage in species. The Siliceous
Sponges
Order Family I Cliona sp.
Hadrorneria Cltonldo

Cliono sp., I. Ngea, 10 m


(p11010 P.Laboule)

External Characters Dimensions deep. At Ihe surface of the Ecology and Habitat
The sponge forms a thick The sponge ranges in corlex tylastyles are radially This species of Cliano
cavernous encrustation thickness from 1·3 cm and orientated forming a achieves Ihe beta stage of
above the deod coral farms small or large patches palisade. Beneath the cortex development, the sponge
depending an the substrate. is a crumbly cavernous encrusts thickly above the
substrate or dead bivalves
Average patch diameter choanosome which has substrate that it excavates.
into which the sponge
20 cm incorporoted much It may also becomes massive
excavates burrows.
calcareous debris. Tylostyles and free-living Igamma stagel.
Large specimens may be Colour Common in silty lagoon
are arranged in loose
free on the substrate. Dull mandarin orange patch reefs, 1 to 10 m.
bundles or vaguely reticulate
Exhalant cylindrical papillae when alive, coffee-caloured
radiating tracts within Ihe
are centrally grouped and in alcohol. Distribution
choanosome. Short squat
5·7 mm high and wide.
spirasters with relatively few
I New Caledonia.
Skeletal Characters
These are surrounded by tuberculate spines are found
Spicules are gently curved Possible Confusions
law mushroom-shaped occosionally at the sponge
slender subtylostyles None (distinct by its colour
inhalant sieve-like papillae surface and are rare
with prominent spherical from other massive
2·3 mm wide. The surface beneath it. Size range burrowing sponges of New
sublerminal heods. Size
between Ihese popillae is ronge 21 1-345 ~m x 5-7 ~m, 1(} 14 ~m, average 12 ~m Caledonial. This may be an
usually covered in a layer average 289 ~m x 6 ~m. Micraxea in trichodragmata undescribed species of the
of sediment. Compressible These spicules are packed are abundant within the group of Cliona cetato,
90 ond crumbly, leathery with a in confusion in a compact choonosome. Size range possi bly endem ic to New
Sponges feel of cork when alive. cortical region 30(} 1800 ~m 79-96 ~m, average 88 ~m. Caledonio.
of the New
Caledonian
Lagoon
Cliona orientalis
Thiele, 1899

External Characters tylostrongyles. Size ronge


Sponge bores deod corol 249-374 ~m x 7-1 1 ~m,
substrote to 0 depth of overage 336 ~m x 9 ~m.
severol centimeters ond is These spicules are packed
visible on the exterior os 0 without orientation
1·2 mm thick covering. throughout the sponge.
Oscules ore large and Spicules are radially
conspicuous with raised orientated at the surfoce
differentially coloured where they form on erect
membronous collars, ond palisade. Spirasters are
ore scaHered regularly over abundant at the surface and
the sponge surface. The scattered below this. These
surfoce is velvety to the spicules are perfectly regular
touch and the sponge is with 1·3 spirals with
incompressible. abundant fine regular
dentation along the outside
Dimensions of the spirals. Single spirals
The size of the sponge is oppear os onthosigmos.
dictated by the size 01 the Size range 12·36 ~m,
coral rubble or substrate it is overage 23 ~m.
bori ng. Patches ore
frequently 30-40 cm in Ecology and Habitat
diometer, ond may cover This species achieves 0 beta
several square meters. stoge in development with 0
veneer of tissue only visible
Colour
Olive brown with paler above the calcareous
substrate into which the
khaki patches where
underlying coral is visible, sponge actively bores. 11
often displays grazing scars
oscular collars deep yellow
made by scarid fishes.
when olive. Pole gold in
olcohol. Associotion with a large
number 01 associated
Skeletal Characters zooxanthellae is constant.
Spicules ore straight or Very common in lagoonal
occasionally curved environments.
tylostyles with spherical to
oval heads. Some Distribution Cliono orjenlolis Thiele: Noumea. I. Maine 5 m 91
specimens may also hove I Indopocific. (photo P. Laboute) The Siliceous
Sponges
Family I Spheciospongio inconstons
Ha o Spirastrellidae

Externol Chorocters frequently modified to


The sponge is irregularly subtylostyles, size range
sub-sphericol and anached 336·480 ~m x 12·17 ~m,
basally to the substrate by overage 399 ~m x 14 ~m
Ihe incorporation of much and are packed in
coral debris inlo Ihe sponge confusion deep within the
base _At Ihe 'op of the choanosome. Within the
sponge is 0 brood slightly cortex spicules are arranged
raised apical depression in in loose, thick vaguely
which numerous oscules are radial trocts separated by
grouped. The surface is areas which lock spicules
relatively even wilhoul any and contain lrocts of
digilale processes but is collogenous fibrils. The
sconered with numerous smaller tylostyles are stroight
highly choracleristic circular and pin·shoped and are
or meandrine openings flush arranged in brushes at :he
with the surface. These surface of the sponge,
extend several centimeters projecti ng beyond the
into the sponge body surface. The size range is
rendering the cortex and lop 173·268 ~m x 7·1 0 ~m,
10 cm of the sponge overage 223 ~m x 8 ~m.
cavernous. The texture is Spi rosters are scattered in
woody, barely compressible, patches at the surface of
and faintly corky to the touch. the sponge, and consist of
1·2 spirals with occasional
Dimensions short sharp spines, size range
These sponges con grow up 10-19 ~m, overage 14 ~m.
1040-50 cm diameter with
slightly less height. The Ecology and Habitat
apical oscular depression is Common in shollow fringing
approximately 10 cm across. reef flats and seagrass
beds within the Iogoon,
Colour but found down to 18 m
Golden to brownish orange depth within the Iogoon.
olive externally, more grey The characteristic tunnel
internally, paler in alcohol. openings in this sponge
support communilies of
Skeletal Characters brinle stars and various
Spicules ore two sizes of crustaceans. The surface
tylostyles with oval elongate tissue of this species is
heads and frequently packed with zooxanthellae.
strongylote distal ends. The
92 Spheciospongio inconsrons: Noumea. r. Croissant, 10 m. Seagrass bed largest of these ore straight Distribution
Sponges (pl,oto P. Laboute) or irregularly curved and are I IndoPacific.
of the New
Caledonian
Lagoon
Spheciospongia vagabunda
s (Ridley, 1884)

External Characters prevailing currents in Colour orientation below the 202-355 ~m x 5-6 ~m, Ecology and Habitat
Growth form variable, shallow reef-flat and Specimens con be one of surface of the sponge. overage 270 ~m x 5 ~m, This species is abundant and
sponges ore massive usually logoonol environments. several colours, deep violet The interior of the sponge is ore arranged perpendicular conspicuous in the deep
forming one or several Texture moderately soft ond brown externolly and rust relatively cavernous with to the sponge surface in lagoon floor buried basally in
steep-sided central cones, compressible olive, flexible, brown internally when olive, huge canals surrounded by brushes. Spirasters in two the sand, or amongst seogross
frequently surrounded by irm and just compressible in chocolate brown in alcohol; collagenous tissue. Spicules sizes are obundant at the and coral rubble in the back
short blunt basal popilloe- olcohol ond after handling honey yellow or mustard are in two sizes, the largest surface of the sponge and reef environment. All sponges
like projeclions, buried in the field. externally, brownish yellow which dominate in the line internal canals, and are incorporate sand and coral
The surfoce is relotively internolly olive and dull choonosome are slender less abundant scattered rubble in their base os on
basally in sand substrote or
smooth ond undulating to brownish yellow in alcohol; anchoring mechanism and are
burrowing into dead coral and stroight or slightly curved within the choonosomol
sharply nodulose and almost other external colourations capoble of actively baring
substrote. Sponges also tylostyles and subtylostyles tissue. The largest spirosters
digitate, corky ond velvety range from medium to dark dead coral substrote buried
form simple smooth conical with slender oval heads, hove 2-4 gentle curves with
to the touch. brown to bright yellow and in the sand. The superficial
projections particularly in frequently with strongylote regular tuberculate dentition
bright orange-yellow, tissue of the brown morph
the juvenile stage. Oscules Dimensions distol ends, size range along the outside of each
yellowish-grey, light grey. contains rare zooxanthelloe.
ore large and prominently Up to 30 cm basal diameter 4 I 3-662 ~m x 5-1 1 ~m, curve, size range 19-38 ~m,
elevated on the tops of the and 20 cm height. Skeletal Characters overage 532 ~m x 8 ~m. overage 29 ~m, the smaller Distribution
central cones. Basal popillae ore about Spicules are grouped in Smaller straight pin-shaped spirosters possess only 0 Papuo New Guinea,
These osculor turrets may 3-4 cm high, Single conical loose vaguely radiating tylostyles, frequently single curve and tuberculate New Caledonia, Torres Straits,
elongate and become projections are about 5-10 cm tracls within the choonosame also with strongylote distal dentition and the size range Philippines, Sri lanka, 93
aligned perpendicular to high. and are pocked without ends, size range is 5-12 ~m, overage 9 ~m. Indian Ocean. The Siliceou.
Sponge.
Order Family I Age/as sp.
Agelasida Agelasidae

gelasids are oViparous

A sponges, very abundant


in coral reefs, although
there are few species. Agelas
shows superficial resemblance
to commercial "bath" sponges in
their spongy texture and fibrous
skeleton, frequently with bright
orange colouration. Their precise
affinities are still uncertain
although they show closest simi-
larities to some aXinellids in their
biochemistry. Growth forms are
typically branching, tubular, fan-
shaped or massive. The organic AgeJas sp. Noumea S.; Banc Gail, 30 m
(ptlOl0 P. Laboule)
sk'e1eton has very well developed
, spongin fibres, forming regular
External Characters Colour verticillote ocanthastyles and thon aconthostyles; spicule
or irregular reticulate meshes,
and fibres are echinated by short
Massive, lobate, irregularly IReddish brown, brown. acanlhoxeos. Hispidating dimensions 200-300 pm
shoped sponge; surfoce spicules or linking spicules long. The large number of
styles with verticillate spines. perforoted with numerous Skeletal Characters are then within unispicular spined whorls on spicules
3,4 mm croters contoining fibres. Sometimes linking and the presence of
There are no microscleres. Choonosomol skeleton is
on operture corresponding more or less mode of fibres conlain no spicules, numerous acanthoxeas seem
Another genus common in coral to on operculoted Cirripede 20-30 pm diameter, The to be representative of this
collogenous spongin. It
reefs, Astrosclera, is hypercalcified covity. Rough surfoce, consists of primory lines of distance between ascending species.
slightly hispid; few oscules, primary fibres is
with an aragonitic reticulate basal spicules, 4-5 spicules Wide, Ecology and Habitat
compressible ond elostic linked by tronsverse spicules approximately 200-250 pm,
skeleton. Free verticillate-spined texture. Found on sediment-rich
more or less oblique. When or about the length of a
sea bed in the lagoon,
styles are embedded in the soft there is 0 lorge omount of spicule. Acanthostyles with
Bone Gail, 35 m depth.
tissues that cover only the outer Dimensions spongin 0 fibrous skeleton verticillate whorls of spines,
120 x 70 mm Wide, develops, up to 50 pm 20- 26 whorls per spicule; Distribution
part of the basal skeleton.
94 70 mm high, diometer, multi spicular, acanthoxeos vary in Known only from
Sponges oscules 5·10 mm diometer. oscending fibres contoining spinatian but always fewer INew Caledonio.
of the New
Caledonian
lagoon
Orde Age/as cey/onica
AgelCl d I\gerasida Dendy, 1905

Age/as ceylonica Dendy: Noumea S.: Banc Gait, 25 m


(photo P. LaboUle)

External Characters ectosome covers the Colour surface. All spicules are ScaHered smaller spicules
Massive sponge with 0 sponge, perforated by I Brownish ochre to orange. located perpendicularly or may be found around the
continuous basal port inhalant apertures oken obliquely around the fibres I basal plate.
covering the substrate. opening into shallow Skeletal Characters In ascending fibres, near the
furrows. The texture is The skeleton is mode of 0 Ecology and Habitat
Lamellar, trabecular digits surface, the aconthostyles
elostic, with 0 strong netwark of spongin fibres In the lagoon, Banc Gail,
arise from this base. They
are sometimes
resistance to pulling off. whose surfoce is finely
ore barely curved and
stocked against fibres.
I 35-38 m depth.
punctuated or strioted.
anastomosing, separated by Dimensions The mesh size is obout Verticillate acanthostyles Distribution
cavities of similar diameter. 50 mm high, 40-50 mm 200-400 ~m wide. slightly curved neor the base, Indian Ocean, New
The surface is hispid and on Wide, trabeculae 10-40 mm Some ascending fibres con with 14-118 whorls of spines, Coledonia, central Pacific, 9S
aspicular membraneous long, 3-10 mm wide. be found, mainly near the 100-210 ~m x 8- 18 ~m Indonesio. The Siliceous
Sponges
Family Astrosclera willeyana
Astroscleridae Lister, 1900

External Characters tissue No well defined tissue in sponges from the


Sponge massive, globular, spherulous cell. The sponge Indian Ocean. In SW
bulbous, cushion-shoped or incubates embryos of Pacific (Great Barrier Reef,
cylindricol. Young porenchymella-type. Australia, New Caledonial.
specimens are encrusting aca nthostyles are found
Dimensions only in young specimens
ond grow upwards into 0
Usually 0.5 to 2.5 cm in
cylindrical structure, with a
dead stalk ond 0 living
Idiameter, up to 16.5 cm.
Iless than 18 mml.
30-115 ~m xl 1-5.3 ~m,
"heod" which progressively Colour with spines usually vestigial
becomes rounded and Orange to brown, internol or absent. Siliceous spicules
larger thon the stalk Ibulbous Icalcareous skeleton white. are absent in Central Pacific.
shopel. In the largest
specimens from fore-reef Skeletal Characters Ecology and Habitat
Calcareous skeleton alveolar Under surfaces of coral
tunnels, the shope may be
on the surface, solid in rubble, reef cavities, coves,
subspherical with a stalk
the bockfilled central parts deep c1iHs. Size is smaller
hidden by the heod margins
Tabulae absent. Basal ports on the back reef. The largest
growing down towards
covered by an epitheco. specimens have been found
substratum. Growth rings
Composition: aragonite. in tunnels of the Iront reef
are visible on the epitheca
Microstructure spherulitic, exposed to surge ITouhaj
covering the lower surface,
but there is no trace of built up of polygonal Very abundant. Depth
sclerodermites 10 to 60 ~m range: 1 to 288 m.
regeneration or budding.
in diameter, with crystal
Severol heods may be
fibres, 1-3 ~m in diameter, Distribution
present on the same dead Indo-Pacific tropical areo:
arranged in a radiate
skeleton. Bathyal specimens Red Sea, Indian Ocean
structure. The sclerodermites
mostly cylindricol. Texture is IMadagascar, Comoro
are secreted inside cells
stony. Surface smooth, Islands, Christmas Island,
dispersed in the living tissue,
although irregularly Moscarene Islandsl. Pacific
os granules which poss
mammillate in some large IPhilippines, Great Barrier
through 0 spheraster-like
specimens. Oscules small, Reef, New Caledonia,
stage and ore incorporated
2 to 5 cm, in the centre of Guam, French Polynesia I.
into the superficial ports of
an astrorhizal system etched
the solid skeleton when their
into the skeleton. Possible Confusions
size is 20 10 25 ~m.
Choanaeyte chambers small Aconfhochaefefes wellsi, in
lco 20 ~ml. Tissue Siliceous spicules, the same habitat, diHers by
containing morphologically acanthostyles with verticillate the yellow colour, the
highly diverse intercellular spines, usually with 0 presence of hexagonal
96 t\sll"Osclero wilJeyono Lisler: Toutl0 30 m bacteria which are one of swelling in the basal third, pseudocalicles in the
Sponges (pholo G. Bargibanl) the main components of the are present in the living skeleton and by spiculation.
of the New
Coledonian
Lagoon
Order Family Axinysso oplysinoides
Halichondrida Halichondriidae (Dendy, 1921)

AXinyssa apJysinoides (Dendy): Bale laugier. 20-30 m


(photo P. Laboute)

External Characters different parts of the surface. Dimensions rather dense, with ill-defined curved, measuring about Distribution
Massive and compact, Few oscules on one side I 130 x 20 x 40 mm. spicule tracts near the surface 800-1 lOO ~m x 8-20 ~m. New Caledonia,
with rounded contours, more of the sponge or below the but without true fibres. Spicules in the upper part of NW Australia,
Colour the skeleton are prominent.
or less digitate ar lobate. rounded top of lobes. Ectosome with on ostiolar Indonesia,
Surface with a minute The texture is compact,
I Grey. pigmented layer and a Philippines,
reticulation of raised ridges, slightly elastic. Subdermal Skeletal Characters collenchymatous layer. Ecology and Habitat western Indian Ocean 97
variously developed in cavities are present. I The skeletal arrangement is Megascleres are oxeas slightly I Baie Laugier. [Amirante, Seychelles). The Siliceous
Sponges
Order Family Liosina paradoxa
Ha!ichond Dictyonell idae Thiele, 1899

External Characters There ore no microscleres.


Thickly encrusting to massive Spicule tracts ore not well
sponge, with oscules raised formed and 0 weakly
os turrets. Oscular rims are deve:oped reticulum of
smooth and rounded. i spicule bundles is wide;',
The sponge is distinctive in separated, cross-linked by
possessing 0 coloured smaller groups of
mosaic pollern over its megoscleres. Pigmented
surface. The sponge is cells ore distinct and
slightly compressible and particularly dense at the
con be torn. Surface feels surface, although patches
fibrous to touch. of pigmented cells ore also
dispersed throughout the
Dimensions choonosome, making it
The sponge farms 0 thick difficult to observe the
encrustation 20-50 mm skeletal structure.
deep, with shart lobes of
10-20 mm high. It con grow Ecology and Habitat
to patches of 200 mm Grows in high current areas
diameter. in densely encrusted
communities on flat reef
Colour bases. It is most common in
Off-white, with 0 mottled reef pass areas where
orange mosaic pollern over sediment is absent. It ranges
the surface. In ethanol it is in depth between 16 and
also off-white. 25 m.

Skeletal Characters Distribution


Common spicu~s are slrongyes Reef passages and high
(185-400 ~m x 5-1 0 ~ml current areas around
98 Very large oxeos also exist southwestern part of New Liosina paradoxa Thiele: I. Ua. 20 m
Sponges (640-800 ~m x 5-12 ~ml Caledonia. (photo G. Bargibantj
of the New
Caledonian
Lagoon
Order Family Cymbastela cantharella
Axinellida Axinellidae (Levi, 1983)

hese sponges often have a centrally compressed axis of oxeas. styles or strongyle megasclere spicules. some curved

T or sinuous. usually clearly differentiated from the subectosomal and ectosomal skeletons which may be plumose.
plumo-reticulate or radial. Ectosomal skeletons are frequently in the form of erect spicule brushes. usually of a smaller
size than the choanosomal spicules. Spongin fibers are not generally well developed but there may be moderate amounts of
collagen bonding spicules together in the skeleton. Microscleres are absent from many species. or may include only raphides.
although some families currently included here do have diverse forms. Reproduction is oviparous. Species are often tree-shaped.
digitate or fan-shaped. and flexible growth forms are common. Colours may be bright including yellows. reds and oranges.
In coral reefs genera such as Axinella. Acanrhella. priJocauJis and CymbasreJa are common.

External Characters 40 mm long, 17 mm oxeas, becoming plumose


Short, erect, cup-shoped or diameter, oscules up to 2 mm near the surface, and the
vasiform sponges, with thick 1 diameter, about 2 mm apart. other with transverse Single
lamellae, usually with or sparse tracts of oxeos
convoluted margins, Colour interconnecting the radial
occasionally with secondary Pole orange-brown olive, fibres. The averoll skeleton
cups or Iomellae growing I beige when preserved. appears nearly disorganised,
inside primary cup, often almost halichondroid.
with buttresses and exterior Skeletal Characters Megascleres consist of:
secondary proiections, and Ectosomal skeleton is choanosomal oxeas [shart,
with 0 short, cylindrical membraneous, with heavy slender, slightly curved,
basal stalk. Surface is collagen, through which symmetrical, occasionally
predominantly smooth, with choanosomal oxeas protrude, asymmetrical, tapering,
distinct interior Iporous) and individually or in plumose fusiform, usually with slightly
exterior Ismoothl faces of bundles, arising from the telescoped poi nts
lamellae. The interior surface ascending radial tracts in 1143-245 ~m x 2.5-12 ~m)]
has abundant small oscules, the subdermal skeleton. Microscleres ore absent.
each surrounded by 0 lightly Choanosamal skeleton is
raised membraneous lip. piu mo-reticulate, without Ecology and Habitat
The texture is firm, flexible, axial compression ar any Growi ng on hard bottom
slightly compressible. differences between the coral reef substrate, 10-60 m
axial and extra-axial regions. depth.
Dimensions Choanosomal skeleton
Cups up to 150 mm high, divided into two components: Distribution
170 mm maximum diameter, one with longitudinal spongin Known only from the
lamellae about 6 mm fibres running radially through southern New Caledonian Cymbastela cantharella (Levi): passe'de Yande. 30 m 99
diameter, basal stalk up to lamellae, cared by tracts of lagoon and outer reef. (photo J.L. MenOu) The Siliceous
Sponges
Cymbostelo concentrico
I1 (Lendenfeld, 1887)

External Characters lamellae inside cups or with Colour reticulate, less obviously of the sponge diverge into I frogments, sondy ond rubble
Growth form usually digitale projections on Pole beige, olive-brown or plume-reticulate, with poorly plumose spicule bundles. substrales, 10-30 m depth.
vasiform, bUI vorying from exterior surface, but some reddish-brown olive, beige differentiated axial and Megascleres consist of:
more or less symmetricol specimens lack any surfoce or brown when preserved. extra-oxial regions. Fibres in choanosomal oxeas, Distribution
cup-shaped wilh small basal ornamentation altogether. the axiol region of the variable in size, usually Northern, central and
stalk, to vasiform with lamellae ore smooth, even Skeletal Characters skeleton are only slightly slender, fusiform, straight or southern Queensland, and
symmetrical or asymmetrical or irregular. Texture is Ectosomal skeleton is condensed, forming on slightly curved, symmetrical, southwest lagoon of New
lamellae, to thickly fleXible, compressible, membraneous, without any open reticulation, and cored faintly telescoped points Caledonia.
encrusting plate-like, velvet-like. specialised skeleton, but it by uni- or paucispicular (67-142 ~m x 2.5-5 ~ml
attached directly 10 the oppears os microscopically tracts of choanosomal Microscleres ore absent. Possible Confusions
substrate. lamella thickness villose due to protruding oxeas. Extra-axial fibres ore Phyl/ospongia loliascens in
variable, ranging from cord Dimensions spicules from the peripheral reticulate, slightly plumose, Ecology and Habitat New Caledonia lagoon;
thin to thick and rubbery. Size up to 150 mm high, skeleton which usually form with few caring spicules, Found in the lagoon, inshore also Cymbosfela sfipifOfo
100 Surface is typically 140 mm maximum width, plumose brushes. whereas spicules inside the fringing reef or pla~orm coral and Cymbastelo coral/io-
Sponges convoluted, with multiple lamella thickness 1.0-3.5 mm. Choonosomal skeleton is spongin fibres at the surface reef fauna, fixed on coral phila in tropical Australasia.
of the New
Caledonian
Lagoon
Reniacha/ina candy/ia
Haaper and Levi, 1993

External Characters diverging at the surface,


Thickly encrusting plate with and secondary spicule tracts
prominent low, canical- which are predominantly
bulbous, digitate projections transverse, with fewer
on the upper surface, each spicules, and more or less
with 0 single, large osculum interconnecting the primary
on the apex. Surface is tracts. Spongin fibres hove
membraneous, even, porous only very light spongin.
on the upper surface, without Megascleres consist of 0
ornamentation other than single cotegory of structural
large bulbous digits spicule, varying from oxeas
Subdermal spicule bundles to styles, with various
are clearly visible below the intermediate forms also present
translucent dermal membrane. [slightly curved, slightly
asymmetrical oxeas most
Dimensions common; styles with evenly
Encrusting plate 260 mm rounded and slightly curved
diameter, 10-35 mm thick, bases less common;
bulbous digits 14-23 mm asymmetrical anisoxeas rare
high, 10-14 mm maximum spicules hove fusiform points,
diameter, oscules 3-5 mm tapering, sharply pointed or
diameter. occasionally rounded points
(208-289 ~m x 10-14 ~mlJ.
Colour
Microscleres ore absent.
Pole orange olive, pale
I grey-brown when preserved. Ecology and Habitat
Uncommon, growing on
Skeletal Characters
coral rubble and substrate,
Ectosomal skeleton
membraneous, without
16-22 m. depth. This species
possibly rolls around the soft
specialised spicules but with
substrate of the lagoon floor,
plumose brushes of
with only small pieces of
choanosomal spicules lying
rubble embedded into the
directly under, and
sponge os point of a~achment.
supporting, the surface
membrane. Choanosomal Distribution
skeleton is plumo-reticulate, Known only from the
without axial compression or southwest lagoon of New
any differentiation between Caledonia.
the axial and extra-axial
regions. The skeleton is Possible Confusions
divided into primary spicule Species of Higginsia in Reniocha/ina condylia Hooper and uevi (hololype): I. Ua. 22 m 101
tracts, ascending to and I New Caledonia. (phOIO P. Laboute) The Siliceous
Sponges
Axinella carteri
(Dendy, 1889)

External Characters Skeletal Characters Ecology and Habitat


Flabellate growth farm, with Ectosomal skeleton is This species is 0 common
massive, lobate, irregularly membraneous, composed of component of Indo-Pacific
planar or globulor branches a band of heavy collagen coral reefs. In New
composed of relatively thick, slightly more darkly pigmentea Caledonia it is usually found
Aattenea planar or buttressed than collagen in the in both the lagoon and outer
lamellae with irregular choonosomal region, with reef slape, associated with
margins. The sponge is exlra-axial spicules only living and dead corol. It
attached to the substrate sparsely protruding into the appears 10 be most cc 'nmCl
directly or by a small basal ectosomol region. in areas of strong current,
stalk. Surface is fleshy, Choonosomal skeleton attached to coral rubble or
canulase, rough. Canules consists of on axiol skeleton rock, in sand and sea grass
are irregular, solitary or condensed into several beds. Known depth range
fused lagether to farm multi spicular bundles running extends from 10-40 m.
meandering surface ridges. more or less longitudinally
The texture is rubbery, through lamelloe. These Distribution
compressible, and easily
bundles are composed of Widespreod throughout the
tarn. Oscules are an the
long slender styles, bound Indo-Pacific, extending fram
margins of lamellae, usually
together by very light spongin the Red Sea, Arabian Gulf,
between the surface conules.
fibres, ond interconnected at western Indian Ocean
irregular angles by vaguely ICargados Caraios, Diego
Dimensions
plumose sparse tracts or Garcia, Amirante, Solomon,
Sponges 1 10-400 mm high,
individual extra-axial styles. Seychelles Islands, Comores,
branches up to 350 mm
i The spongin fibre reticulation Madogoscar), Gulf of
Wide, 4-1 1 mm thick, basal
. is relatively close-meshed. Manaar, Sri lanka, southern
stalk 20-90 mm long, up to
Megascleres consist of only Indonesia, Papua New
40 mm diameter, surface
a single category of style, Guinea, Great Barrier Reef
conules 3-5 mm high,
variable in thickness, o nd southern lagoon of AxineJia carter; (Dendy): Chenal de 1'1. Maltre. 20 m
oscules 2-5 mm diameter.
occasionally strongylote, New Caledonia. (photo G. Bargibantj
Colour long, robust, slightly curved
Bright orange-brown alive, symmetrically near base, Possible Confusions
pale orange-brown when sharply pointed, Phakellia stipi/ata, Stylissa
preserved. The surface evenly rounded base flabelliformis and Stylotello
102 is slightly darker than the (415-588 ~m x 12-28 ~ml aurantium from the New
Sponges interiar of the sponge. Microscleres are absent. Caledonia lagoon
of the New
Coledonian
Lagoon
Ord ra'l"'ily Acanthella pulcherrima
Axinellida AxineFidae Ridley and Dendy, 1886

External Characters Skeletal Characters spongin fibres, with fibre


Small flattened, club-shaped Ectosomal skeleton is reticulation prodUCing
sponges, with short membraneous, fleshy, elongate meshes, whereas
cylindrical stalk, enlarged without specialised spicules, extra-axial spicules are free
basal holdfast, and several but with extra-axial styles within the mesohyl and not
very thin, leaf-like, f1aMened protruding slightly from the associated with spongin
branches with even margins, tops of surface conules, fi bres except where
Surface is evenly conulose; whereas between these embedded into the axis,
conules are rounded or conules the ectosome is Megascleres consist of: axial
poi nted, more or less merely collagenous, with styles, thick, straight or slightly
arranged in ridges, running more darkly pigmented, curved near base, fusiform
longitudinally along granular collagen than points, evenly rounded or
branches, with ridges found in the choanosomal slightly constricted bases
producing an almost striated region, Choanosomal (253-413 ~m x 2-9 ~m);
pattern, Oscules and pores skeleton is divided into extra-axial strangyles
are not easily visible, distinct axial and extra-axial usually sinuous, occasionally
Texture is firm and flexible, regions, The axis is tightly completely straight
compressed, occupying only or vermiform, thick,
about 30% of the branch evenly rounded bases
Dimensians
diameter, running (449552 ~m x 26 ~ml,
Fans are 75-1 20 mm long,
longitudinally through Microscleres are absent.
58-75 mm maximum
branches, and cored by
thickness, basal stalk
closely reticulate sinuous Ecology and Habitat
12-22 mm long, 7-10 mm
strongyles more or less Uncommon, on coral
Wide, branches 10-30 mm
interlocked and cri ss-crossed rubble, 15-50 m depth, in
maximum width, 4-8 mm
within the axis, areas of strong current.
thick, surface conules or
The extra-axial skeleton
ridges up to 5 mm high,
consists of radial tracts styles, Distribution
individually or in plumose Southern New Caledonian
Colour bundles, embedded in and lagoon, Cape York, Torres
Pale orange-brown or standing perpendicular to Strait, Great Barrier Reef,
brown alive, pale beige the axis, Axial spicules ore Cargados Carajos, Indian Aeonthello pu!eherrimo Ridley and Dendy: Canal woodin, 28 m 103
when preserved, bound together by heavy Ocean, (photo p, Laboute) The Siliceous
Sponges
Phakellia stipitata
A e.-I"I (Carter, 1881 )

External Characters 40-90 mm thick, basal Phokellial, and consists


flabellate sponge. with one stalk up to 30 mm long, merely of radially arranged
or more fans aligned face-ta- 15-20 mm diameter; surface styles, standing
face, anached to 0 common canules 5-20 mm high, perpendicular to, or at
basal stalk and 0 brood 10-20 mm apart; ascules I acute angles to, the axis.
basal holdfast. fans 15-25 mm diameter. Megascleres consist of:
composed of irregularly axial and extra-axie: styles,
fused and reticulated Colour long, slender, straight
branches, excavated by Bright orange-brown alive, or slightly curved, with
wide meshes between arange-yellaw when abrupt points, and sharp
reticulatians, producing preserved. or slightly telescoped tips,
thick, nearly bulbous evenly rounded or
branches. Surface is Skeletal Characters occasionally oxeote bases
c1athraus, excavated, with Ectasamal skeleton 1301-545 pm x 3-15 pml.
regularly spaced conules. membraneous, heavily Microscleres are absent.
Canules hove rounded tips collagenous, darkly
and are usually joined pigmented, without special Ecology and Habitat
together by low ridges, spicules and only the points
Associated with living and
surrounding the large surface of extra-axial styles barely dead coral, flat bonom,
excavations Imeshesl, protruding through the consolidated substrote and
producing 0 'goose-flesh' surface (and these usually strong current, depth range
appearance. large oscules only on the ends of the
from 10-25 m.
are situated on the margins surface conulesl.
PllokelJio stipitoto (Caner): Canal woodin. 18 m of fans, slightly raised above Choanosomal skeleton
with clearly differentiated Distribution
(photo G. Bargibant) the surface, and slightly
axial and extra-axial Trapicollnda-west Pacific,
more darkly pigmented than
from the Gulf of Monaar,
the rest of the surface. Texture regions. Axis moderately
compressed, with short, Sri lanka, to southeast
is firm, rubbery, difficult to
heavy, reticulated spongin Queensland and southern
tear, and the sponge usually
fibres. These fibres ore only lagoon of New Caledonia.
requires cuning off substrate.
partially cored by tracts of
Dimensions styles. The extra-axial Possible Confusions
104 fans 90-130 mm long, skeleton is not well formed Axinella car/eri from the
Sponges I 70-1 10 mm wide, (os in some other species of I New Caledonia lagoon.
of the New
Caledonian
Lagoon
Frtrnily Stylissa aurantium
Axinellida (Kelly-Borges and Bergquist, 1988)

StyJissa aurantium: Canal Woodin. 26 m External Characters of variable length


(photo P. Laboute) A massive mound-shaped 1160-200 x 30 ~ml
sponge, wilh prominent Rare isachelae were also
ascules 12-3 mm diomelerj observed in the specimen
arranged along ridges. examined, but were Ihaught
Oscules are ringed with a to be foreign. Megascleres
smooth flange [1-2 mml. are arranged in a loosely
The surface is uneven and is plume-reticulate structure,
leathery la the touch. The rising to a thick layer of
sponge is very compressible, epidermal cells.
and easily tarn. Surface spiculalian appears
relotively sporse.
Dimensions
It has up to a 60 mm basal Ecology and Habitat
diameter, and an average, Grows on the undersides of
grows to 30 mm in height. ledges and within caves on
the outer reef slopes. It has
Colour been found in shallow-water
Bright yellow externally depths, to 5 m.
and internally, dull yellow
in ethanol. Distribution
On the extreme northern
StyJissa aurantium (Kelly-Barges and Bergquist): I. Surprise I -4 m Skeletal Characters parts of New Caledonia. 105
(photo P. Laboute) I Styles are long and wavy, Papua-New Guinea. The Siliceous
Sponges
Stylissa flabelliforrnis
Ax (Hentschel, 1912)

External Characters ectosome, and brighter Megascleres include one


Thickly flabellate sponges orange interior, red-brown category of styles, variable
with f1abellate~igitate when preseNed, and the in thickness, predominantly
branches, usually growing sponge often produces robust, slightly cUNed near
in more than one plane, an orange mucus upon the base, rarely straight,
with even ar uneven digitate collection. evenly rounded bases rarely
margins, and usually attached rhabdose, tapering to
to the substrate by 0 small fusifarm points, occasionally
Skeletal Characters
cylindrical basal stalk. modified to strongyles
Ectosomal skeleton is fleshy,
Surface is characteristically (339-516 ~m x 6-22 ~ml
darkly pigmented, heavily
rough, striated, conulose, Microscleres are absent.
collagenous, without
shaggy, with either
specialised spicules but with Ecology and Habitat
longitudinal striations in
the points of styles from the Found on coral reefs,
larger specimens, or on
peripheral chaanosomal fringing and patch reefs,
irregularly conulose, sculptured
skeleton protruding through outer-reef slopes and in
surface in younger material.
the surface, but these are inter-reef regions of the
Surface is soh, fleshy in life,
mainly in the vicinity of lagoon, growing on live
contracting when preseNed
surface conules, whereas coral, coral rubble and sand
to produce 0 harsh texture.
between conules, in the substrates, 5-70 m depth.
Oscules are visible on the
fleshy part of the surface, In New Caledonia the
apex of surface ridges and
there are only a few spicules species is moderately common
margins of branches, with 0
present. Choanosomal within the lagoon, less
large membraneous lip
skeleton is plumo-reticulate, abundant on the outer reefs.
surrounding each exhalant
although it appears
pore. Fleshy parts of the
disorganised due to the Distribution
surface are porous,
proportionally larger size of Indian Ocean and
predominantly between
megascleres in relation to Indo-west Pacific,
surface conules and ridges.
spongin fibres. Axial and known from the Seychelles,
Dimensions extra-axial skeletons are only southeastern Indonesia,
Fans ore 120-450 mm slightly diHerentiated. The Arafura Sea, Timar Sea,
long, 70-] BO mm wide, axial region is reticulate, central coast of Western
140 mm maximum span with heavy spongin fibres Australia, Japan
of branches, up to 30 mm forming rectangular meshes, and southern lagoon
maximum thickness, basal and fibres are cored by of New Caledonia.
stalk 20-75 mm long, multispicular tracts of styles.
1 ] -45 mm diameter, oscules The extra-axial skeleton is Possible Confusions
up to 14 mm diameter. vaguely plumo-reticulate, Axinella carferi,
with ascending tracts of Phakellia stipilafo and
Colour styles interconnected Stylofello auranfiurn
106 Dark orange-brown in life, irregularly by smaller from the New Caledonia Stylissa f/abeJli!ormis (Hemsctlet): Noumea, Baie de Ste Marie. 6 m
Sponges I with
0 paler membraneous transverse tracts of styles. lagoon. (photo P. Laboure)
of the New
Coledonion
Logoon
Ptilocaulis FusiFormis
Levi, 1967

External Characters protrude through the surface, two sizes of spicules,


Digitate or arborescent and these are restricted although these clearly
digitate, with cylindrical mainly to the tips of canules. intergrade in their size and
bifurcating branches Ectosomal membrane is morphology; strongyles
tapering towards their ends, highly collagenous, more long, thin, curved or
on 0 short basal stalk and darkly pigmented than the sinuous, predominantly in
brood basal haldfasl. chaanasomal mesohyl, and extra-oxial region of the
Surface is prominently it has small quantities of choanasame and at the
conulase, with more or less embedded detritus. surface, with asymmetrical
evenly distributed canules, Choanosomal skeleton is (styloid I. or symmetrical
usually forming meandering pluma-reticulate, with clearly rounded (strongylotel ends
ridges running longitudinally differentiated axial and (414-900 ~m x 2-6 ~ml;
along branches. Conules extra-oxial regions. and anisaxeas shorter,
are interconnected by 0 The axial skeleton is slightly curved, thin, found
fleshy surface membrane, compressed, composed of 0 predominantly in the axial
usually pierced by small heavy spongin fibre farming skeleton although also
inhalant pores (ostial iust o close-set reticulation, dispersed near the surface,
visible between canules. cored by plumose tracts of usually with symmetrical
Oscules ore small, only shorter anisaxeas and fewer rounded or pointed, usually
rarely seen, located near the sinuous strangyles. telescoped ends ('axeas'l.
apex of branches. Texture is The extra-oxial skeleton or less often 'styloid' with
firm and flexible. carresponds exactly with asymmetrical ends lpoints
the distribution of surface and evenly rounded bases)
Dimensions conules. Extra-oxial fibres [196-350 ~m x 2.5-11 ~m).
Digits 42-1 10 mm long, Microscleres are absent.
are plume-reticulate, running
23-55 mm long, up to predominantly laterally
10 mm diameter, basal stalk through branches in cross- Ecology and Habitat
15-19 mm long, 7-10 mm section, and these fibres Growing on coral reef,
diameter, basal haldfast 20-40 m depth, on hard
are cored by multispicular
12-21 mm diameter; surface plumase tracts of both substrate in areas of strong
conules up to 5 mm high;
sinuous strongyles and current.
ascules I S2 mm diameter.
onisoxeos. Extra-axiol

Colour skeletal columns are Distribution


Pole orange, yellow-brown separated by large areas, Known only from the
olive, pole arange-brawn cavernous areas Icanalsl, southern New Caledonian
when preserved. noticeably more cavernous lagoon.
near the surface than in the
Skeletal Characters axis, and columns are Possible Confusions
Ectosomal skeleton is fleshy, covered by on external layer Plilocau!is epakros,
membraneous, with sparse of collagen stretched Aulospongus clathrioides
plumase brushes of long, between surface conules. from New Caledonia Plilocau/is JusiJormis U:vi: Canal Woodin. 25-35 m 107
sinuous spicules that barely Megascleres consist of: Iogoon. (pholo G. Bargibanl) The Siliceous
Sponges
Ptilocaulis epakros
Hooper and Levi, 1993

External Characters diameter, basal holdfast diameter, and composed of


Arborescent, bifurcate 13 mm diameter; heavy, bulbous, very short
branching, with thin, surface papillae, 2-4 mm spongin fibres forming 0
cylindrical branches covered
I long, 0.5-1 mm diameter, close-set reticulotion. These
with papillae, tapering I up to 2 mm apart. axial fibres are cored by
towards pointed tips, and trocts of thin spicules,
with 0 long, unomamented Colour occupying only 0 small
stalk and expanded basal Pale yellow-brawn alive, proportion of fibre diameter.
haldfast. Surface is heavily Ibeige in ethanol. The extra-axia I skeleton
papillose, composed of is extensive, including the
long, close-set, sharply Skeletal Characters
area immediately
pointed, soft papillae. The Ectasomal skeleton is fleshy,
surrounding the axis of
tips of the papillae ore membraneous, without
branches, os well os the
bifurcate and/or hispid, specialised spicule", with
elongated, slender skeletal
and the base 01 each sparse detritus embedded in
columns (= papillael PtiJocau/iS epakros Hooper and Levi (holotype): Canat Woodin. 40 m
papilla is interconnected to and on the surface, and 0
The extra-axial skeleton is (photo P. Laboute)
adiacent papilla by 0 heavy collagenous,
composed of primary and
membraneous ridge running aspicular matrix lying
between the surface secondary fibre systems,
longitudinally along
papillae 1= surface ridgesl differentiated mainly by the surface and protruding found sparsely in transverse, Ecology and Habitat
branches and slightly
and on the sides of each presence or absence of through it. Transverse, connecting fibres Found in the inter-reef
elevated above the surface
of the sponge. Oscules papilla. The apex of each coring spicules. Both libre
systems are composed of
connecting fibres ore 1424-488 ~m x 1.5-2 ~ml; Iregion, 40 m depth.
papilla has plumose brushes aspicular or hove single styles or styloids, account for
were not observed, but
of choanosomal styles heavy spongin fibres long, thin slrongyles inside. most spicules, short or long, Distribution
minute ostia are scanered
protruding slightly through producing a relatively wide- Megascleres include two slender, straight or slightly Known only from the
between surface papillae.
the surface. Choanasomal meshed elongate categories of spicules curved asymmetrically, southern New Caledonian
Dimensions skeleton is plumo-reticulate, reticulation. Ascending clearly differentiated in evenly rounded or tapering lagoon.
Digits 200 mm long, 70 mm with clearly differentiated extra-axial fibres are cored morphology but not mucronate bases,
maximum Ioteral branch axial and extra-axial by multispicular, plumose obviously localised to any and hastate, fusiform Possible Confusions
span, 27-60 mm long, regions. Axial skeleton is columns of choanosomal particular region of the or telescoped points Plilocaulis fusiform is and
108 5-17 mm wide, basal stalk compressed, occupying only styles, with spicule tracts skeleton: sinuous strongyles, 1134-328 ~m x 2.5-5 ~ml. Au/ospongus clafhrioides
Sponges 75 mm long, 4 mm about one half of the branch becoming heavier towards single, long, thin, Microscleres ore absent. from New Caledonia lagoon
of the New
Caledonian
Lagoon
Ord Cl y Pseudaxinella debitusae
Ax· A ellidae Hooper and Levi, 1993

External Characters Colour by thinner secondary


Massive, spherical, or Orange to orange-yellow transverse spicule tracts.
irregularly subspherical, alive, beige or light brown Megascleres include: one
cushion-shaped, loosely when preserved. category of spicules only,
attached to large pieces predominantly oxeas, rarer
Skeletal Characters
of detritus le.g. dead coral, styles and strongyloxeas, long,
Ectasoma I skeleton
mollusc volvel, or slender, usually asymmetricolly
membraneous, fleshy, with
occasionally rolling free on curved Ibut not rhabdosel,
darkly pigmented collogen,
the substrate ('tumbleweed sometimes straight,
without specialised spicules
sponge'). Surlace mostly shorply pointed,
although the tips of
microconulose, with goose- sometimes with telescoped
choanosomal spicules
flesh appearance, covered and bifurcate points
protruding from the surface
by small conules scattered 1223-503 ~m x 2-15 ~ml.
in sparse plumose brushes.
over the entire surface, Microscleres are absent.
Chaanosomal skeleton is
interconnected by a semi-
plumo-reticulate, without Ecology and Habitat
translucent dermal
axial compression or any Found on subtidal fringing
membrane. Large oscules
naticeoble difference coral reefs, coral rubble and
are scattered over the
between the axial and extra- Halimeda soh bottom
'upper' surface, typically
axial regions. The spongin substrates, 5·35 m depth.
found in slight depressions
fibre skeleton is reticulate, On soft substrates it is
on the surface but
with predominantly usually unattached whereas
surrounded by a slightly
ascending primary fibres, on carol reefs it is attached
raised membraneous lip.
interconnected by shorter to the substrate.
Texture is soh, compressible,
thinner secondary fibres,
relatively easy to tear. Distribution
producing oval meshes.
Known only from the southern
The spicule skeleton is
Dimensions plumo-reticulate, vaguely
I New Caledonian lagoon.

Sponges 55-80 mm subrenieroid, although the Possible Confusions


diameter, 32-40 mm plumose component is Other 'tumbleweed' sponges
maximum height from the emphasised over the reticulate in the New Caledonia
substrate; surface conules component, with clearly lagoon: Reniochalina
1-2 mm diameter, less than differentiated thicker primary condylio, Rhophoxyo
pseudaxinella debilusae Hooper and Levi: Canal woodin, 33 m 0.5 mm high; oscules up to spicule tracts ascending to systremma, Higginsio 109
(photo P. Laboute) 10 mm diameter. the surface, interconnected massalis, H. tanekea. The Siliceous
Sponges
Rhaphoxya systremma
a Hooper and Levi, 1993

External Characters Skeletal Characters transverse, spongin fibres


Spherical or subspherical, Ectosome is fleshy, darkly usually without spicules,
globular growth farm, pigmented, without spongin Generally, the reticulate,
consisting of aggregated, fibres or spicules but with connecting secondary
globulor lamellae, together a thick collagenous layer spicule tracts are greatly
producing a conglomerated between the surface reduced in proportion
honeycombed-like and the beginning of to the primary piumose
reticulation with numerous, the choonosomal spongin ascending skeleton_
oval, cell-like cavities and fi bre skeleton_ Fibre reticulation is more
large canals excavating the This collagenous layer is cavernous in the peripheral
entire sponge. Sponges ore thicker in between surrace region than in the axis.
only loosely attached to ridges ond papillae than on Megascleres consist of: only
pieces of coral rubble or top of these structures_ one category of choanosomal
shell fragments, or In addition, sparse plumose spicule varying from strongyles
occasionally rolling free on brushes of choanosomal to oxeas, symmetrical,
the substrote. Surrace is spicules may also protrude evenly rounded, or sharply
membraneous, gelatinous, through the surface, pointed, usually telescoped
irregularly convoluted, with especially on the tips ends, maiority strongylote,
prominent rounded papilloe, sinuous, very slender
of the papillae,
which are most abundant on 1201382 ~m x 2-5 ~ml
Sparse deposits of detritus
the apical surface of the Microscleres are absent.
are also dispersed over
sponge, The largest papillae
the surrace and incorporated
located near the apex of the Ecology and Habitat
into the ectosomal
sponge surround one or Found on coral rubble
collagenous layer.
more oscules, although in the inter-reef region,
Choanosomal skeleton
these also occur in other on soft bonoms ond
is plumose, slightly
places on the surface, such Ha/imeda beds,
plumo-reticulate, without
as on the ridges lacated 18-30 m depth.
axial compression or
between papillae, Texture is
differentiation between
Rapllaxya systremma Hooper and Levi (/1010type): Noumea, I. Maitre, 22 m solr, compressible, difficult
(photo p, Laboute) the axial and extra-oxial Distribution
to tear,
skeletons, Known only from
The skeleton consists the New Caledonion lagoon
Dimensions
mainly of diverging, ond the northern Great
Sponges 32-75 mm high,
meandering, sinuous spongin Barrier Reef.
28-60 mm diameter, surface
papillae up to 3 mm high, fibres and spicule tracts.
2 mm diameter; oscules The spongin fibre system is Possible Confusions
2-4 mm diameter_ camposed of primary fibres, Other 'tumbleweed' sponges
ascending to the surface, in the New Caledonia
Colour with fibres cored by thick lagoon: Reniochalino
Pale or dark orange-brown tracts choanosomal condy/io, Pseudoxinello
110 alive, beige to dark brown megascleres, interconnected debilusoe, Higginsio
Sponges when preserved. by shorter secondory, mossolis, H lonekeo.
of the New
Caledonian
Lagoon
Family Myrmekioderma granulata
A Desmoxyidae (Esper, 1830)

External Characters Colour


Massive, sub-cylindrical, light orange-brown to bright
vaguely elongate, rounded, orange exterior olive, often
bulbous growth farm, with silt-covered 'dusty'
partially burrowing in soft surface, orange-brown
sediments ar excavating exterior and beige interior
hard sediments. Surface is when preseNed.
pineapple-like, convoluted,
crustose, with large conules Skeletal Characters
Ectosomal skeleton consists
or rounded or polygonal
of 0 distinct, thick,
plates slightly raised above
detachable crust of smaller
the surface and separated
oxeas, with the innermost
by shallow but distinct
layer nearly horizontal and
grooves. The apex of the
the outermost layer nearly
sponge has irregularly
perpendicular to the surface,
meandering or discrete
excavoted chonnels (deep together forming 0 continuous
sieve plates or porocalyces) palisade of spicules
containing large oscules Ectosomal crust is supported
Myrmekioderma granulara (Esper) I. Chesrerfield, 28 m
below by long, pillar-like
especially near the apex (photo J.L. Menou)
tracts of large oxeas, usually
of the sponge, and each
widely spaced, producing 0 evenly rectangular, triangular Microscleres include is uncommon, whereas in
oscule is surrounded by 0
raised membraneous lip.
cavernous subdermal region or irregularly oval. raphides mostly in bundles other areas of the Indo-west
The exteriar surface of the containing sparse collagen, Megascleres consist of: (trichodragmatal, hair-like Pacific it is sometimes 0
sponge is invariably silt-
collagenous fibrils, bundles two categories of oxeas of [bundles 140 x 15 pml. prevalent member of the coral
covered, and the interior is of raphides and sparsely similar morphology, clearly reef fauna.
soft, mango-like. Texture is
scattered smaller oxeas. distinguished only by their Ecology and Habitat
harsh, firm, spiculose.
Choanosomal skeleton is size and distribution within Common habitats range Distribution
cavernous, reticulate, with the skeleton; both are from heavily sedimented Widely distributed throughout
Dimensions differentiated primary and entirely smooth or the larger fringing caral plorfarms and the Indo-west Pacific:
Grows up to 350-850 mm secondary spongin fibres ones may hove sparse coral pools, in sand, silt, Madagascar, Aldabra,
long, 200-600 mm wide, ond spicule tracts. Primary spines over the entire beach rock and dead coral Seychelles, Gulf of Monaar,
160-400 mm thick, fibres ore ascending, widely surface, straight or slightly rubble substrates, to pristine Indonesia, northwest Australia,
exceptionally larger than spaced, cored by th ick centrally curved, rarely coral reef slopes, often in central western Pacific
1 metre; surface polygonal tracts of larger oxeas, asymmetrical, tapering to spurs and grooves; found (Ponape, Truk, Ebon Atoll,
plates 18-35 mm diameter; interconnected by secondary sharp points Ismaller oxeas - from sublittoral depths to Palau, Ifalukj and southwest
porocalyces up to 60 mm transverse fibres containing 319·708 pm x 4-1 2 pm; approximately 20 m depth. in Pacific (Chesterfield Islands
deep, oscules up to 50 mm fewer coring oxeas. larger oxeas - the southern lagoon of New and southern lagoon of 111
diameter. Spongin fibre meshes ore 644-782 pm x 13-22 pml Caledonia this species New Caledonia) The Siliceous
Sponges
Order ~amily Higginsia tanekea
Axinellida Desmoxyidae Hooper and Levi, 1993
,

- '.

"
~s-.:-"'".
::,

.~.
-

.-

, ~
.P!... ~

-~.

~~~
... :--1
.....
'~J

"' ....' .

·'':.~-:I.~". -.::.~~ '.'~ :~,


""-:~
. :~_~i··~:
~:.~ '?7 J/flI-,& '\,
. ....
'. ..
''-:L ~ -,.'
I .', . '. -~~'~ J'~ 1':',".: ~~~.
.- .... "i!t. .s.~ l". . ~ "'--

Higginsia ranekea Hooper and Levi (hoIOlype): N. Lagoon: 27 m


(photo P. Laboute)

External Characters soh, compressible, relatively sparsely dispersed Ihin ascending spongin fibres slender, symmetrically the inter-reef region of the
Massive, irregularly bulbous, fragile, 80sily torn. Internal ectosornal oxeas. and skeletal tracts forming 0 curved, sharply pointed lagoon, 27 m depth. This
subspherical, subcylindrical consistency porous, cavernous. These ectosomal OX80S wide-meshed reticulation 1628-993 ~m x 4· 14 ~ml species rolls around on the
sponge, without stalk or Oscules not prominent. form paratangential tracts Spongin fibres ore divided ectosomal axeas, some soh substrate of the lagoon
other processes, loosely on the surface and are into primary ascending morphology, shorter, thinner floor.
atlached to the substrate,
Dimensions interdispersed with 0 crust fibres, cored by thick 1392-622 ~m x 3-7 ~ml.
210 mm long, 80 mm Microscleres include
with embedded detritus on of acanthoxeas mostly erect trocls of larger axeas, Distribution
Wide, 55 mm Ihick; surface on surface. The acanthoxeas interconnected by acanthoxeas mostly long,
'ventral surface', or Known only from the
conules up to 2 mm slender, with slight angular
unatlached and rolling free are mostly confi ned to secondary transverse fibres, northwest of the New
diameter, not raised mare central curvature,
on the substrale. Surface is peripheral skeleton. wilh fewer coring large Caledonia Iogoon.
than 2 mm from the surface. occasionally straight or with
slightly bulbous, with low, Choanosomal megascleres OX80S. The spongin fibre
rounded ridges, distinct do not pralrude beyond the and spicule reticulation lorm acute bend, sharply Possible Confusions
Colour
skin-like, detachable dermis surface. Subdermal region is cavernous oval or elongate pointed, with evenly Other 'tumbleweed' sponges
Pole arange olive, beige
and irregularly dispersed cavernous with sparse tracts meshes, wider in the dispersed, large spines from the New Caledonia
I when preserved. (71'143~mx 1.5'4.5~ml
microconules. Conules of choanosomal peripheral skeleton than lagoon: Reniocha/ina
conical or elongate, irregular Skeletal Characters megascleres supporting the deeper in Ihe choanosome. condylio, Pseudoxinello
in shope, interconnected by Ectosomal skeleton consists dermalloyer. Choonosomal Megascleres include Ecology and Habitat debitusoe, Higginsio
112 shallow canals and grooves. of 0 collagenous darkly skeleton is halichondraid- chaanosomal oxeas Found in soh sediments mosso/is, Rhophoxyo
Sponges Surface is smooth . Texture is pigmented layer with reticulate, with vaguely occasionally stylOid, long, I including Ho/imedo beds in systremma.
of the New
Caledonian
Lagoon
rd Higginsia massalis
Ax ir: e III d (l o Carter, 1885

Conules form meandering Choonosomal skeleton is bases, sharply pointed or


ridges and volleys. large plume-reticulate, verging on slightly telescoped points
oscules slightly raised above disorganised-halichondroid. 1632-2121 ~m x 6-10 ~ml;
the surface and each wilh The axis locks any well eclosomal oxeas long,
o membraneous lip, and developed compression, slender, usually slightfr' curved,
smaller ostio visible between and there is only poorly sometimes greotly curved or
ridges. Texture is soft, differentiated axial and sinuous, sharply pointed
compressible, easily torn. extra-axial regions. The (512-843 ~m x 2-8 ~m).
Internal consistency extra-axial spicule tracts are Microscleres include
is compact, only slightly only slightly more plurnose acanthoxeas long, slender,
cavernous, spiculose, friable. than the reticulate slightly angularly curved,
choanosomal spicule tracts, sharply pointed, evenly
Dimen5ion5 and the extra-axial region covered with small spines,
73 mm long, 46 mm also contains long extra- spines larger at centre of
diameter; surface
axial styles, usually standing spicule thon on ends of spicule
microconules up to 3 mm (74-137 ~m x 2-4.5 ~ml.
perpendicular to the surface.
diameter, raised no more
The choanosomal skeleton
than 2 mm from the surface;
consists of thicker primary Ecology and Habitat
oscules 3-6 mm diameter.
ascending spicule tracts, Found in the inter-reef
interconnected by shorter, region, on soft substrates
Colour
thinner, secondary including sand and
Pole orange olive, grey-
transverse spicule tracts, Halimeda bees, and coral
I brown when preserved. bath cored by long rubble, 10-25 m depth.
choanosomal oxeas with This species possibly rolls
Skeletal Characters
fewer thinner 'ectosomal' around on the soft substrate
Ectosomal skeleton is
/-ligginsia massalis Caner: Noumea: S.E. I. Maltre. 24 m oxeas also interdispersed. of the lagoon floor, with
minutely hispid due to 0
(photO P. Laboute) The spongin fibre system is only 0 tenuous allachment
sparse layer of erect, long
poorly developed, and to small particles in the
External Character5 extra-axial styles protruding
spicules appear to be substrate.
Massive, elongate, through the surface.
irregularly subspherical, Ectosome is highly cemented together primarily
without stalk or other collagenous, darkly by granular collagen. Di5tribution
processes, allached directly pigmented, and also Megascleres consist of: Southern Australia and southern
but loosely to the substrate contains sparse, choonosomal oxeas, robust, INew Caledonia lagoon.
with embeeded detritus in poratangentialtracts of long, straight or slightly
the 'ventral surface', or smaller, thinner oxeas and 0 curved, usually symmetrical, P055ible Confu5ion5
rolling freely on the substrate thick, paratangenlial crust of sharp poinled or rarely Other 'tumbleweed' sponges
('tumbleweed' spongel acanthoxeas. These telescoped points from the New Caledonia
Surface is uneven, irregulor, acanthoxeas are mainly (841936 ~m x I 2-1 8 ~m); lagoon: Reniocha/ina
lumpy, with 0 distinct skin- confined to the dermal extra-oxial styles, usually candy/ia, Pseudaxinella
like detachable dermis, skeleton. Subdermal region very long, slender, slightly debilusae, Higginsia
cavered with irregulorly slightly cavernous, with curved, sometimes straight tanekea, Rhaphoxya 113
shaped microconules. elongate canals. or sinuous, evenly rounded systremma. The Siliceous
Sponges
Order Family Myca/e (Zygomyca/e) parishi
Poecilosclerida Mycalidae (Bowerbank, 1877)

his order contains more living species than all other Recent Porifera. up to 25 families

T have been recognised, most being typical in having chelae microscleres which
characterise the group, but several atypical families are also now included even though
they lack chelae. Sponges of this order have monactinal, diactinal or both sorts of megascleres,
usually associated with well developed spongin fibres. Structural megascleres are frequently
localised to distinct regions within the sponge. Microscleres are very diverse and typically
include meniscoid forms such as chelae and sigmas, and other diverse forms (toxas, raphides,
microxeas). These small spicules do not generally take part in the construction of the principal
skeleton, but are dispersed throughout all the regions of the sponge or sometimes concentrated
in particular places (such as near the surface or around exhalant canals).
Poecilosclerids sponges have no characteristic forms, although encrusting, branching and
digitate shapes are common, and many species are brightly coloured. Where known they are
viviparous, incubating their larvae within their tissues, which eventually develop into a short-
lived, free-swimming, uniformly ciliated parenchymella with bare posterior poles.
poecilosclerids are found in all reef habitats and in other parts of the coast such as ports and
harbours, and they range in distribution from the intertidal zone to deeper waters on the outer-
reef edge.
Foremost amongst these spicules are chelae, found in Mycale, Phorbas, Damiriana, CreJla,
Clathria. Also present in some groups are toxas, in the form of a bow or accent circonflexe,
found in Clathria, Mycale, Acarnus and others, and sigmas with c-and s- shapes, seen in
Neojibularia, Mycale. These microscleres are fairly consistent within each species, are largely
characteristic of families, and are known to have an ancient origin which provides interesting
clues in aiding a reconstruction of the phylogeny of the Poecilosclerida.

114
Sponges
of the New
Caledonian
Lagoon
r ro . . . jl Mycale (lygomy( o/e) parish
Poecdosclericlo Mycolidoe cwerccnk. 1 8

External Characters Colour


An unevenly branching The sponge is commonly
sponge which presents an light brown in colour, but
overall shaggy appearance. con range to purple. light
The basal portion of main brown internally. Fawn in
branches is irregularly ethanol.
shaped and encrusting in
nature, with many bulges Skeletal Characters
and creases. Branches end Megascleres are styles, which
in tapered fingers projecting may be slightly subtylote
vertically, and branching (259-296 ~m x 5-6 ~ml.
Microscleres ore 'c' and 's'-
commonly occurs in all
planes. Distol portions of shaped sigmos of two sizes
most branches have many (20 ~m x 1 ~m and
small projections, hinting of 7 5 ~m x 5 ~ml and toxas
further branching. of different sizes [1 00 ~m
Oscules I mm diameter, and 5 ~m). Anisochelae of
irregularly positioned on the two sizes (5 ~m and 7 5 ~ml
sides of the main branches. and palmate isochelae
They appear os clusters, (I 0 ~ml are present.

slightly raised above the Reticulating bur·dles of


surface of the sponge. megascleres lace the
A dermal membrane is surface with abundant
interstitial megascleres, as
present and gives the
well as toxas and sigmas.
sponge surface a popery
Spicular tracts form on
appearance. The sponge is
otherwise tough. The surface anastomosing structure,
orientated perpendicularly to
is very soft and the sponge
is compressible in life, the surface.
though firm when preserved.
Ecology and Habitat
Grows in flat, muddy
Dimensions lagoon and harbour habitats
This sponge commonly where waters are turbid. It is
stands to 400 mm high, ohen associated with
with branches antipatharian coral
approximately 20 mm thick communities. Depth range
at their midpoint. The between 10-15 m.
encrusting base can be up
to 150 mm in diameter and Distribution
varies according to the New Caledonia, India. n MycoJe (Zygomycole) parish; (Bowerbank): Noumea. N. de Nouville. 8-12 m 115
substrote. I Ocean, Hawai Island (pholo P. Laboute) The Siliceous
Sponges
Family Neofibularia hartmani
Desmocell idoe Hooper and Levi, 1993

External Characters Skeletal Characters asymmetrical (size range


Thickly lobate, massive, Ectosome is membraneous, 218280 ~m x 39 ~ml
bulbous-encrusting sponge, lightly arenaceous, Microscleres consist of:
with lobes/bulbs fused to with abundant heavily microxeas clearly divided
adjacent bulbs. The species pigmented spongin. into MO size categories,
has well developed surface There is no specialised both relatively long,
sculpturing of close-set, spicule skeleton, but thick, widest in the middle
interconnected, small conules, irregular plumose tuhs of [size range of longer
forming web-like striations choanosomal strongyles 69-94 ~m x 0.8-2.0 ~m,
on the surface. Large may protrude through size range of smaller
oscules, situated on the the surface, or lie 28-51 ~m x 05-1.2 ~mJ;
apex of bulbs, have slightly paratangentially or erect on raphides, abundant,
Neojibl1Jaria hartmani Hooper and Levi: Noumea, I. Maitre, reef flat raised lips which contract to the surface, more or less long, straight,
(photo P. Labol11e) a smaller diameter when corresponding to position hair-like (size range
these animals are removed of surface conules. 79115 ~m x 0.2-0.8 ~m);
from water. This sponge The choanosomal skeleton is sigmas incompletely
produces abundant clear reticulate, with differentiated divided into two sizes, both
mucus. It is TOXIC and it is primary (multispicular) with c- and s-shapes,
advisable fo wear protective and secondary relafively fhick,
gloves when handling il. [uni- and paucispicularl evenly curved at the centre
spongin fibres. [size range of larger
Dimensions 50-85 ~m x 1.8-3.5 ~m,
Primary fibres are usually
Individual lobate-bulbs size range of smaller
fully cored by principal
measure between 20-55 mm 13-36 ~m x 0.8-1.5 ~ml
strongyles; secondary fibres
diameter, about 40 mm
have fewer principal
maximum high, with fused
strongyles. Ecology and Habitat
adjacent bulbs together
The fibre reticulation Found on the reef flat
spreading about 120 mm
produces elongate, oblong and shallow subtidal region,
across the substrate.
or oval meshes, on consolidated dead
Oscules measure between
with moderate quantities coral pavement, usually
2-8 mm diameter.
of collagen and foreign covered in fine silt,
Colour particles, and abundant 1- 15 m depth.
Pale yellow-brown or khaki- microscleres in betvveen.
brown alive, ohen partially Principal spicules are Distribution
116 Neo!ibl1Jaria hartmani Hooper and Levi: Passe de BOl1lari, 30 m silt-covered, dark brown in strongyles, long, slightly Southern New Caledonian
Sponges (photo P. Laboute) ethanol. curved, symmetrical or I lagoon.
of the New
Caledonian
Lagoon
Family Acarnus caledoniensis
p o lophonidae Hooper and Levi, 1993

also protrude through the 69-84 ~m x 1.5-4 ~ml


tracts in plumose array or at Micrascleres consist of:
more acute angles. Iwo varieties of toxas,
Numerous micrascleres ore Ihe smaller very thin, with
also dispersed belween angular central curvature
spicule tracts, with radial and recurved arms, the
columns of toxas particularly larger very long, slender,
abundanl. Megascleres with straight or slightly
consist of: prinCipal reflexed arms, and angular
subtylostyles slightly curved, central curvature
sharply pointed, with swollen (size range of smaller
micraspined bases (size range 48-141 ~m x 0.5-1 .4 ~m,
266-423 ~m x 4-11 ~ml; size range of larger
ectosamal tylates [straight, 119-416 ~m x 04-3 ~ml;
basally microspined Isize palmate isachelae size
range 299-383 ~m x 3-7 ~mll; range 14-22 ~m long.
echinating c1adotylotes of
Iwo sizes, both slightly
Ecology and Habitat
Common species, dispersed
curved, the larger with
in Halimeda beds, on soM
recurved spines
bottom with sand and coral
concentrated in middle of
rubble substrates, rolling
shaft, the smaller with
across the seobed or only
Acarnus caledoniensis Hooper and Levi (hololype): l. Maltre, 23 m granular spines, both with
(photo P. Laboute) loosely attached to other
the shaft th icker at the base
benthas. Depth range
than apex, main c1adame at
belween 5-25 m.
External Characters Both the oscular lips and Colour be slightly reticulate, or even apex with four sharply pointed
Small spherical or microconules collapse to 0 Red-arange body, darker vaguely halichondroid in long clods, minar c1adame
Distribution
subsphericol sponges, oMen certain extent when the red 'fistules', body silt- arrangement, due to the at base with four small clads
Southern lagoon of New
covered with small conules, sponge is taken into the air, covered when alive, light abundance of echinating Isize range of larger
and these may not be seen brown in ethanol.
I Caledonia only.
evenly scattered over the spicules (lwa sizes of both 122-206 ~m x 1.5-4 ~m,
surface, and sill. This in preserved specimens. acanthastyles and width at base 2.5-6 ~m; Possible Confusions
species is not firmly attached Skeletal Characters c1adotylotes) interconnecting size range of smaller Other 'tumbleweed' sponges
to the substrote and it Dimensions Ectasamal skeleton with adiacent skeletal columns. 68-152 ~m x 1.5-3 ~m, in the New Caledonia
appears to be able to roll Sponges may grow up to paratangentiallayer of Spicules ore not enclosed width at base 2-4 ~ml; lagoon: Rhophoxya
around the sea bed 90 mm diameter, 45 mm tylotes, although many also within spongin fibres, but echinating acanthastyles of systremma, Reniocholina
following the water high, with surface protrude through the surface. aggregated by more Iwa sizes, both cylindrical, candy/ia, Pseudaxinella
movemenl. Oscules are microcanules abaut 3 mm Chaanasamal skeleton is granular collagen. Spicule straight, with fewer spines in debitusae, Higginsia
large and usually only seen diameter, ascules belween composed of plumase tracts are cored by cam poet centre of shaft than at ends tanekeo, Higginsia
on the upper surface, and 8-15 mm diameter, and skeletal tracts, running side lines of principal spicules (size range of larger massalis, and spherical
each oscule is surrounded ascular lips raised 8-18 mm by side ascending to the Isubtylostyles with 89-1 38 ~m x 2-4 ~m; morphs of Graye/la 117
by toll membraneous lip. above the surface. surface, but they appecr 10 microspined bases!. which size range smaller papillosa. The Siliceous
Sponges
Family Waldo5chmittia 5chmidti
p Coelosphaeridae (Ridley, 1884)

External Characters Individual lobes are 's'-shaped sigmas


Massive lobate sponge, approximately 50 mm in 118 ~m long)
appears minutely conulose diameter and do not extend The skeleton consists of
over the entire surface as the more than 30 mm above a plumo-reticulate array
outer epithelial membrane is the general sponge base. of megasclere tracts,
translucent and drapes aver Within sediment flat habitats with abundant interstitial
skeletal proiections. Oscules smoll-rounded individuals spiculation.
are of varioble diameter approximately 5 cm A spicular lanice-work forms
depending on the pumping spherical diameter, a delicate, slightly
rate of the sponge, but are commonly seen detachable dermal layer.
commonly up to 10 mm and appear to be highly Rising spiculor plumes from
diameter. Oscules are mobile in currents. the choanasame flare near
approximately 5-] 0 mm in the surface, such that
diameter ond are apically Colour spicules lie horizontal to the
positioned on eoch lobe, Colour in this species is dermal plane.
surrounded by a smooth, highly varioble, ranging
thin membrane, forming from greyblue, through Ecology and Habitat
a collar of 2-3 mm width. fawn to burnt orange. The sponge is associated
Internol exhalent conal On lower basal surfaces with coral rubble
divisions may be easily seen and in shaded conditions and Halimeda beds,
inside oscules. Surface colour tends to pole grey. and occurs where fine
texture is smooth to slightly The sponge is uniformly sediments accumulate
fibrous and the sponge is fawn in colour internally. an flat areas of reef in
compressible ond easily In ethanol it is uniformly regions of reduced current.
torn. The sponge when dull yellow. It is a common species
growing on sediment flats is within its range.
Skeletal Characters Depth range between
not well anached to the
Megascleres are oxeas 15-35 m.
substratum, and is usually
with smooth points, although Non-attached farms are
anchored by attaching to
some are slightly stepped common,
small coral and shell fragments.
Isize range
] 85- 196 ~m x 4 ~ml and Distribution
Dimensions tylotes 1240 ~m x 2-4 ~ml. New Caledonia particularly
Sponges commonly grow to Microscleres are unguiferous common within the lagoon
118 150 mm long x ] 00 mm isochelae of variable south of Noumea. Red Sea, waldoschmirtia schmidli (Ridley!: Banc Gail, 27 m
Sponges wide and 7a. 100 mm high. size 120-21 ~ml plus 'c' and Indian Ocean. (ptlOIO P. LaboUle)
of the New
Caledonian
Lagoon
Order Family Crella spinulata
Poec· se. r1da Crellidae (Hentschel, 1911)

External Characters brushes of smooth principol curved, with smoll gronular


Groups of solitory, conical oxeas (from the mojor spines evenly dispersed over
or cylindrical digits, erect on choonosomol spicule trocts) entire spicule, with sharp
the substrate, with a protruding slightly ond fusiform points (size ronge
common basal anachment stonding perpendicular to 148-157 ~m x 1.5-3.0 ~m).
on or below the substratum the surfoce crust. The Microscleres ore orcuote
surface. Digits are evenly choonosomal skeleton is isochelae including
cylindrical or slightly composed of two distinct rudimentory, poorly
flanened, occasianally structures. The main skeleton silicified exomples
bulbous-encrusting in sand is 0 meondering reticulotion (size range 18-22 ~m Iong)J.
sediments. The surface is of thick, well formed
slightly conulase, granular, spongin fibres, fully cored
with a visible dermal by multispicular trocts of Ecology and Habitat
membrane and a relatively smooth principol oxeos Partiolly burrOWing into soft
even texture. Oscules are sediments (sond, grovel,
(which eventuolly protrude
prominent in live material, shell-grit, corol rubble); or
through the surfocel. The
evenly dispersed over the bioeroding deod carol
secondory skeleton is
sides and apex af digits, substrotes, rorely found on
renieroid, more or less
slightly raised above the live coral substrote. Known
regularly reticulote,
surface with membraneous depth ronge is 3-55 m.
overloying the primary
lips.
reticulate fibre skeleton, ond
eoch element of the
Dimensions Distribution
secondory ren ieroid skeleton
Digits are up to 60 mm Tropicol Austrolasio: known
is composed of two or more
high, 20 mm basal from Shark Bay, Houtmon-
oconthoxeas joined ot their
diameter, and 9 mm Abrolhos Islands ond
nodes by collogenous
diameter at apex. Northwest Shelf, Western
spangin. The secondory
Oscules are about 1-2 mm Australia; Timor Sea and
skeleton ceoses just below
diameter, standing 2-3 mm Dorvvin region, Narthern
the surfoce crust whereos the
above the surface; arealate Territory; Penguin Channel,
primory skeleton continues Snake Reef, Stonley Reef,
pores ore not present
through it. Megascleres
(d Crello papillosa). Howick Islands and
are principal oxeas Whitsunday Islands, Great
Colour [entirely smooth, long, thin, Borrier Reef, Queensland,
Red-arange to vivid-red slightly curved, usuolly and southern lagoon of
alive, orange-brawn in symmetricol, occasionolly New Caledonia.
ethanol. modified to styloids, usuolly
with hostote points (size range
Skeletal Characters 256-331 ~m x 1.8-4.0 ~m); Possible Confusions
The ectosome is a thick crust ectosomal ond occessory Similar in colouration to
af ectasamal acanthaxeas Ichoonosomall aconthoxeos Crella papillato and several
lying tangentiol to the identicol in morphology ond species of Clathria from the CreJla s{>inulma (Hentschel): Canal Woodin. 33 m 119
surface, with plumose size, long, thin, symmetrically New Caledonia lagoon. (pll010 P. Laboute) The Siliceous
Sponges
Crella papillata
c (Levi, 1958)

Crella papillata (Levi): He Ouen, recif U, 10 m


(pholo P. LaboUle)

External Characters inhalent pores. The surfoce Colour perpendicular to the surface. Ecology and Habitat
Thickly encrusting 10 massive is soh to touch ond readily In life, bright red throughout. Interstitiol spicules are This sponge is found
sponge, with mony I detachable. I Crimson in ethanol. obundont. Surface in shallow-reef flat habitat,
8-25 m deep, within
mound-like proiections. spiculation is distinct,
Oscules are hophazardly Dimensions Skeletal Characters the lagoon. Ohen
particularly in the region of
positioned and are up to The sponge is variable in Megascleres are long styles ossocioted with algol
papillae, os acanthooxeas communities.
3 mm in diameter. The shape, commonly up to [270- 290 ~m x 1-5 ~ml and
form continuous palisades,
surface is distinctively 150 mm long, but con finely spined acanthoxeas
covered in smoll 1-2 mm grow to 200 mm. [I 00 ~m x 1-3 ~m). No orientated tangentially to the Distribution
120 diometer papillae-like It is 100-150 mm wide and microscleres. Spicules are surface plane and radiating Southwest New Caledonian
Sponges proiections, which group 100 mm high. grouped inlo plumose trocts around papillae. I lagoon. Red Sea.
of the New
Coledonian
Lagoon
Or Family Strongylodesma sp.
Poecil Phoriospongiidae

External Characters Skeletal Characters


Massive sponge wilh Megascleres ore strongyles
distinctive surface ascule of one size 1190 ~m x 5 ~ml.
and pore area structure. They hove 0 distinctive
Oscules are large, up to uneven oxial canal running
10 mm diameter, and have thei r length. Microscleres
a smooth, thin flange. are absent. Densely packed
Internal canal divisions are pigmented cells make it
readily seen within. Pares difficult to see the skeletal
are grouped an raised structure. Megascleres ore
mushroom-shaped densely incorporated into on
projections, 5 mm diameter, irregular fasciculatian of
and cover the entire surface tracts, which appear to be
on most specimens. Other arientated tangentially to the
individuals have reduced surface.
'pore' regions with the
remaining sponge surface Ecology and Habitat
smooth. The texture is Associated with lagaanal
smooth, slightly fibrous to sand flats and Halimeda
touch ond the sponge is beds. Free-living forms,
compressible. Con be torn. presumed to be fragments,
Free-living specimens, os are common and observed
spherical fragments, hove in various stages of
been seen. anaching to shell and coral
fragments. Depth range is
Dimensians
10-30 m.
Sponges normally 80-100 mm
I
diameler, 60 mm high.
Distribution
Colour The sponge is common in
In life, light brown internally lagoon sand flat habitats
and externally. In ethanol where sediments are Srrongylodesma sp.: Noumea, I. Croissant, 10 m. Seagrass bed 121
very dark brown. relatively free of mud. (photo P. Laboutej The Siliceous
Sponges
Orde Family Hamigera strongylata
Poeciloscler idCl Anchinoidae (Burton, 1934)

External Characters Skeletal Characters


A thickly encrusting sponge Megascleres are tylotes
with uneven bulges and (222 ~m x 5 ~ml.
creases. The sur/ace Micrascleres ore 'c'-shaped
appears slightly translucent sigmas (37 ~ml and
and is covered in distinctive isochelae. Megosclere tracts
crater-like marks, which rise from the bose of the
acl os inhalent pores, sponge, perpendicular to
2-5 mm diameter. the sur/ace. The ectosame is
Oscules are less abundant, distinct os spicules spread
slightly raised (1 mml tangentially over the sur/ace
above the sur/ace and sometimes farming radiating
rimmed by 0 thin membrane. arrays around pore areas.
The surface is smooth to
Ecology and Habitat
touch and very soft.
A rare species found on
The sponge is slightly
steep slopes in light to
compressible and is easily
moderate currents. The
torn.
specimen examined was
collected from the shipwreck
Dimensions
of the Snark. This species
Up to 100 mm in diameter
appears to favour shaded
and 10-20 mm thick when
conditions with little sediment.
'inflated'.
Depth range 5-15 m. Canal
Woocin.
Colour
In lile the sponge is yellow, Distribution
122 externally and internally. New Caledonia: Greal 110111ige((/ slrongylolCl (Bun on): Chf'n,,1 cif'S 5 mlllf's. 5 m
Sponges In ethanol, dark brown. I Barrier Reef. (pholo P. Laboute)
of the New
Caledonian
Lagoon
d Family Clathria (Clathriopsamma) rugosa
Poe lerida Microcionidae Hooper and Levi, 1993

C1Olhrio (C1o,llriopsommo) rugoso Clolhrio (Ciolhriopsommo) rugoso Clolhrio (C1OlllriapsommO) rugoso


Hooper and Levi: S. Lagoon. I. Kie, 20 m Hooper and Levi: Banc Gail. 3t m Hooper and Levi: Baie de SI Vincent,
(pll010 P. Laboute) (phOtO P. Laboute) near la Passe (photo P. Laboute)

External Characters the ectosomal membrane is Dimensions and also with 0 lightly usually completely smooth, (size range 12-17 ~ml;
Flabellate, palmate-digitate destroyed, and the surface Individual digits 15-140 mm arenaceous cover. occasionally with sporse toxas, slightly curved at
or digitate sponges, beneath is very porous. long, combining 10 produce Choonosomal skeleton spines over shaft and both centre, recurved and sharply
occasionally simply Small oscules are mainly on more or less fan-shaped reticulate, with heavy ends Isize range poinled 01 tips (size range
subspherical, massive, the margins, less abundant growth forms 70-340 mm spongin fibres, relotively 134-159 ~m x 4.5-8 ~ml; 24-122 ~m x 0.8-3 ~ml.
varying considerably in size on the lateral surface of fans long, 45-140 mm maximum widely spoced, divisible into auxiliary slyles or slyloids
and development of the width, 10-20 mm thickness, primary and secondary subdermal, with some
and digits, Iypically with 0 Ecology and Habitat
digitate margins. The Iypical generally with short stalks components. Primary fibres diaclinal modifications,
membraneous lip slightly Living on dead coral,
growth form is hand-shaped, 30-50 mm long. Oscules sporsely cored by tracts of long, straight with slight
raised above the surface of coral rubble, Ha/imeda
consisting of several 2-3 mm diameter, fistules, principol slyles, usually sublylote micraspined
the sponge. No su bderma I beds and sand substrates;
cylindrical digits arising from if present up to 12 mm long, ascending towards the bases, rounded microspined
sculpturing is present around depth range between
the margins of a fan, which 4 mm diameter. surface but not protruding points, ond completely
oscules. Another variely 3-38 m.
has 0 short cylindrical stalk through it, heavily echinated smooth shoh [size ronge
exists which is similar to
ohen aMached to coral Colour by acanthaslyles, also 162-206 ~m x 2-4.5 ~ml;
Iypical forms but has Bright red-orange olive, light containing sand groins. echinoling oconthoslyles
rubble or dead molluscs. Distribution
The surface ornamentation
enlarged oscules, each with
star-shaped canals running
Igrey-brown preserved. Secondary fibres usually
uncored, without detritus,
short, cylindricol, slightly Southern lagoon of New
varies (three varietiesl: the sublylote bases, rounded, I Caledonia.
Iypical form is optically under the surface [astrorhizael. Skeletal Characters but heovily echinated by slightly swollen tips,
smooth, even and A third variely, associated Ectosomal skeleton with acanthoslyles. Megascleres evenly spined; spines Possible Confusions
membraneous when olive, with subspherical, massive brushes of auxiliary consist of principol slyles smoll, gronular Isize ronge Clalhrio II000llilera in the
with 0 few microconules specimens, has oscules sublyloslyles forming short, straight, with slightly 58-91 ~m x 4-7 ~ml. New Caledonia lagoon,
along the margins of digits. raised above the surface on irregular poratangential sublylote bases, rounded Microscleres include: and Clalhrio auslro/iensis 123
When token out of water short stalks (fistulesl. brushes on the surface, or abruptly pointed tips, polmote isochelae widespreod in Australasia. The Siliceous
Sponges
Forr Clathria (Clathriopsamma) litos
dosclerida Micro orlldae Hooper and Levi, 1993

Clarhrla (ClOIhriopsamma) Jiras Hooper and Levi: I. Mailre. 25 m C/arhria (C/OIhrlapsamma) Jiros Haaper and Levi (hatOlype):
(photo G. Bargibanl) Naumea. Baie des Cilrons. 15 m (photo P. Laboute)

External Characters breaks off when preserved, Dimensions from the surface for 0 short whereas the secondary lunreflexed armsllsize range
Clumps 01 branching, leaving 0 honeycombed Individual digits 25-65 mm distance, and also with fibres are completely clear. I 114-196~mx 1.5-2.5~ml.
cylindrical digits, each digit oppearance. Each large long, 8-16 mm diameter, moderate quantities of Fibre meshes are
at least partially lused to oscule is surrounded by 0 larming clumps 240 mm detritus, mostly sand groins, cavernous, oval or elongate, Ecology and Habitat
adjacent branches, aHached membraneous lip, and 0150 wide, 1 15 mm maximum scallered on both the and light brown collagen is living on coral rubble and
to 0 common base, forming has 0 single groove height, 90 mm maximum exterior and interior olfhe dispersed belween the soft ballom, sand and silt
o large bronching, non- Idrainage canalJ running thickness; oscules 6-1 3 mm surface spongin fibres. libres containing sparse substrates, in shallow water,
onostomosing growth lorm. down branches. In lile this diometer, droinage canals Choanosomal skeleton microscleres and abundant 15-25 m depth.
Digits more or less regularly drainage canal is covered up to 4 mm Wide, 5 mm has irregularly reticulate detritus Isand and loreign
cylindrical, usually divided by 0 membrane, but this deep. structure. There is no spiculesl. Megascleres Distribution
at least once, and ohen disappears aher preservation, structural spicule skeleton, are absent. Southern lagoon of New
exponded and with on leavi ng 0 large furrow on Colour but the spongin fibre system Microscleres include: I Caledonia.
oscule at the end of each the lateral side of each digit. Pole orange-brown olive, is well developed, with arcuate isochelae,
branch. Surface is porous, Surlace is shaggy, Ibeige when preserved. differentiated primary and uncommon, large, thick, Possible Confusions
both when olive and when microconulose, with libre secondary fibres. All fibres with well developed alae Echinochafina
preserved. When olive there endings protruding through Skeletal Characters are lightly laminated but [size range 16-24 ~ml; IProfophfifaspongia) menoui
are wide fibre meshes lying the ectosamal membrane. Ectosomal skeleton is without central pith, and toxas, rare, long, thick, in the New Caledonia
on the surface with 0 thin The texture is very soh, fragile, membraneous, without with sparse deposits of slender, with generous lagoon; Clafhrla I!soclellal
124 membrane stretched over insubstantial, eaSily torn, spicules, with the points of detritus 0150 incorporated centrol curvature, eccenfrica Irom tropical
Sponges the libres, but this usually and slightly sandy to touch spongin libres protruding into some primary fibres, with long straight Australasia.
of the New
Caledonian
Lagoon
C/athria (Tha/ysias) vu/pina
(Lamarck, 1814)

External Characters poarly developed with and echinaling


Many falded and rejoined poratangential or tangential acanthostyles; spines mostly
lamellae fusing together to auxiliary spicules lying on on base and pointed ends,
produce elongate tubular, the surface (found mainly slightly subtylote bases
tubulo-digitate, flabellate or between surface conulesj. (37-59 ~m x 25-6 ~ml
sometimes simply The subdermal region is Microscleres consist of:
subspherical growth forms, usually cavernous, with palmate isochelae,
but always with cavernous slightly plumase tracts of generally two sizes of these
reticulate construction. choanosomal styles. ore found in the species, but
Surface is fleshy olive, Choanosomal skeleton is in New Caledonian
composed of many rounded regularly reticulate, with well populations these hove been
conules, small digits, or developed spongin fibres lost; and toxas, thin, hair-like,
spiky projections on ridges forming more or less square with central curve and slightly
and the margins of the meshes, differentiated into reflexed or straight arms
surface, with the area primary, multispicular, 118194 ~m x 0.5-0.8 ~ml
between surface canules ascending fibres, and
excavated to produce 0 secondary, un i- or Ecology and Habitat
cavernous interior. Large paucispicular, transverse Growing on soh sediments
oscules ore located at the connecting fibres. Fibres are and coral rubble, Halimeda
apex of many surface cored by both choanasamal beds and beach rock, from
projections or on the margins
principal styles Imast 15-30 m depth.
of branches, usually raised
commonl and long, slender
above the surface and with
subectosomal auxiliary Distribution
o membraneous lip.
styles Fibres are heavily Widely distributed
echinated by acanthostyles. throughout the tropical and
Dimensions
Megascleres consist of: subtropical waters of the
Sponges vary from small
principal styles, smooth, Indo-Pacific, from
(70 mm diameterlto
slightly curved near the Mozambique,
massive branching lobes
base, with rounded or Madagascar, Amirante
(up to 300 mm diameterl;
slightly subtylote bases, Island, Seychelles Island,
oscules up to 6 mm diameter. Clarhria (Thalysias) uulpina (Lamarck): Noumea. I. Maine, 25 m
sharply pointed Aldabra Island, Red Sea, (photo P. Laboute)
Colour 1140-195 ~m x 5-8 ~ml; west coast of India, Gulf of
Vivid red to red-orange subectosamal auxiliary Manaar, Sri Lanka, Mergui
styles, long, thin, straight,
I olive, beige when preserved. Archipelago, Andaman
rounded smooth bases, Sea, Straits of Malacca,
Skeletal Characters sharply pointed throughout the Inda-Malay
Ectosomal skeleton varies (142-244 ~m x 2-5 ~ml; archipelago, Philippines,
from well developed, with ectosamal auxiliary styles, Vietnam, Japan, Guam,
erect brushes of bcth short, thin, straight, rounded Papua New Guinea, west,
ectosomal and subectosomal srnoolh bases, rarely miaospinec north, and eastern Australia
auxiliary styles (found mainly bases, sharply pointed and southern lagoon of 125
on the surface conulesl, to (79-128 ~m x 2-4 ~ml; New Caledonia. The Siliceous
Sponges
Orde r Clathria (Thalysias) flabellifera
Poeciloscleridu Microcioll e Hooper and Levi, 1993

External Characters transverse secondary fibres, Ecology and Habitat


Flabellifarm, f1anened in one producing square meshes Coral reef and carol rubble,
plane, camposed of fused near the surface but more I
depth 38 m.
digitate branches with some compact oval meshes in the
gaps on the surface due 10
Distribution
axis. Primary fibres cared by
incomplete branch fusion,
Known only from the Isle of
multispicular tracts of
Pines, southwest New
and with uneven digitate choanosamal principal
Caledonian lagoon.
margins. Surface is even, styles, secondary fibres
slightly folded, without paucispicular, and Possible Confusions
canules or other processes, echinating acanthostyles C/athria rugasa in the New
but with prominent oscules are abundant. Megascleres Caledonia lagoon;
each surrounded by whitish include: principal styles, also resembles C1alhria
subdermal drainage canals short, robust, straight, cancel/aria from northwest
lastrarhiza) radiating in all Australia.
slightly subtylate, smooth
directions ithese are not
bases, sharply painted
viSible in preseNed material).
(139-163 ~m x 6-9 ~ml;
Dimensians subectosomal auxiliary
Fans up to 170 mm high, styles, long, slender,
230 mm wide, up to 8 mm straight, slightly
maximum thickness; oscules subtylote, smooth bases,
approximatefy 2 mm diameter. sharply poi nted
(209-293 ~m x 3-6 ~mJ;
Colour ectosomal auxiliary styles,
Red to orange-red alive, pale short, slightly subtylote,
Icream when preseNed. usually smooth,
sometimes microspined
Skeletal Characters
Ectosomal skeleton varies
198-179 ~m x 2-4 ~mJ; and
echinating acanthostyles,
from well developed, with
robust, small spines mostly
erect brushes of both
ectosomal and on bases and poinls
subectosomal auxiliary styles (49-84 ~m x 3-7 ~ml
forming a continuous Microscleres include:
palisade on Ihe surface, 10 palmate isochelae (1 1-15 ~m)
poorly developed with and two categories of taxas
sparse tangential or most common are short, thick,
paratangential auxiliary centrally cUNed, reflexed
styles lying on the surface. arms (13-48 ~m x 1-2.5 ~ml;
Choonosomal skeleton others long, hair-like,
regularly reticulate, with with small central CUNe
126 Iang ascending primary and straight arms Clarhria (Thalysias) jlabel/jjera Hooper and Ifvi (hototypf'.j: E. lie Of'S Pins. :'l0 m
Sponges spongin fibres and short (49-204 ~m x 0.5-1 ~m) (photo J.L. Menou)
of the New
Coledonian
Lagoon
Order Family C/athria (Tha/ysias) corneo/ia
Poecilosclerida Mlcrocion idae Hooper and Levi, 1993

Clarhria (ThalyslaS) comeolla Hooper and Levi: Banc Gail. 30 m Clarhrla (ThalysiQS) comeollo Hooper and Levi: Chenal de Tiare. bervveen Ton Du and I. le. 20 m
(ph010 P. Laboule) (phOla P. Labaute)

External Characters stretched between adjacent Skeletal Characters secondary spongin fibres. (intermediate between principal 136-59 ~m x 3-6 ~ml.
Clumped, branching growth branches most clearly seen Ectosomal skeleton with well The spongin fibre styles and acanthastylesl Microscleres include:
farm, usually with bulbous in live specimens but developed bundles of reticulation in the axis of the 198-222 ~m x 5-1 1 ~ml; palmate isachelae,
subcylindrical branches or partially collapsing when ectosamal styles forming skeleton farms elongate subectasamal auxiliary two sizes, some of the
sometimes with thinly preserved. Lateral edges of plumase brushes. are meshes; primary fibres are styles, straight, sharply larger twisted forms
arborescent branches, all branches have prominent perched on the end of paucispicular, cared by painted, slightly subtylote, 18-1 1 ~m and 2-4 ~mJ;
anached to a common subdermal drainage canals. terminal spangin fibres at subectosamal auxiliary smooth bcses and toxas thin, with
base, entirely free or Large ascules an apex of the surface, and these styles, and secondary libres 1265-308 ~m x 3-7 ~mJ; large central curvature,
partially fused with adjacent branches surrounded by peripheral fibres are usually do not contain any spicules ectasamal auxiliary styles, with straight or slightly
branches, ond with one or prominent membraneous lip. more swollen than those in or they are rarely cared by straight, sharply pointed, reflexed arms
mare points of anachment to the axis of the sponge. few auxiliary styles. Both slightly subtylote . /12-145 ~m x 0.8-2.5 ~ml.
Dimensions
the substrate. Branches are Subdermal spongin fibres acanthastyles and principal 195-153 ~m x 2-4 ~m)];
Clumps of branches range Ecology and Habitat
bulbaus-cylindrical alive, form cavernous meshes, styles echinate fibres, but and acanthostyles
Iram 70-190 mm high, and Uncommon, found in sand,
contracted and slightly whereas spicules caring these are sparse. echinating fibres, short,
branches range from 5-45 mm coral rubble, and Ha/imeda
flattened when preserved, these fibres are more or less Megascleres consist 01: stout, sharply pointed or
diameter, contracted when beds, with depth range
usually bilurcated and plumase, cored by plumase principal styles [echinating with telescoped points,
preserved. Oscules ore up between 18-35 m.
reticulated, tapering to tracts 01 subectosomal fibres, straight, sharply evenly rounded or slightly
to 25 mm diameter.
rounded tips. The surface is auxiliary styles. The painted or with telescoped subtylate bcses, spines Distribution
optically even, without any Colour choonasamal skeleton is paints, evenly rounded or mostly an the bcse and Only known from the
noticeable protrusions, with Pale red-pink alive, pale irregularly reticulate, with tapering bases, same with midway along the shalt, southwest coast of the New 127
a membraneous ectosome I pink-brawn when preserved. well developed primary and vestigial spines on shalt sometimes verticillate Caledonian lagoon. The Siliceous
Sponges
Order amd Clathria (Thalysias) araiosa
Poecllosclerida Microcionidae Hooper and Levi, 1993

External Characters are brushes of subectosomal


Bulbous, Iobete, Ihickly auxiliary styles,
encrusting. Surface is in 2-3 separate layers,
uneven, composed of producing straight or sinuous
numerous fused bulbs, each subdermal spicule tracts.
wilh an apical osculum Megascleres include:
raised slightly on a choanosomal principal
membraneous lip, and white styles, short, slightly cUNed
or pale red subdermal near base, sharply pointed,
drainage canals lastrarhizal smooth, evenly rounded
radiating away from each or slightly subtylote
oscule. (126-267 ~m x 6-7 ~ml;
subectosomal auxiliary
Dimensions styles, straight, sharply
Encrustations up 10 15 mm poinled, smooth, rounded
thick. Oscules up 10 4 mm or slighlly subtylole
diameter. 1278-365 ~m x 3-6 ~m);
ectosomal auxiliary styles
Colour straight, smooth, evenly
Pale red alive, beige when rounded, non-tylate
I preseNed. 1I 21-1 83 ~m x 3-4 ~m);
echinating acanthostyles,
Skeletal Characters
slender, slightly subtylote,
Ectosomal skeleton is well
sharply pointed, small
developed, dense, with a
spines mostly on base and
single layer of ectosomal
midway along shaft
auxiliary styles forming
150-72 ~m x 3-5 ~ml
compoct brushes on the
Microscleres include:
surface, perched over the
Clarhria (Tllalysiasj araiosa Hooper and U~vi: (holotypel Recif des 5 milles. 8 m palmate isochelae (15-18 ~mJ;
ends of the subectosomal
(photo G. Bargibantl toxas, small, thin, slightly
spicule brushes below.
cUNed at centre, usually
Choanosomal skeleton
with straight arms
hymedesmoid, with a thin
11242 ~m x 0.5-2 ~ml
layer of spongin lying on the
dead coral substrate, and Ecology and Habitat
with choonosomol principal Dead coral, 30 m depth,
styles and echinating
acanthostyles embedded in
Iin areas of strong currents.
this besal spongin and Distribution
standing perpendicular to Known only from the
128 the substrate. At the ends of southwest lagoon of New
Sponges the erect choanosomal styles Caledonia.
of the New
Coledonion
Lagoon
Order Fa Clathria (Thalysias) hirsuta
Poeci loscle"ida M,croclon ae Hooper and Levi, 1993

External Characters olive, with slightly striated, sparse echinating


Erect fla~ened digit, with paler surface sculpturing acanthostyles. Coring
honeycombed surface (subdermal drainage canalsl spicules occupy only 0 small
structure excavated by pores also visible in between proportion of the fibre
and canals that pass surface conules. Sponge is diameter. usually confined
completely through the evenly beige in ethanol. to the centre of each fibre.
sponge 'body' Surface is The fibre reticulation larms
ornamented by many triangular. oval or elongate
Skeletal Characters
micracanules, which are meshes, more compact in
Ectasomal skeleton with 0
close together, pointed, the axial region than in the
sparse tangential or
usually dividing once or peripheral skeleton.
paratangentiol layer of
twice at their points, and Megascleres include:
intermixed ectasomal and
situated on the ends of flat, choonasamal principal styles
subectosomal auxiliary
lamellate surface processes (found exclusively in fibresl
styles. but not producing on
which encircle the edges of ore scarse, very slender,
erect, specialised Thofysios-
the excavated canals and straight, sharply pointed,
like skeleton. Chaanasamal
join together to produce the with smooth evenly
skeleton dominated by well
honeycombed surface rounded bases (size range
developed, horny spongi n
structure. The texture is firm, 1 14-15 8 ~m x 2-5 ~ml;
fibres, with mineral skeleton
compressible, and difficult to subeclosomal auxiliary styles
greatly reduced. The
tear. Oscules ore sca~ered (found inside fibres and also
spongin fibre skeleton has
over the surface, situated in the subdermal skeleton I Clathria (Thalysias) hirsuta Hooper and L<3vi: I. des Pins. 30 m
differentiated primary and
between microconules. (photo G. Bargibant)
secondary fibres. Primary ore long, very slender,
fibres are predominantly straight or rarely slightly
Dimensions
ascending, cored by curved. with tapering sharp
Digit is 65 mm long, 40 mm
multispicular tracts of points, and with bases that
wide. 30 mm thick; surface are scarse, short, slender, 65-172 ~m x 0.2-0.5 ~ml waters of Queensland, and
spicules; secondary fibres are nearly axeate Itapering
conules 2-4 mm long, 5-9 mm sharply pointed, with 1 Isochelae are absent. the southeast of the New
are mostly transverse, shorter to pointed or small
wide, up to 2 mm thick;
oscules ore up to 5 mm and thinner, interconnecting rounded endsllsize range
vestigial spines and very
Ecology and Habitat
I
Caledonia lagoon.

163-242 ~m x 1.8-4 ~ml; slight subtylote bases Isize


diameter, sca~ered over primary fibres are cored by Found on coral reel, rock Possible Confusions
pauci- or unispicular tracts of ectasamal auxiliary styles range 34-56 ~m x 2-4 ~ml None in New Caledonia;
surface between microconules. and coral rubble substrates,
spicules. All fibres are cored are short, straight, very Microscleres include: taxos, Cla/hria IThalysiasl cacfiformis
20-30 m depth range.
Colour by subectosomal auxiliary slender, with evenly rounded uncommon, raphidiform, widely distributed throughout
Tips of surface micracanules styles intermixed with fewer bases (size range with slightly ongular or Distribution the warm temperate and
red, honeycombed portion principal choanasomal 81-98 ~m xO.8-2 ~ml; rounded central curvature Northern, central and subtropicallndo-wesl Pacific 129
of sponge pole mauve-red styles, and echinated by echinating acanthostyles and straight arms (size range I southern inshore coastal region. The Siliceous
Sponges
Ord F-
. Clathria (Clathria) menoui
Poeciloscler id M ~Ion I(j Hooper and Levi, 1993

paucispicular tracts of tip, with prominent subtylote


principal subtylostyles, bases, ohen tear-drop shaped,
sometimes uncored or cored and long, tapering, sharply
by vestigial spicules of pointed tips [size range
indeterminant origin 154185 ~m x 1.8-3 ~ml;
(resembling fibre pith). echinating spicules ore
Coring spicules occupy only entirely smooth, straight
o very small proportion of subtylostyles, with well
fibre diameter. Secondary marked constricted" necks",
fibres interconnect the evenly rounded bases and
primary fibre system at sharply pointed 'ips Isize
irregular intervals, more or range 27-34 ~m x 1.5-3 ~ml.
less transverse, usually Microscleres include:
uncared ar rarely toxas are very rare,
unispicular. Fibre meshes exceedingly slender
are large and irregular, (raphide-likel, with only
slight angular curvature at
generally oval or elongate.
Clalhria (Clalhria) menoui Hooper and Levi (hoiotype): I. N·da. 47 m the centre and straight arms
Echinating spicules are
(photo J.L. Menou) (not reflexedllsize range
abundant. Megascleres
62-85 ~m x 0.5-0.8 ~ml
include: choanosomal
External Characters by 0 radiating subdermal 15-35 mm high, 21-53 mm spongin fibres. Terminal Isochelae are 0 bsent.
principal spicules (coring
Massive, encrusting on canal system [astrorhizael, wide, 3-6 mm thick; smaller fibres toper to one or two spongin fibres) ore nearly Ecology and Habitat
coral, composed of fused, with large canals covered conulose digits 4-5 mm sharp points, and each fibre vestigial, always with Attached to dead
bulbous, lobate-digitate by 0 smooth membraneous diameter, up to 5 mm high; has 0 sparse paucispicular blackened axial canals, Antipatharia in coral reefs,
projections anached to 0 surface [in contrast to oscules 2-6 mm diameter. core of vestigial spicules barely different from 15-30 m depth.
common encrusting base. adjacent surface which is which protrude through the auxiliary spicules, short,
highly porous and Colour Distribution
Smaller bulbous, conulose end of fibres. Choanosomal straight, slender
excavated by large ostial. Orange-brown olive, with Southern New Caledonian
digits cover the apex of skeleton is irregularly subtylostyles, with prominent
bright yellow larvae; light
each lorger digil. Surface is Texture spongy, elastic, and reticulate, cavernous, with tylote bases and sharply I lagoon.
difficult to tear. beige when preserved.
fleshy, porous, membraneous. the spongin fibre system pointed tips (size range Possible Confusions
Morgins of digits are Skeletal Characters dominant over the spicule 82-96 ~m x 2-3.5 ~ml; None in New Caledonia;
longitudinally striated, Dimensions Ectosome is membraneous, skeleton. Spongin fibres are subectosomal auxiliary Clalhria (/sociellol
uneven, and the apex of Sponges growing to 40 mm with 0 thin layer of only poorly differentiated subtylostyles (in ectosomal eccentrica from tropical
most digits hove 0 single high, 60 mm wide, and subectosomal auxiliary into primary and secondary skeleton and sconered Australasia, and
large oscule with 0 extending for 180 mm subtylostyles lying tangential categories. Primary fibres between fibre meshes I are Echinoclathria leporina from
130 prominent membraneous lip. along the substrate; bulbous to the surface, through are more or less ascending, long, slender, straight or southern Australia in external
Sponges each oscule is surrounded digitate surface projections which protrude the tips of cored by uni- or very slightly curved near the morphology.
of the New
Caledonian
Lagoon
Echinochalina (Echinochalina)
intermedia (Whitelegge, 1902)

External Characters may poke through the auxiliary spicules,


Massive, irregular, lobate, surface. The primary caring fibres, long, very
bulbaus-digitate sponge, choanosomol fibres also thin, straight, hastate
with small bulbous lobes terminate close to the points, smooth, rounded
farming digits [but surfoce, sometimes bases, ranging from
collapsing and becoming protruding slightly through styles, tornostyles, or
flattened when the sponge is the dermal membrane and strangyles in about equal
preseNedl covering the producing law canules. proportions; usually with
entire mass, and the whale Chaanosomal skeleton blackened axial canals
sponge is excavated by irregularly piu mo-reticulate, [169-189 ~m x 12-2.5 ~ml.
large ascules. Together with well developed Microscleres are absent.
these excavations and fused spongin fibre skeleton (but
Ecology and Habitat
adiacent bulbous digits poorly differentiated primary
Growing on coral rubble
produce a honey-combed and secondary fibresl.
and coral pinnacles, with
c1athraus growth farm. The Primary fibres more or less
recorded depth range in the
surface has a paler, "dusty", ascending to the surface, Echinocholino (EchinochoJino) intermedio
New Caledonian lagoon
translucent, skin-like meandering through the (Whitelegge): N. Lagoon. N. de paaba, 25 m
between 15-35 m in areas
membrane covering the choanosome, cored by (photo P Laboute)
entire surface, except
of low current.
multispicular tracts
around the large ascules, composed of auxiliary Distribution
which are usually distributed spicules. Secondary fibres This species is probably
an the tips of bulbous digits. usually interconnecting widely distributed throughout
primary fibres, without the Indo-west Pacific,
Dimensions spicules or with uni- or although it has so far been
Sponges may grow up to
paucispicular tracts inside collected only from the
400 mm high, 300 mm fibres. Fibre meshes southwest lagoon of New
maximum thickness,
cavernous, irregular, Caledonia, Direction Island,
and ascules are between
eliptical or oval, containing Frankland Islands, Sudbury
10-30 mm diameter. heavy deposits of detritus Reef and Stanley Reef on
Colour (but not inside the spongin the Great Barrier Reef,
Orange-brown alive, beige fibres themselves!. Queensland, Mooloolobah
when preseNed. and fibres are sparsely and Moreton Bay on the
I
echinated by thin principal southern Queensland coast,
Skeletal Characters styles. Megascleres the II10worra region in New
Ectosomal skeleton include: principal styles South Wales, the Dompier
membraneous, with some echinating fibres, short, Archipelago on the
sand embedded but without thin, straight, hastate points, Northwest Shelf of Western
specialised spicules, rounded, rorely subtylate, Australia, and Corgodos EchinochoJino (Echinocl1olino) intermedio (Whitelegge):
although auxiliary spicules smooth bases Caroios in the Indian S.E. I. Ua. 16 m 131
from subdermal skeleton (64-1 13 ~m x 2-4 ~ml; Ocean. (photo G. Bargibant) The Siliceous
Sponges
Echinocholino (Protophlitospongio)
loboutei Hooper and Levi, 1993

External Characters poratangenliol, to the of choonosomal principal


Branching digitate sponge surface, usually forming oxeas; these ore
with short cylindrical stalk sporse bundles, and always interconnected by shorter,
and holdfost, long lying outside the spongin thinner, secondary fibres,
cylindricol branches, fibres. The ectosomal 50-90 ~m diameter, without
frequently dividing midway skeleton is dominated by the coring spicules, together
along their length, tapering well developed peripheral forming compressed oval
to rounded tips at their ends. fibre skeleton, with tapering meshes in the axial region.
Surface is even, slightly erect fibre endings Primary fibres in the extra-
bulbaus, with cancentric protruding through the axial region are radial,
swellings and constrictions surface. The peripherol extending from the edge of
at more or less regular spongin fibres lying the axis to the surface,
intervals along branches, perpendicular to the surfoce 50-90 ~m diameter, cored
superficially reminiscent of always hove a unispicular by unispicular tracts of
an Isis gorgonian. The core 01 larger oxeas, choanosomal oxeas, usually
surface is microscopically protruding 0 short distance end-on-end, rarely
porous, finely hispid, with through the fibres, whereas overlapping; these libres are
fibre endings from the echinating oxeas are sparse interconnected by
choanosome protruding on these peripheral fibres. secondary fibres, usually
slightly through the surface. Chaanosomal skeleton is without coring spicules,
Oscules not visible. Texture regularly reticulate, almost running tronsversely through
firm, slightly compressible, renieroid, with 0 condensed the branches; fibre meshes
branches flexible, whip-like. axial region which is cleorly in extra-oxial ond peripheral
differentiated from the reg ions of the skeleton are Echinochalina (ProtophJitaspongiaj Jabourei Hooper and Levi (hototype): Recif des 5 milles. 8 m
Dimensions
peripheral extra-oxial oval or elongate and (photo P. Laboute)
Sponge is 220 mm high,
skeleton. The organic generally larger than those
stalk 28 mm long, 9 mm
spongin libre skeleton is in the axis. There is also a
diameter, branches 3-6 mm
emphasised over the sparse tertiary fibre network,
diameter, branch fibres, short, straight, stout, or sinuous, slender, Distribution
inorganic spicule skeleton. which is aspicular and
constrictions 2-4 mm apart. hastate sharp points, rounded bases, tapering Known only from the
Fibres ore differentiated into subdivides the extra-fibre
primary and secondary skeletal meshes. Echinating telescoped ends raphidilorm points southwest lagoon of New
Colour
elements, and there ore also oxeas are heavier in the (57-1 08 ~m x 1.8-4 ~ml; (115-194~mx 1-2.5~ml Caledonia.
Bright red alive, beige when
differences in the axial and axial than the peripheral echinating oxeas, shorter, Microscleres are absent.
I preserved.
extra-axial fibre skeletons. regions, sea He red mainly thinner than principal oxeos, Possible Confusions
Skeletal Characters Primary fibres in axis, (but not exclUSively) on hostote points, telescoped Ecology and Habitat None in New Caledonia;
Ectosomal skeleton with running longitudinally primary fibres. Megascleres ends (28-42 ~m x 2-4 ~ml Uncommon, growing on Echinocholino
132 auxiliory styles standing through branches, are cored consist 01: choanosomal ectosomol ouxiliory styles, coral rubble ond corol reel (Prolophlitospongiol oxeala
Sponges perpendicular, or lying by sparse plumose brushes (principal) oxeas, coring long, slender, stroight substrotes, 40 m depth_ from the Great Barrier Reef.
of the New
Coledonian
Lagoon
Order FOr"lly Echinochalina (Protophlitaspongia)
Poecilosclerida Microcion idae bargibanti Hooper and Levi, 1993

External Characters diameter; surface conules poarly silicified (011 with hostote, sharply pointed
Lobate-digitote mass 6-12 mm high, 4-9 mm blackened axial conolsl ends, occasionally
composed of clumps of diameter, approximately Spongin fibres ore divided telescoped paints Isize
partially fused, small, thick 3-7 mm apart; oscules into primary ascending and range 55-98 ~m x 0.8-3 ~m),
digits, joined to 0 common 1-2 mm diameter. secondary transverse ectosomol auxiliary
base encrusting on 0 dead (connectingl components, subtylostyles are long,
bivalve. Digits are bulbous, Colour with 0 very thin tertiary slender, invariably straight,
cylindrical, thicker at the Dark red olive; dark grey network also apparent. with enlarged subtylote
apex than at the paint of Ibrown when preserved. Primary fibres ore cored by bases, rounded or slightly
onochment to the base, uni- or poucispicular tracts of pointed, and tapering to
usually with 0 single point, Skeletal Characters choonosomol principal sharply painted or slightly
sometimes with two or three, Ectosomal skeleton is a oxeos, occupying only 0 rounded tips (size range
often partially fused with sparse, tangential or small proportion of fibre 144-278 ~m x 1.0-3.5 ~ml;
adjacent digits midway paratangential layer of diameter. Secondary echinoting oxeas ore rare,
along the stem, together auxiliary subtylostyles connecting fibres, usually similar in morphology to
producing 0 vaguely dispersed aver the surface. transverse, are aspicular or principal oxeos, but
reticulate, excavated, In thick parts of the skeleton unispicular, and tertiary marginally shorter and of
honeycombed moss. Digits leg. surface digitsl auxiliary fibres are invariably similar thickness (size range
hove even, rounded tips, subtylostyles may form aspicular. Fibre meshes ore 32-58 ~m x 1.0-2.5 ~ml
either unornomented ar with cavernous, square or Microscleres include: EchinochaJina (proraphJiraspongia) bargibonri Haoper and Levi
sparse, erect plumase
(halatype): S.W. Lagoon. belween I. Tere and I. N'Da. 30 m
few, large conules lor brushes, but usually these rounded, containing very palmate isocheloe,
(ph010 P. Laboute)
secondary digits) near the spicules are scattered. little visible collagen, unmodified, moderately
margins. Oscules ore small, Terminal primary fibres although distinct clumps of large, moderately common,
located mainly on the ends protrude through the surface granular collagen and usually found aggregated in
of, or between, the surface spicule skeleton and contain principal oxeos and clumps of collagen in the
conules, and they hove a core of principal axeas, isocheloe are sconered choonosome (size range
slight suboermal sculpturing the ends of wh ich protrude within the choonosome, 14-21 ~m); toxas are absent.
lastrorhizoe), radiating slightly through the ends of particularly around the
away from each pare, but fibres. Choanosomal major fibre nodes.
Ecology and Habitat
this is not extensively skeletal architecture is Echinoting oconthastyles are free, growing on sand
developed . Texture is regularly reticulate, sparse, usually associated Isubstrate, 30 m depth.
rubbery, compressible, and without any differentiation with small fibre nodes Distribution
difficult to leor between axial or protruding from 0 primary or Southwest lagoon of New

Dimensions
extra-axial!peripheral
regions. Spongin fibres
secondary fibre.
Megoscleres include:
ICaledonia.
Sponge is 65 mm high, dominate the skeleton, and choonosomol principal Possible Confusions
57 mm Wide; digits ore spicules are both greatly oxeos lcoring fibres), C/athria rugosa from the 133
18-35 mm long, 8-15 mm reduced in abundance and relatively short, slender, with I New Caledonia lagoon. The Siliceous
Sponges
Orcle Family Raspailia wilkinsoni
Poecilosclerlda Raspailiidae Hooper, 1991 b

External Characters skeleton, although the small tapering to sharp points


Branching, digitate, bushy, whispy ectosomol auxiliary 1188-285 ~mx4-10~ml
with cylindricol stalk and oxeas ore scaHered in the subectosomol auxiliary
basal holdfost oHoching the peripheral region lying spicules predominantly
sponge to the substrote, and tangential to the surface oxeas, less commonly slyles,
bifurcate, thickly cylindrical The subectosomal region is long, thick, straight or
branches, tapering to sharp dominated by micro-digitate slightly curved, often
points at their apex. The projections formed by anisoxeote, rounded bases
surface is shaggy, plumose tracts of long !for slylesl, sharply pointed
prominently microconulose subectosomal auxiliary 1255-524 ~m x 8-12 ~ml;
on branches but more oxeas/slyles, protruding eclosomol auxiliary spicules,
compact on stalk, and the through the surface short, thin, whispy, varying
surface conules ore norrow for 0 short distance, from symmetrically curved
and close-set. Oscules ore and usually in bundles. oxeos to sinuous onisoxeos,
not obvious but ostia ore Subectosomol plumose sharply pointed
very small and scattered spicule tracts ore 1106-208~mx 1-2.5~ml;
between the surface interconnected by transverse echinoting aconthoslyles,
conules. The texture is firm, spicule tracts composed sublylote bases, rounded
compressible, with flexible of choonosomol principal blunt tips, long slender
branches and more rigid oxeas, and the whole spines mainly on base
stalk. peripheral skeleton is and apex of spicules
cavernous. 152-62 ~m x 2.5-4.5 ~ml.
Dimensions Together the peripheral Microscleres ore absent.
80-200 mm high,
spicule tracts ore heavily
60-1 10 mm maximum Ecology and Habitat
echinated by aconlhoslyles,
branch thickness, basal stalk Uncommon, growing on live
more so than in the axial
I 2-85 mm long, 4-8 mm and dead coral substrates,
region. Choonosomol
diameter, branches 60 m depth.
skeleton is reticulate, with 0
25-95 mm long, 5-11 mm
well developed compressed
diameter, surface conules up
axial skeleton and reticulote Distribution
to 3 mm long.
extro-oxiol skeleton. Central region of the
Colour Axis has tightly compressed Great Barrier Reef
reticulate spongin fibres and exterior of outer reef,
Dork orange-brown olive,
dork brown when cored by choonosomol southwest lagoon of New
oxeas and lightly echinated Caledonia.
preserved.
by aconthoslyles.
Skeletal Characters Megoscleres consist of: Possible Confusions
Ectosomol skeleton is choanosomol principal Au/ospongu5 clothrioides,
134 Raspailia wilkinsoni Hooper. juvenile: Noumea, OUler reef slope, 50 m membraneous, without oxeos, long, thin or thick, Ceratopsion clavata from
Sponges (pholo P. LaboUle) specialised 'raspailiid' symmetrically curved, the New Caledonia lagoon.
of the New
Coledonian
Lagoon
Order foo Ceratopsion clavata
Poecilosc ida Raspailiidae Thiele, 1898

External Characters although not prodUCing 0 asymmetrically curved, rarely


Branching, digitate, bushy specialised raspailiid sinuous, ranging from small
or whip-like sponges with 0 skeleton. Skeleton divided wispy oxeos, anisoxeos
variable number of into three distinct or styles, to large thick
elongate, bifurcote, more ar components: compressed styles and anisoxeos,
less cylindrical branches, axial core with tightly usually with telescoped ends,
and short cylindrical basal meshed spongin fibres sometimes evenly rounded
stalk with enlarged basal cored by sinuous (171-590 ~m x 3-1 3 ~ml:
haldfast. Surface is usually choanosomal principal ectosomal auxiliary
prominently conulose but this spicules; radial extra-axial spicules, wispy oxeas,
varies between specimens, skeleton with subectosomal slightly curved, usually
and conules are close-set, spicules, singly or in asymmetrical, fusiform points
irregular, shorply pointed, bundles, embedded in and 1126-302 ~m x 1-4 ~ml;
and shaggy. standing perpendicular to echinating megascleres
axial fibres; and plumose are absent. Microscleres are
Dimensions extro'Oxial skeleton composed absent.
Sponges range from
of very large plumose or
60-360 mm high,
plume-reticulate tracts of Ecology and Habitat
25-1 15 mm maximum
subectosomal auxiliary Although in Japan this
breadth (lateral extent of
spicules intermingled with species was collected from
branching). basal stalk
sinuous principal spicules deeper waters 11 30 m depth\.
5-28 mm long, 2-1 1 mm
(this port of the skeleton is the New Caledonian
diameter, branches
most prominent and the populations are known from
25-125 mm long, 5-12 mm
large spicule tracts 25-40 m depth, dispersed
diameter, surface conules
correspond to the surface on carol rubble, coral reef
are up to 5 mm long,
conules) Megascleres and soh substrates.
3 mm basal diameter.
consist of: choonosomal
Colour principal spicules, in axial Distribution
Yellow olive, pole beige to skeleton, sinuous ar slightly Known only from Sagami

I light brown when preserved. curved, ranging from


strongyles with evenly
Boy, Jopon, and the
southwest and southeast
Skeletal Characters rounded ends, strongyloxeas lagoons of New Caledonia.
Ectosomal skeleton with with telescoped ends, to
subectosomal auxiliary anisoxeas with 0 Possible Confusions
spicules protruding through combination of rounded and Rospoilia wilkinsoni and
the surface and sparse telescoped ends Aulospongus clathrioides
tangential tracts of 1251-912 ~m x 1.5-9 ~ml; from the New Caledonian
ectosomal auxiliary oxeas subectosomal auxiliary lagoon; also Ceratopsion
Ceraropsion clauara Thiele: Recif Ana. 35 m dispersed around the vicinity spicules in extra'Oxial skeleton, dichotomo from eastern 135
(pholo P. LaboUle) of larger subdermal spicules, straight, symmetrically or Auslralia The Siliceous
Sponges
Order Forril Aulospongus clathrioides
Poecilosclerida Raspailiidae LEWi, 1967

External Characters Colour Echinating acanthostyles


Branching, bushy, with short Yellow orange alive, khaki sparse, evenly dispersed on
woody stalk and enlarged I brown when preserved. both primary and secondary
basal attachment; branches fibres, but more abundant in
are prolific, usually Skeletal Characters extra-axial skeleton.
repeatedly bifurcate and Ectosome without Megascleres cansist of:
rejoining (anastomosing), specialised spicules, but choanosomal principal
together producing a with plumose brushes of styles, long, slender, slightly
reticulate bushy clump. choanosomal principal styles curved, occasionally
Branches are thinly cylindrical protruding slightly through sinuous, smooth, rounded
or slightly flattened, tapering the surface. The peri pheral bases, sometimes
to rounded bifurcated tips. skeleton is dominated by anisoxeote, fUSiform points
Surlace has a thin translucent swollen spongin fibres, 1145-454 ~m x 3-7 ~m),
skin-like dermal membrane which also protrude through subectosomal and
stretched between adiacent the surface and form the ectosomal megascleres are
surface conules. On the surface conules. absent; echinating
branches the surface is Choanosomal skeleton acanthostyles long, slender,
uneven, shaggy, prominently plumose, with only a slightly slightly curved towards base,
microconulose and hispid, campressed axial skeleton, smooth, rounded or slightly
whereas the basal stalk is and both axial and extra- swollen bases, pointed or
more woody and more axial skeletons dominated slightly swollen tips, evenly
darkly pigmented, and the by the well developed covered with small granular
tips of the branches are spongin fibre system, spines except for base
more even and only hispid. whereas the spicule skeleton [58-82 ~m x 1.5·4.0 ~m).
Sparse oscules are scattered is proportionally reduced. Microscleres are absent.
on lateral sides of branches, Axial fibres are small, close-
between surface conules. Ecology and Habitat
set, with a vestigial core of
Texture of branches is soh, Usually found in areas of
choanosomal principal
flexible, spiky, whereas the high current, flat bottom, on
styles. Extra-axial fibres,
stalk is firm and flexible. coral and dead coral
occupying most of the
substrates, 25-40 m depth.
branch diameter, with both
Dimensions primary and secondary Distribution
Sponges range from spongin fibres: primary Known on Iy from the
55-180 mm high, ascending fibres cored by southwest New Caledonian
40-110 mm maximum plumose traels of lagoon.
branching Width, basal stalk choanosomal principal
22-40 mm long, 2-8 mm styles; secondary fibres are Possible Confusions
diameter, branches up to short, thin, uncored or with Cera topsion clavata,
136 6 mm diameter, oscules are only sparse tracts of Raspailia wilkinsani from the Au/ospongus clotllrioides Levi: Chenat des 5 mittes, 25 m
Sponges up to 2 mm diameter. choanosomal styles. New Caledonian lagoon. (photo G. Bargibant)
of the New
Caledonian
Lagoon
Order Family Haliclona cymaeformis
Haplosclerida Chalinidae (Esper, 1794)

hese sponges have their main skeleton formed of simple diactinal spicules,

T usually oxeas of one type and size, although thinner developmental forms may
occur. Spicules can be modified to strongyles or strongyloxeas.
In the Families Chalinidae, Niphatidae and Callyspongiidae, spicules are often embedded
in spongin fibres in uni- or multispicular tracts. The skeletal arrangement is neat and
regular, not dense or crowded. This skeleton often forms an isodictyal triangular
reticulation but spicules and fibres also form triangular, rectangular or polygonal meshes.
In some groups spongin fibres are well developed whereas in others they are less well
developed, where spicules are bonded together by variable quantities of collagenous
spongin. Microscleres may include c- and s-shaped sigmas, frequently with a central (or
centrangulate) kink, and sometimes smooth toxas or microxeas. Where known, species
of the families Chalinidae, Callyspongiidae and Niphatidae are viviparous, incubating
their young.
Sponges belonging to the Families Petrosiidae and Oceanapiidae are typically massive,
vase-shaped or volcano-shaped, sometimes repent, or bulbous, and fistulous. Their texture
is characteristically stony, brittle, reflecting that in most species siliceous spicules are
dominant over spongin. The external surface has a smooth appearance where the surface
skeleton is an isotropic reticulation of single spicules or spicule tracts forming a crust. The
main choanosomal skeleton is more or less a regular isotropic reticulation composed of
multispicular tracts bound together with minimal collagen or light spongin fibres, usually
forming large oval meshes. Microscleres may include microxeas, microstrongyles, sigmas
and toxas but they are not common. Reproduction is oviparous, where eggs and sperm
are released into the water and larvae develop externally to the parent.
Haplosclerida are particularly abundant on coral reefs, including those of New Caledonia
and the Great Barrier Reef, living in full light amongst hard corals as well as in many
cryptic habitats and in between the reefs on the seabed. They generally do not attain
massive proportions, except the Petrosidae and are frequently fans, tubes, branches or
ramose morphology. The genera Col/yspongio, HoJic/ano, Niphotes and Gel/iades are
common.
137
The Siliceous
Sponges
~
Ode :1 a no cymaeforrriJs
Haplosderid Cha! doe ,q::: 1/9

External Characters Skeletal Characters


Sponge symbiotic with 0 Sponge skeleton lies
mocroolgae, Cerofodictyon between algal fronds which
spongiosum. Individual form an anastomosing
sponges consist of romose network of thalli The
floHened bronches thot sponge skeleton is a spicule
onastomose ond the branch and fibre reticulation.
tips ore usually bifurcate. Spicules ore thin, curved,
The red algae tissue shorply pointed oxeos
dominates the bronches' 99160 ~m xO.S-ll ~m,
structure, and the sponge overoge 130 ~m x 4 ~m,
farms a thin encrustation thot ond microscleres are
completely surrounds the abundant sigmas 14-20 ~m
algoe. The surface is long, average 17.5 ~m.
microscopically hispid and
parous. Smoll ascules ore Ecology and Habitat
up to 2 mm diameter ond Very common species on
flush with the surfoce. sandy substratum aHached
Texture coarse and stiff, firm to coral rubble or shell.
and incompressible. Specimens may not be
aHached to the subslrate.
Found in full light with a depth
Dimensions
range between 0-15 m.
Can form lorge spreoding
mots up to 30 cm ocross.
Distribution
Branches to 2 cm wide.
Southern part of New
Caledonia lagoon; Papua
Colour New Guinea. Tarres Strait,
Dark green, red·brown Australia (Great Barrier Reef,
138 or purple throughout alive, Darvvinl. Madagascor /-Io/ie/ono cymoeformis (Esper): I. Mbe. 18 m
Sponges fawn in alcohol. (Tuleor). (phOto P. Laboutej
of the New
Caledonian
Lagoon
Order iCH Haliclona olivacea
Hoolosclerida Cl,o ida Fromont, 1995

External Characters Primary fibres dendritic,


large ramose or branching 14-37 ~m wide, cored by
sponge with one or several 2-8 spicules. Meshes
points of anachment, con be between primory tracts
found rolling around 96 ~m wide. Secondory
unanached to the substrate. tracts form on isodictyal
Branches laterally reticulation with primary
compressed with rounded tracts, especia Ily towards
apices. Surface smooth, the surface. Secondary
shiny and opaque with tracts 5-9 ~m wide,
underlying pare panern unispicular. large internal
visible. Oscules at sides and spaces 570-1 800 ~m
tops of branches, flush with diameter, form 0 canal
surface, up to 0.5 cm system throughout the spange.
diameter. Texture very soh, Skeleton more irregular in
limp, compressible. the centre of the spange
with abundant interstitial
Dimensions spicules. Surface skeleton 0
Overall size: largest single isodictyal reticulation
specimen 23 cm loll, 14 cm with neal triangular meshes
wide. Thickest branches 1 spicule length long.
4 x 2 cm, smallest branches Meshes 60 ~m wide.
1.5 x 0.5 cm. Very fine spicules found
between surface reticulation.
Colour
Commonly olive green but Ecology and Habitat
some specimens ore grey Found on coarse sand
with faint red tinge olive; amongst Ha/imeda in the
brown in alcohol. lagoon, in full light. Some
specimens are not anached
Skeletal Characters
to the substrale. Depth
Spicules are small hastate
range between 18-25 m.
oxeas some with telescoped
or mammillate ends. Range: Distribution
117-140 ~m x 3.3-51 ~m, Common in front of
overage: 130 ~m x 4.3 ~m. Noumeo, found in the
Very close meshed, Southern ports of New
compact, plume-reticulate Caledonia. Presently known
and isodictyal skeleton of only from New Caledonia.
spicule tracts with spongin
/-IaJiclana oJiuacea Fromont (hototype): I. Maitre, 20-22 m fibre development at the Possible Confusions 139
(photo P. Laboute) nodes of the reticulation. INone. The Siliceous
Sponges
Order Family Haliclona sanguinea
Haplosclerida Chulinidue Fromont, 1995

..

.. ..
.,.' .~t -~r~-
~~"
."
1
f
.~
f'."'~t:'


.....
....
,.~
.
.. _., External Characters Ecology and Habitat
. ..c~,. l·. .f ~• Smoll bronching sponge.
oxeas. Range:
84-1 03 ~m x 2.3-4.7 ~m. Occurs on coarse sand
.... . '1~1

,',,<:.~
" . '~
li~. Erect ond romose average: 91 ~m x 4 ~m . attached to limestone
:''''._ ~

!". ~'. ' , ~


.
:. onostomosing bronches form Close-meshed plumO' substratum in full light. Depth
. -

.' ..... '~


o cluster with one or mony reticulate ond isodictyol range between 18·20 m.
points of ottochmenL reticulation of spongin fibres
,1.,,~I Bronches ore loterolly
<;I . Distribution
centrally cored by spicules.
. .. . flottened ond terminolly
- .,.1 _~
.:. "_. ... rounded. External surface
Primary fibres 19-37 ~m
wide. cored by 2-5 spicules .
Uncommon in southern
parts of the lagoon.

,
:""v.?~ ~. Ir;._~ ~;. ~
. J' "'"
faintly hispid. shiny. smooth Presently known only from
Secondary fibres 12-19 ~m
> ; _.' and reflective. Oscules an New Coledonia.

~, ~
wide. unispiculor. Meshes
slight mounds at sides and
.. . '~',I''' .. \....
.. '.. J~~...
.'.';t:1'<O'
).,. •:,.
•. ).., taps of branches. small to
triangulor or polygonal.

~. ? l ' " .y:~


. " . mesh size 360 ~m. Skeleton Possible Confusions
0.2 cm diameter. Texture Haliclona Iyria becouse of

~~'<f: ~ ~}:.,
- :~~.' i J · ' ~ ; · i ' ~ ~ _ " ~ j ~ , ~ : . ,
less regulor toward the
extremely soh. collapsed. the similor small branching
limp. centre of the sponge body.
habit 01 the two species and
Interstitial spicules most
similority in colour. However
Dimensions obundant toword the centre
H. Iyria is always deep
Overoll size: 10 cm long. of the sponge. Surface
purple and H. sanguinea is
4 cm wide. Single branch: skeleton tongentiol. irregulor

'~"" ~
:. ~ .' ~ . ~ .." #;.',..r,~.' ~'\~~. .
always dark red·brown or
O.B x 0.2 cm diameter. isodictyal skeleton with
H,.. ., maroon. Once examined

. ~~ '.~'"
.,I[JI; • 11,
meshes 48 mm wide and microscopically it is easy to
Colour

~
1 spicule length long. Single see that the species ore

~ . ii!i M.aroon to dark red-brawn


'. c
.~. 'rt' . '... "
,- . '
...
...
:'.11
I
. ' I. .....,
.1 ": ... f. 'i. .•• ..'..
••
• .. u."
Ialive; b,own in alcohol.

Skeletal Characters
spicules extend beyond the
surface. thin spicules found
interstitially at the surface.
different. H. Iyria has a
unispicular. isadictyal
reticulation while H.
140 Ha/ic/ana sanguinea Fromonl (holotype): I. Re<:tika. 20 m Spicules ore thin. small. More dense pigmentation at sanguinea has multispicular
Sponges
of the New
(pholo P. Laboute) I hastote. brevipointed the surface than internally. fibres in its skeleton.

Caledonian
lagoon
Haliclona tyria
Fromont, 1995

Holic/ono Iyrio Fromant (holatype): I. MaJtre, 20 m


(photo P. Laboute)

External Characters apparent. Oscules 2-4 mm Colour o square meshed or Ecology and Habitat Southern port of the New
Branching sponge with wide, with slightly raised Purple throughout olive, isodictyal reticulation of Occurs amongst coarse Caledonia lagoon. Presently
single, central, basal rim, are obundont and I beige to lawn in alcohol. unispicular primary and sand in Ha/imeda beds known only from New
aMochment. Branches solid, regularly distributed on the secondary tracts. No aMached to large, stable Caledonia.
uppermost face of branches. Skeletal Characters limestone fragments, in lull
romose and erect, round or multispicular tracts. Spongin
Texture very soh limp and Spicules are slightly curved light. Some specimens ore Possible Confusions
laterally compressed in occurs at the nodes of the
fragile ond sponge falls or straight oxeos with not aMached to substrate. Holiclana songuinea but this
cross-section. Tallest erect reticulation. Interstitial
apart when handled. brevi pointed fusiform or Depth range between species is dark red-brown or
branches toper towards stepped ends. Range: spicules abundont and maroon, nol purple os for H.
18-22 m.
apex, other branches lobed. Dimensions 75-121 ~m x 0.9-4.7 ~m, without order. Surface Iyria. In addition the skeleton
Smooth, shiny and opaque Branches 15 cm long and overage: 91 ~m x 2.6 ~m. skeleton is 0 continuation of Distribution of H. Iyria locks multispiculor
surface with underlying 1-2 cm wide, ](}15cm Skeleton generally isotropic the chaonosomal skeleton; Common in front of tracts while the skeleton of 141
skeletal paMern faintly maximum spread. with some organisation into no tangentiol surface layer I Noumea, found in the H. sanguinea has them. The Siliceous
Sponges
Family Gelliodes cornoso
Niphatidae Dendy, 1889

External Characters faint centrangulate sigmas.


Medium-sized sponge Range: 21-24 ~m, overage:
mound or erect lamella from 2 3 ~m. Dense reticulate
which arise various sized spongin fibre skeleton.
tubes, singly or coolesced, Primary fibres 36-96 ~m
with walls of variable wide centrally cored by
thickness, thinnest opicolly 2-4 spicules. Meshes
0.2 mm thick. Apical rectangular, mesh size
ascules 0.5-0.8 cm wide. 120-240 ~m diameter.
External surface smooth, Secondary fibres 12-20 ~m
very finely hispid, like velvet, wide centrally cored by
covered by transparent 1-3 spicules. Internal fibres
membrane hence skeletal brown with discrete pigment
paMerning visible beneath. cells. Interstitial spicules
Texture tough, resistant, occur. Internal skeleton may
slightly compressible. contain distinctive "growth
rings" i.e. lines of
Dimensions condensation within the
Overall size 5-8 cm toll, skeleton. Surface skeleton
6-8 cm Wide, 2-5 cm thick. on isodictyal (triangularl
Single tubes 1-6 cm toll. network with abundant
sigmas.
Colour
light grey-blue to pole sky Ecology and Habitat
blue olive; fawn, orange or Amongst algae in intertidal
red brown in alcohol. areas, with high sediment
loading, attached to
Skeletal Characters GeWodes carnosa Dendy: Magenta. t m
limestone substrotum.
Spicules fat, hastate oxeas, (photo P. Laboute)
Found at the edge of
may hove telescoped or beaches. Depth range
truncated ends, some between 0-5 m.
slrongylote and stylote
modifications. Range: Distribution
98-149 ~m x 5-9.8 ~m, Common in front of
142 overage 129 ~m x 7.4 ~m. Noumea, New Caledonia;
Sponges Microscleres c-shaped and Indian Ocean.
of the New
Coledonion
Logoon
r Gel/iades fibulata
Haplosc a (Carter, 1881 )

External Characters overage: 16 ~m. Plumo-


large, erect or ramose reticulate skeleton of spicule
branching sponge. Single, Irocts. Primary tracts branch
long branches anastomose dendriticolly, up to 150 ~m
and attach to substratum at wide and 450 ~m wide at
one or many basal points. nodes prior to branching,
EXlernal surface of branches cored by approximately
very spiny. Spines long, 20 tightly pocked spicules.
sharp, rigid spikes 0.5-1 cm Secondary traels thinner
in length, closely spaced at spicule tracts parallel to
intervals of 0.4 cm. Primary primary troels, 24·48 ~m
spines extend from the sides wide, cored by up to
of the branches and are 9 spicules. Abundant
covered in smaller interstitial spicules form on
secondary spines, up to irregular reticulation with
1 mm in length, giving the primary and secondary
sponge 0 characteristic tracts Surface skeleton a
"prickly" appearance. continuation of internal
A tronsporent membrane is skelelon. Internal primary
visible between spines. fibres support surtoce spines.
Surface shiny. Texture rigid,
slightly compressible. Ecology and Habitat
Grows on limestone
Dimensions substratum such os coral
Branches up to 12 cm in plates and among
I length,
5 x 4 cm wide. branching carols in calm
boys with turbid water.
Colour Depth range between
Blue, grey-blue ar mauve 10-30 m.
olive, spines with white tips;
uniform ochre in alcohol. Distribution
Gelliodesfibulara (Carter): E. Coast. Noumboue 20-25 m
Common but with 0
(photo G. Bargibant)
Skeletal Characters localised distribution on the
Spicules long, haslate East Coost of New
oxeos, some truncale, Caledonia in Ihe lagoon;
curved or straight. Range: Indo-west Pacific, South
219-276 ~m x 3.7-8.4 ~m, Australia, Torres Strait,
overage: 253 ~m x 5.6 ~m. North Australia, North East
Microscleres c-shaped Australia; IndoneSia; 143
sigmas. Range: 12-21 ~m, Vietnam. The Siliceous
Sponges
Order md Gelliodes persica
Haplosclerid Nipha+ida Fromont, 1995

External Characters average: 269 ~m x 9.9 ~m.


Tall, erect branches of Irregular plume-reticulate
variable diameter extending fi bre skeleton.
from a mound or stalked Primary fibres very thick with
anachmenl. Surface well developed spongin,
conulose in most parts 180-360 ~m wide, fully
covered with a cored by 15-20 spicules.
parchment-like Ihin skin Meshes rectangular and
firmly adhered to the very large 0.5-1 cm.
underlying skeleton. Secondary fibres 60-120 ~m
Underlying spongin fibres wide, cored by 5-1 0 spicules,
visible as translucent lines. meshes up to 300 ~m
Conules low, 0.2 cm tall, across. Interstitial spicules
and distributed at regular occur. Surface skeleton a
intervals of 0.3 cm. Oscules continuation of the internal
large, prominent with skeleton with dense
underlying canal system pigmentation. Mesh spoces
visible within, 0.5-0.7 cm 100-150 ~m between the
wide, not numerous, present surface spicule reticulation.
along edges of branches. Spicules at ends of primary
Texlure firm, compressible, fibres protrude at rig hi
easily torn longitudinally, not angles beyond the surface
elastic. and form conules.

Dimensions Ecology and Habitat


Branches up to 21 cm tall,
Occurs anached to
I
6 cm wide, 4 cm thick.
limestone substratum in
muddy sediments in turbid
Colour
water within calm bays.
Peach or salmon pink alive;
Depth range between
dull fawn or brown in
25-40 m.
alcohol

Skeletal Characters Distribution


Spicules long hastate oxeas Baie de Prony, uncommon
with pencil points or and dispersed in Southern
telescoped ends, curved or ports of New Caledonia
144 Gelliodes persicu Framon.: S. Noumea: Banc Gail, 33 m straight. Range: lagoon; Great Barrier Reef,
Sponges (photo P. Laboute) 241-304 ~m x 85-11.7 ~m, Australia.
of the New
Caledonian
Lagoon
Order Family Callyspongia aerizusa
HaploscleridCl Callyspongiidae Desqueyroux-Faundez, 1984

External Characters Colour Spicules also found


Sponge consists of 0 cluster Turquoise, grey-green or interstitially_ Surface skeleton
of erect tubes grodually blue-green alive; fawn in supported by internal
diloting towards the apices alcohol primary fibres which core
which are open and external spines. Primary,
oscular. Tubes anach to the Skeletal Characters secondary ond tertiary fibres
substrate by a common Spicules are small, thin, at the surface similar to the
base. Internal surface of hastate oxeas or internal fibre reticulotion.
tubes smooth, with fine strongyloxeas, curved or
potlerning produced by Ecology and Habitat
straight, with short blunt ends
numerous small pores. Found in coarse sand
that can resemble a sharpened
External surface shiny, anached to coral rubble,
pencil. Size range
covered in soft tapering some specimens are found
65-79 ~m x 1.9-2.5 ~m,
spines obliquely angled unanached. Always found
overoge74~mx2.1 ~m.
from sponge wall and in full light. Depth range
Compact regular reticulotion
distally directed, between 10-33 m.
of spongin fibres cored by
0.4-0.9 cm high, loosely pocked spicules, Distribution
0.2-0.5 cm wide basally. spongin obvious around Common in the Southern
Upper end of tube has spicules. Primary fibres, part of the New Caledonia
uneven palisade of spines. cared by 6-10 spicules, lagoon, Great Barrier Reef,
Texture soft, compressible, 23 ~m thick, wider if Torres Stroit, North East
easily torn. fasciculate, up to 200 ~m. Australio_
Secondary fibres 14-50 ~m
Dimensions wide, cored by about Possible Confusions
Sponge can anain large 4 spicules. Collyspongio ozureo which
size, tubes 2-2 cm loll; Thin tertiary fibres 5-5 ~m is distinguished by haVing
1.5-3_5 cm diameter; wide, uni ar paucispicular_ upright or repent lobes ar
opical openings Meshes triangular ar cylinders with elongated
0.4-2 cm wide, tube walls polygonal between ridges and closed ends, CaJlyspongia aerizusa Desqueyroux- Faundez: Nournea, I. Redika. 20 rn 145
0.15-0_25 cm thick. 50-I 00 ~m diameter. and no spicules. (photo P. Labaute) The Siliceous
Sponges
Orrl Callyspongia azurea
uploscle Fromont, 1995

External Characters surface of the sponge. No up to 1500 ~m, beneath the


Variable growth form. Often apical oscules. Texture firm, surface membrane. Surface
spreading mat ar repent I compressible, resilient. skeleton is 0 condensed
lobes, occasionally erect form of the internal skeleton.
hollow cylinders. Dimensions The surface fibres hove
Characterised by its surface Cylinders up to 2 I cm toll, abundant spongin, primary
which tends to be clathrate 4 x 3 cm wide. Cylinder fibres hove dark
i.e. irregular meandering walls 0.3-0.5 cm thick. pigmentation and
ridges interspersed with are 48 ~m wide.
Colour
elongated depressions Secondary fibres 18-24 ~m
Bright sky blue or steel grey
A fine tronsporent membrane wide, tertiary fibres 6-1 2 ~m
olive; cream ar fawn,
joins the ridges in pariS, wide.
occasionally with on orange
which are raised by up 10 tint, in alcohol.
0.2 cm and are 0.4 cm Ecology and Habitat
wide. Depressions are Skeletal Characters Occurs on coral reefs
o 1-0.3 cm wide. No spicules. Dense, attached to limestone
The surface is smooth, compact, reticulate spongin substratum in full light. Depth
shiny, refractive and fibre skeleton without coring range between 10-25 m
microscopically hispid. The spicules. Primary fibres,
tops of the lobes or cylinders centrally fosciculote. do not Distribution
hove soft spines which form 0 regular mesh. Single Uncommon in Southern parts
anastomose and form 0 primary fibres 30-84 ~m of New Caledonia lagoon.
network. The apical spines Wide, difficult to distinguish Presently known only from
ore hispid while some from secondary fibres not New Caledonia
specimens hove curved, normally at right angles to
finger-like processes to primary fibres. Secondary Possible Confusions
10 cm long projecting at fibres 18-30 ~m wide. Collyspongio oerizuso bUI
on oblique angle to vertical. Tertiary fibres present and that species has upright,
Oscules, 0 1-0.2 cm 8-12 ~m wide. open-ended tubes with 50ft
diomeler, occur between All fibres hove parallel spines, 0 less vivid blue
ridges but are difficult to spongin bonds. Large colour olive, and the
distinguish from the "holey" subdermal spaces occur, skeleton has spicules.
Callyspongio ozureo FromOnl: I. des Pins, N.E. I. Gie, 20 m
(photo P. Laboutej

146
Sponges
of the New
Caledonian
Lagoon
Callyspongia communis
Ida (Carter, 1881)

Externc:d Chc:lracters fibre reticulation. Primary


Small sponge wilh a fibres loosely cored by
spreading base of 0-4 spicules, width of fibres
anachment from which arise up to 90 ~m and I 80 ~m 01
short, erect, apically open the nodes of the reticulation
tubes. Tubes coalesce or Meshes oval, up to 55 ~m
partially join by lateral wide. Secondary fibres up
projections. Internal and to 40 ~m wide cored by
external surfaces similar, 0-3 spicules. Tertiary fibres
smoath and shiny with pore up to 20 ~m wide occurring
patterning visible beneath within primary meshes,
a superficial membrane. cared mare viSibly by up to
Tubes of variable width with 4 spicules. Primary and
periodic slightly raised secondary fibres have
bands where increases in spongin bands within fibres
thickness occur. obscuring the spicule core.
Texture firm, compressible, Surface skeleton the same
resilient, eaSily torn. as the internal skeleton
except all fibres appear
Dimensions more heaVily cored.
Overall size small, 4 cm tall, Distinctive skeletal character
8.5 x 6.5 cm spread. is the presence of echinating
Individual tubes 3 cm tall, spicules on surface side of
1 cm wide, tube walls secondary fibres i.e. spicule
0.2-0.5 cm, apical oscules clusters protruding from one
0.8 cm diameter. side of fibres ot right ongles.

Colour Ecology and Habitat


Cream-fawn with grey blue Found on coarse sand in
tinge alive; light brown in Holimeda beds or growing
alcohol over Pecteniidoe shells; in
full light. Depth range
Skeletal Characters between 10-25 m.
Spicules small, variable CaJlyspongia communis (Carter): Noumea, between I. Canard and I. Maitre (on Chlamys), 15 m
(photo P. Laboute)
shape, strongyloxeas, Distribution
oxeote with short points or Common in the lagoon in
stepped ends. Range: front of Noumea, New
56-70 ~m x 1.4-3.7 ~m Caledonia; Red Sea; Indian
Average: 64 ~m x 2.6 ~m. Ocean; Pt. Jackson, 147
Skeleton a robust spong in Australia. The Siliceous
Sponges
Or<.~ Callyspongia flammea
Hu ng Desqueyroux-Faundez, 1984

Co/lyspongiojlommeo Desqueyroux-Faundez: S.E. I. ua. 20 m Co/lyspongio jlommca Desqueyroux-Faundez: Kouare. 30 m


(photo P. Laboute) (photo P. Laboute)

External Characters disploys concentric Dimensions fading to pale tones or smaller 20-70 ~m wide. Ecology and Habitat
Foliaceous or lamellate bonds or slight ridges ot Specimens can be large, white at top edge of bowl; Some thin tertiary fibres, up Allached to coral on hard
sponge with lamella usually regular intervals towards allaining 18 cm in height, I uniform ochre in alcohol. to 20 ~m wide, occur. substratum in full lighl.
joined to form an open uppermost edge of bowl. basal stalk 1-2 cm in length, Square or rectangular Depth range between
width of bowl up to 22 cm, Skeletal Characters 16-25 m.
funnel or bowl. External surface porous meshes between fibres are
lamella 0.1-0.5 cm thick, Fibres lack spicules.
A short stalk at the centre with irregular low tapering 60-90 ~m diameter.
thinnest at upper edge of Dense spongin fibre forms Distribution
base of the bowl allaches conules 2.0-3.0 mm high. Surface skeleton identical to
bowl. an irregular reticulation. Common but with
the sponge to the substrate. Upper edge of bowl Primary fibres may ramify internal skeleton with 0
localised distribution
The internal surface, hispid Colour and range in width slightly smaller, regular mesh in the Southern port
148 with numerous oscular pores Texture soh, compressible, Pastel pink or mauve with from 40-1 00 ~m. and very rare vestigial of the lagoon, New
Sponges up to 1.0 mm in diameter, easily torn. I some blue colouration alive, Secondary fibres slightly spicules. Caledonia.
of the New
Caledonian
Lagoon
Order Family Callyspongia fruticosa
Haplosclerida Callyspongiidae Desqueyroux-Faundez, 1984

External Characters Skeletal Characters


Arborescent, romified; Spicules very thin;
branches subcylindric, strongyloid oxeas,
sometimes anastosomed. with very few silica.
Oscules on one side Range 75-85 ~m x 0.5 ~m.
of branches, slightly Skeleton a reticulation of
preeminent, 0,3 cm wide. spongin fibres.
Surface smooth, Meshes rectangular
porchmenl-like, but rather 150-400 ~m wide.
transporent for aquiferous Primary fibres 56-1 10 ~m
system to be visible. wide cored by 6 to
10 spicules; secondary
Dimensions fibres 20-30 ~m wide;
Branches meshes triangular
20 cm long x 0,4-0,8 mm subdivided by tertiary
thick. unispicular fibres.

Ecology and Habitat


Colour Depth range between
Pinkish ochre or
brownish ochre alive;
I 10-38 m, Noumea lagoon.
Callyspongia !ruticosa Desqueyroux-Faundez: Banc Gail. 30 m light ochre or whitish Distribution 149
(photO P. Laboute) ochre in alcohol. I New Caledonia. The Siliceous
Sponges
Order f am.ly Collyspongio hispidoconuloso
Haplosclerida Callysporgiidoe Desqueyroux-Faundez, 1984

External Characters Skeleton 0 robust, irregular,


Small sponge with spongin fibre reticulation.
spreading base of Primary fibres fasciculate,
a~achment from which arise single primary fibres 60 ~m
erect, short, fat and wide, fasciculate primary
rounded, apically open fibres 180-300 ~m wide,
tubes. Tube walls may meshes between primary
completely coalesce. fibres rounded or
Internal surface porous; quadrangular, 360 ~m
external surface bristly, diameter. Secondary fibres
covered by short, tapering, 45 ~m wide. Primary and
blunt canules. secondary fibres hove
Conules 2 mm toll, 2 mm numerous spongin bonds.
wide basally, 1mm wide Tertiary fibres rare, wavy,
apicolly. Surface shiny. 20 ~m wide, meshes
Texture firm, compressible, between tertiary fibres
resilient. 120 ~m diameter.
Surface skeleton supparted
Dimensions by internal primary fibres.
Small overall size: 4 cm toll, Tertiary fibres form 0
7 cm long, 3.5 cm wide, condensed reticulation
apical oscules 1 cm tangential to the surface.
diameter, tube walls Ca/lyspongia hispidoeonulosa Desqueyraux-Faundez: Reelf ua. 20-25 m Ca/lyspongia hispidoconuJosa
approximately 1 cm thick. Ecology and Habitat (photo P. Laboute) Desqueyroux-Faundez: I. Ua (photo P. Laboute)

Colour Found on hard substratum


a~ached to coral in full light.
Orange, orange-pink ar
salmon olive; yellowish Depth range between
ochre in alcohol. 5-30 m.

Skeletal Characters Distribution


Vestigial spicules rare, Common but dispersed in
small, very thin. Size range: front of Noumea and in
150 37-79 ~m x < 1 ~m, Southern parts of the New
Sponges overage 63 ~m x < 1 ~m. Caledonia lagoon.
of the New
Coledonion
Lagoon
Order Family Callyspongia subarmigera
Hoplosclerida Callyspongiidoe (Ridley, 1884)

External Characters thin, 24-36 ~m wide,


Small string-like sponge. cored by up to 30 spicules.
Long, thin branches are Meshes rectangular
compressed at intervals, 240-360 ~m wide.
tapered to spines at ends, Secondary fibres, 12-24 ~m
and branch dichotomously. wide, cored by up to
Surface smooth, shiny and 15 spicules, meshes
sufficiently transparent for lS0-300 ~m Tertiary fibres
skeletal nelwork beneath to 7-1 2 ~m wide, cared by
be faintly visible. Texture 1-3 spicules, meshes
soft, compressible, resilient. 36-S4 ~m diameter.
Oscules comparatively Interstitial spicules occur.
large, 0.2 cm wide, on one Surface skeleton tangential,
side of branches, regularly peripherally condensed,
spaced at about 0.3 cm co~sisting of fibres thinner
intervols. than in the internal skeleton.
Primary fibres cored by
Dimensions 6-S spicules, secondary
Branches 14 cm long, fibres by 3·4 spicules,
I <0.5 cm x1 cm thick. tertiary fibres by 1-3 spicules

Colour
Ecology and Habitat
Deep olive green or bright
Found an coarse sand in
green alive; light ochre in
Halimeda beds in full light.
alcohol.
Usually a~ached to coral
Skeletal Characters rubble or shell but can be
Spicules smoll, vestigial found una~ached to the
fusiform oxeas. Range: substratum. Depth range
65-93 ~m x 0.9-4.7 ~m, belween S- 15 m.
average 79 ~m x 1.7 ~m.
Skeleton a compact Distribution
rectangular reticulation of Common but localised
spongin fibres cared by distribution in front of
loosely packed spicules, Naumea, New Caledonia;
spongin apparent around North East Australia, Collyspongia subarmigera (Ridtey): Baie de Ste Marie, 12 m 151
the spicules. Primary fibres Philippines, Tulear. (phOlo P. Laboute) The Siliceous
Sponges
Orde ~am"y Dactylia delicata
Haplosc.lerida Callysoongiidae (Pulitzer-Finali, 1982)

External Characters of tube wall 0.3 ern. primary and secondary


Sponge consists of erect, Whole sponge can cover a fibres. Primary fibres up to
straight tubes joined by a I 15 x 9 cm area of substrate. 150 ~m wide; secondary
spreading basal anachment. fibres up to 90 ~m wide,
Tubes are tall and thick, Colour tertiary fibres 7-24 ~m wide.
grow singly without Salmon pink or peach alive, Surface skeleton a
coalescence, and do not
toper at the apex. Surface
Ifawn in alcohol. continuation of the internal
skeleton but more compact.
smooth, minutely porous, Skeletal Characters
with faint skeletal panern. No spicules. Skeleton is 0 Ecology and Habitat
Microscopically a dense reticulation of thick, sand- Occurs on hard substratum
sandy surface network is filled fibres and long, thin anached and growing
clearly visible. Apices of fibres clear of foreign between coral branches
tubes con be rnernbranaus material. Primary and and coral rubble in areas
but this is not seen in secondary fibres are cored with current and in full light.
preserved material. Internal with sandgrains and form a Depth range between
surface of tubes has plumose to plumo-reticulate B-25 m.
longitudinal skeletal tracts. skeleton. Tk secondary
Texture very soh, limp, fibres are reduced or Distribution
fragile, and sticky when sometimes absent from the Common in Canal Waodin,
collected. skeleton. Tertiary fibres are found in southern paris of
fine and clear of New Caledonia lagoon,
Dimensions sandgrains. They form 0 and southern region of the
152 Single tubes 4-25 cm tall, dense network, without Great Barrier Reef, DOClylio delicolo IPulitzer-Finali): Canal Woo(1in. 20-30 m
Australia. (photo P. Laboutc)
Sponges I 0.5-2.5 cm wide. Thickness regular meshes, between the
of the New
Coledonion
Lagoon
Order Family Petrosio caps a
Haplosclerida Petrosiidae Desqueyroux-Faundez, 1987

External Characters Distinctive thick tracts of


Large sponge with massive spicules, 0.5 mm wide,
spreading base from which occur at intervals of 1.5 mm
arise erect, solid lobes, with parallel to sponge surface.
central apical cavities, or 0 Primary tracts I 30 ~m wide,
thick walled bowl. Flat, and up to 420 ~m wide
smooth surfaces due to thick where tracts are thickest
superficial skin 0.5 cm thick. before bifurcating. Primary
Texture firm, slightly tracts densely packed with
compressible, resilient. up to 30 spicules. Meshes
between primary tracts
Dimensions large, up to I 200 ~m
Compact thick wolled bowls diameter. Secondary tracts
or I to 4 chimneys from on 90 ~m wide packed with at
encrusting bose. Overoll least 10 spicules. Interstitial
size: I 8 cm toll 1 1 cm spicules abundant. Dense
deep 15 cm wide. mesohyl contains numerous
Dimensions of cups or dark brown pigment cells
depressions: <5 cm deep Lorge canals internally.
up to 8 x 7 cm across. Surface skeleton os for
Colour internal skeleton with thinner
Red-brown and cream tracts, 36-48 ~m wide,
brown olive, individuals and small, round meshes
may have both colours; 108 ~m wide.
chocolate brown in alcohol.
Ecology and Habitat
Skeletal Characters Found well anached to
Spicules predominantly limestone substratum on
strongyles with some vertical slopes and in
strongyloxeas, long, shadow. Depth range
pronounced curve, between 35-50 m.
flexuous ar straight, some
perrosia capsa Desqueyroux-Faundez: N. lie des Pins. outer reef slope. 38 m
with lumpy ends. Range: Distribution
(photo P. Laboute)
144-228 ~m x 6-1 0.8 ~m; Uncommon and localised
average 196 ~m x 8.3 ~m. on the lie des Pins and
Robust reticulate skeleton of outside the barrier reef on
spicule tracts without the outer slopes, New 153
spongin fibre development. Caledonia. The Siliceous
Sponges
Order FamilY Xestospongia bergquistia
Haplosclerida Petrosiidae Fromont, 1995

External Characters development visible. Primary


Massive volcano or borrel- Iracts 300 ~m wide, packed
shaped sponge. Surface of wilh up to 20 spicules.
deep internal crater smooth Meshes rounded, up to
and porous, externally large 720 ~m diameter.
ridges or flukes, up to 6 cm Secondary fibres I 20 ~m
long by 5 cm wide by 2 cm Wide, packed with
thick, perpendicular to 10 spicules. Inlerstilial
surface. Oscules visible on spicules abundant,
internal surface. Texture Iorge internal canals up to
slightly compressible, almost 2000 ~m diameter.
stoney, not resilient. Surface skeleton 0 n
extension of internal
Dimensions skeleton; meshes rounded,
Overall size: up to 100 cm, 180-480 ~m diameter.
radius 30 cm. Thickness of One or two spicules extend
wall: 0.5 cm at upper edge beyond the surface at the
of cup, to 14 cm at base of ends of the primary tracts.
cup. Crater approximately
two thirds height of sponge. Ecology and Habitat
Occurs allached to dead
Colour carol or limestone substratum
Externally red-brown or in colm boys and in turbid
maroon olive, internal water. Depth range
surface of cup maybe poler between 30-40 m.
shade of exterior, flukes or
ridges may hove white Distribution
ends; ochre in alcohol. Localised only in Baie de
Prony, New Caledonia
Skeletal Characters lagoon; North East
Spicules strongyloxeas Australia.
or strongyles, curved or
straighl of variable widlh, Possible Confusions
most thick. Range: Xesfospongio fesfudinaria.
108-396 ~m x 9.6-14.4 ~m; Identical gross morphology
overage 283 ~m x 11.8 ~m. but X. fesfudinaria has much
Strongly developed more resilient texture, and
154 Xesrospongia bergquisria Fromont: Baie du Prony. 20 m reticulate skeleton of spicule spongin fibre development
Sponges (photo G. Bargibant) Iracts, no spongin fibre around spicule tracts.
of the New
Caledonian
Lagoon
Xestospongia exigua
H p lid (Kirkpatrick, 1900)

External Characters Skeletal Characters rubble and limestone


Irregular massive, lobed, or Spicules oxea. Range: substratum in calm bays on
erect branching sponge. I 19-159 ~m x 4.2-5.6 ~m, fringing reefs in full light.
Short lobes or erect average 131 ~m x 5 ~m. Depth range between
branches extend from a A confused skeleton of 5-25 m.
mound-like base. Surface spicule tracts without
smooth, sticky, opaque, spongin fibre. The reticulation Distribution
microscopically hispid. is irregular isodictyal with a Very localised distribution in
Underlying skeletal panern very compact mesh. Primary Baie de Prony, New
faintly visible. Oscules small and secondary tracts Caledonia; Christmas
<0.2 cm diameter on upper indistinguishable, 120 ~m Island, Indian Ocean;
surface and lobes. Texture wide at widest point, cored Great Barrier Reef, Darwin,
firm, slightly compressible, by 1-4 spicules, no tertiary Australia; Papua New
crumbly, friable. tracts. Interstitial spicules Guinea; West-eentral
dense. Surface skeleton Pacific: Palau.
Dimensions same as internal skeleton.
Overall size: 6 cm long, Tracts at right angles to
4 cm wide, 3-8 cm high. Possible Confusions
surface extend beyond to
Lobes and branches are None, but the variability of
produce a slightly hispid
2-8 cm high, <5 cm wide. morphology and wide
surface.
biogeagraphic distribution
Colour suggests a species complex
Ochre to chocolate brown Ecology ond Habitat that needs genetic analyses
throughout alive; cream to Found growing between and hybridisation studies to xesrospongio eXiguo (Kirkpaltick): Baie du Prony. IQ m 155
fawn in alcohol. I branching coral, on coral resolve. (photo G. Bargibant) The Siliceous
Sponges
Order Family Oceanapia tenuis
Haplosclerida Phloeodictyidae Desqueyroux-Faundez, 1987

External Characters spicule tracts without


Massive cup-shaped spongin fibre development.
sponge, aHached by large Primary tracts 90-120 ~m
bosal region to substratum. wide densely packed with
large central cavity, 60 spicules. Primary meshes
decreoses in radius at the oval or round, 240-450 ~m
base of the sponge. Surface diameter. Macroscopicolly
smooth due 10 0 thin non- stringy, internal tracts ore
detochable skin, 0.1-0.2 cm visible porallelto Ihe
thick, not transparent. Small surface, and microscopically
oscules, 0.1 cm diameler, thickest Iracts con be at right
not numerous, on both angles ar parallel to the
internal and external walls surface. Secondary tracts,
of sponge. Small fistules, distinguished by size,
1 cm long and 2 cm thick, 30-60 ~m Wide, packed
present on the external with 25 spicules, meshes
surface. Texture firm, 21 0 ~m diameter. Dense
compressible, resilient. mesohyl is pigmenled and
Interior skeleton stringy. interstitial spicules are
abundant. Two surface
Dimensions skeletons differ. Internal
Overall size large: 1 1.5 cm surface has 0 unispicular,
toll, 9.2 cm diameter. isodictyal skeleton with very
Thickness of wall 0.5 cm dark pigmentation. External
apically to 2 cm 01 base of surface skeleton is 0
sponge. langential, unispicu!ar,
isodictyal skeleton without
Colour heavy pigmentation.
Ochre within cavity,
light ochre externally olive, Ecology and Habitat
white apical edge; brown Found on coarse sand in
in alcohol Halimeda beds in fulllighl.
Depth range between
Skeletal Characters 18-25 m.
Small, thin spicules,
slrongyles or strongyloxeas, Distribution
curved ar straight. Range: Uncommon and rare,
65-98 ~m x 1.4-3.7 ~m, dispersed populations found
156 overage: 86 ~m x 2.7 ~m. in front of Noumea, New Oceanapia tenuis Desqueyroux-Faundez: Recif Croissanl. 12 m
Sponges Robust reticulate skeleton of Caledonia. (photO P. Laboute)
of the New
Coledonian
lagoon
Order Family Spongia australis
Dictyoceratida Spongiidae Bergquist, 1995

.·~''''''~~i:·~.~
··~· ..~hV· '#,,:
I his is the most diverse of the so-called
.. .~:.t. ,...
.~.

~.~",;~.,
",-<I.
}~ /~'!"
J;"

, "". ..l. ."


"4'7~:-.· .~.~~

'
:j.:,
.,
;?"
<
:~-' .L~

,>.~
}'
'<ir";
. .
~

Ilw.J.
'h

T "keratose" sponge orders - sponges that lack


mineral spicules. The skeleton is composed
exclusively of well developed spongin fibres,
~-' although detritus and contaminating spicules may
>. {.'1~ iL .'.:.:~~<
;: ...,~.~ also be acquired by some species. Sponges are
i
~
} lr, "', .:._ ....:~;. ·~f%'f-, ..

~
., ~"".
• ,P... ..~: ',-
" ,- ,-, "~~ usually tough, difficult to tear, and frequently have
. .. .~
differences in pigmentation between the surface and
;- ;,/~J.'.
. '
. '
-.: ~--. -:-
• £! ,.", i~l'"
interior. The main skeleton consists of a reticulation
.-4'~·1. .,,-, of spongin fibres, often organised into primary,
f';)-"',
secondary and sometimes tertiary networks. Fibres
.".J" ~
I!ii
are usually homogeneous or lightly laminated in
Spongio oUSlroJiS BergquiSt (holotypel: Chenal des 5 milles, 20 m
(photo P. Laboutel cross-section, with or without a central diffuse pith,
and in some genera collagenous filaments are
External Characters thick, Oscules are 3-12 mm conals. Choonocyte scattered within the mesohyl. Reproduction is
A thick, spreading sponge I in diameter. chambers are small, Circular,
viviparous, and larvae are large, incubated
with deeply undulating
Colour
I 15-20 ~m in diameter.
parenchymella, evenly covered with short cilia
contours and randomly
dispersed ascular turrets, Steely blue-grey in life, except at one pole where tufts of large fJagella
Aijachment to the substrate Ichocolate brown in ethanol. Ecology and Habitat
Occurs on hard stable occur, and both poles have rings of pigmented cilia-
is at intervals across the
Skeletal Characters surfaces under overhangs
base. The surface is free cells.
The skeleton is 0 dense and in crevices at 20-25 m
microcanulose, almost
network mode up depth. Thus far known only Dictyoceratids are a diverse and abundant group of
smooth in potches but slightly
predominantly of uncored from the southern lagoon,
abrasive to the touch os 0
secondary fibres 5-25 ~m where il is occasional only. coral reef sponges, and there are many species in
result of 0 concentration of
in diameter. The primary New Caledonia. Included in this group are the
sand in the dermal membrane.
fibres are frequent, cored, Distribution commercial "bath" sponges. Many species are black,
The oscules are large and
elevated, the pores small
40-70 ~m in diameter
and most evident in the
INew Caledonia. grey or dark brown although brilliant purple, blue or
and scoijered and the texture
immediate subsurface region, yellow pigmentation is not uncommon,
is compressible, resilient but Possible Confusions
firmer than that of commercial Dictyoceratid sponges are found in all parts of the
Soft Tissues Pefrosaspongia nigra, from
species of the genus. The body is evenly and very which Spongio ausfrolis con reef. from the reef front to the lagoon floor. Common
lightly infiltrated by collagen easily be distingUished by its genera are Oysidea, Jrcinia, Euryspongia, Hyrtios
Dimensions with on ectosomal region spongy texture os opposed
to the rock hard texture of
and Spongia. 157
Covering on area I 2 by differentiated only by the
I 16 cm, body is 3·5 cm presence of large exhalant Pefrosospongia, The Siliceous
Sponges
Coscinoderma mathewsi
D (Lendenfeld, 1889)

External Characters diameter which are cored,


A massive, hemispherical and secondary fibres
sponge with oscules located 3-1 2 ~m in diameter which
laterally and apically along ore thin, vermiform and
low, lamellate extensions of intertwining. The latter make
the general body surface. up the bulk of the skeleton.
The surface is remarkably There is on organised
regular, it is strongly uniform sand cortex.
conulose with adjacent
elements linked by surface Soft Tissues
tracts to form on intricate An ectosomal region,
reticulum. Individual conules 25(}350 ~m deep is
are 1-3 mm high with differentiated and marked
rounded tips. Oscules are by collagen tracts which
flush with the surface with 0 run parallel to the sponge
slightly elevated elastic lip. surface prOViding support
The texture is extremely soft and cohesion to the sand
and compressible indicative cortex. The choanosorne,
aI spongin fibre of the internal to this has uniform
highest commercial quality. light collagen deposition
and spherical choonocyte
Dimensions chambers 15-30 ~m in
The sponge is known to be diameter.
1(}20 cm high, 15 cm
wide. Oscules are 2-6 mm Ecology and Habitat
in diameter. Occurs on coral rubble at
the base of fringing and
Colour intermediate reefs and on
In life grayish to block lagoon bottoms alloching
externally, pole yellow-brown to hard basal substrote.
internally, in ethanol the Moderately common on the
same. east coost of New Caledonia
in depths of 20-35m.
Skeletal Characters
The skeleton is 0 network of Distribution
158 slightly trellised, thin primary Micronesia, Fiji, New Coscinoderma mOlhewsi (Lendenfetd): Passe de Yande, 32 m
Sponges fibres 40-1 00 ~m in I
Caledonia. (photo P. Laboute)
of the New
Caledonian
Lagoon
o aer Leiosella ramosa
Die at a s naild Bergquist, 1995

External Characters arranged in a very tight


A ramose sponge branching anastomosing pattern.
in irregular fashion from a Primary fibres are simple,
single base of oMachment, cared, and of uniform
the stalk and individual diameter 50-70 ~m wide in
branches are elliptical in the deeper reg ions of the
cross-section. The oscules sponge, but became
are located mainly on the fasciculated where they
sides of branches rather converge toward the
than an the wider f1aMened surface.
face and lie flush with the
surface. Marked exhalant Soft Tissues
canals channel the surface Collagen deposition is
as they converge toward the uniform throughout the sponge
oscules, otherwise the with no ectasamal region,
surface is smooth dominated other than from the surface
by a very finely reticulated sandy crust, present.
sandy crust which lies in the Choanocyte chambers are
plane of the surface. spherical, 15-20 ~m in
The texture is harsh and iust diameter
compressible.
Ecology and Habitat
Dimensions
Occurs on the auter reef at
The sponge extends from a
50 m depth, aMaching to
base, 4 cm wide to a height
the wall of a cave. The
of 35 cm. Oscules are
species is not common and
small, 2-3 mm in diameter.
is known only from narthern
New Caledonia
Colour
In life beige, in ethanol
I brawn. Distribution
I New Caledonia.
Skeletal Characters
The skeleton is a network Possible Confusions
predominantly made up of Hyrtios reticulato which has
uncored secondary fibres, a conulose surface and LeioselJa ramosa Bergquist (holotypej; Recil des Fran~ais. 27 m 159
10-40 ~m in diameter, cylindrical branches. (photo P. Laboutej The Siliceous
Sponges
o Fern.1 Phyllospongia papyracea
Dictyoceratida Spo~giidae (Esper, 1806)

External Characters fibres which are usually


A lamellate multi lobed or cored extend vertically from
disc-shaped, stalked sponge the atlachmenl point and
with lamellae oken excavated radiate to intersect both
in irregular fashion, surfaces at right angles.
sometimes producing Secondary uncared fibres
strap-like extensions. connect the primary elements.
The body is always extremely Tertiary, vermiform fibres
thin and is frequently augment the skeleton in the
infested with baring centre of the lamella and
barnacles IAcasta sp.1 form marked fascicles
The oscules are small, flush toward the base. These are
with the surlace and never present near the
distributed evenly aver one growing margin and are
lace of the lamella. The restricted to the basal
surface is smooth, never lamella and stalk in very Ihin
macroscopically showing farms.
any canals or organised
pare areas. Microscopically Soft Tissues
tiny conules are apparent. The fibre reticulum is dominant.
The texture is tough, pliable Sak tissues are very lightly
and elastic. collagen reinforced with
only slight enhancement as
Dimensions an ectosomalthickening on
Specimens can became the oscular face.
very large, extending from a Choanacyte chambers are
stalk approximately 20 mm slightly oval, 25-35 ~m in
in diameter 10 a height of greatest dimension.
40 cm, the lamella always
being 1.0-2.0 mm thick. Ecology and Habitat
Phyltospongia papyracea (Esper): Recif Doiman. t 5 m
Oscules are 0.2-0.5 mm in Sponge occurs on the outer
(photo G. Bargibant)
diameter. reef on clean eroded carol
slabs or faces, between 15
Colour and 30 m depth. The
The colour in life ranges species is not common and
from beige to pole golden is present only on the east
brown or burgundy, in caost 01 New Caledonia.
ethanol brownish cream.
Distribution
Skeletal Characters Indo-Pacific, Northern Great
160 The skeleton is made up of Barrier Reef, N.E. New
Sponges I Ihree types of fibres.
Primary Caledonia.
of the New
Caledonian
Lagoon
Order Family Hyrtios reticulata
Dictyoceratida Thorectidae (Thiele, 1899)

External Characters fibres in which primary fibres


A repent sponge with con be identified only os
cylindrical branches short tracts which condense
extending from 0 somewhat out of the secondary
f1a»ened bose which network in the immediate
extends over coral rubble. subdermal region. The fibres
Oscules ore small, spherical, ore 10-50 ~m in diameter
flush with the surface, and and show clear stratification.
sca»ered over bose and
branches and surrounded in Soft Tissues
each case by 0 clear orea There is 0 distinct ectosomal
of dermal membrane. region, 1500 ~m deep
A dominant feature of the which is morked by the
surface is the tracery of presence of 0 sandy layer
radiating ridges extending and light collagen deposition.
between the very regularly Except near conules,
dispersed low canules there is on abrupt boundary
103·10 mm highl. between the ectosome and
The texture is firm and iust the underlying choanosome.
compressible. Choanocyte chambers ore
spherical, 20-35 ~m in
Dimensions diameter.
The sponge is up ta 40 cm
high, 15 cm wide with Ecology and Habitat
branches up to 12 cm Occurs on coral rubble at
high and 1.5 cm in diameter. the base of fringing reefs
Oscules ore 2·5 mm in and in silly boys at 15·50 m
diameter. depth. Very common in the
south and on the east coast
Colour of New Caledonia.
In life grey to yellaw brown,
Iin ethanol the some. Distribution

Skeletal Characters
ICelebes, New Caledonia.
Hynios reticulata (Thiele); Baie du Prony. 35 m The skeleton is 0 compoct Possible Confusions 161
(phOtO P. Laboute) Iregulor network of cored I See under Leiosello ramoso. The Siliceous
Sponges
Orde rn Iy Petrosaspongia nigra
Dictyoceratida Thorectidae Bergquist, 1995

External Characters arise iust below the surface


A massive, spreading sponge by fusion of secondary fibres
with thick interlacing lobes to form 0 spongin plate from
arising from 0 spreading which the cored fibres
base. The surface is finely extend into the conules.
and evenly canulase with Primary fibres are 90-1 10 ~m
o briffle rough aspect. in diameter, secondory fibres
Oscules are small, flush with predominantly 26-60 ~m
the surface and scattered with some being extremely
over the body and the fine 8-1 0 ~m, and almost
texture is extremely hard farming 0 patchy tertiary
and incompressible, almost network.
rock-like.
Soft Tissues
Dimensions An ectosomal region,
This is 0 Iorge sponge 200-500 ~m deep is clearly
covering areas of up to set off from the underlying
50 by 60 cm and choanasame. It is pocked
extending 20 cm above with pigment cells and has
the affachment base. Canules light even collagen
are 0.2-0.3 mm high and deposition as does the
ascules are 1-2.5 mm in chaanosome. Chaanacyte
diameter. chambers are spherical,
20-25 ~m in diameter.
Colour
External colour in life jet
black, internally pole yellow Ecology and Habitat
to beige, in ethanol the Occurs along the edges of
same. posses in the reef and on
the outer reef affached to
Skeletal Characters coral formations in 12-40 m
The skeletal network is depth. The species is
extremely dense, mode up common around Noumeo
predominantly of tightly and in the south of New
interlocking, strongly Caledonia.
laminated, uncared
162 Petrosaspongia nigra Bergquisl: Passe de Boulari. 15-18 m secondary fibres. Primary Distribution
Sponges (ph010 G. Bargibant) fibres ore short, cared and I New Caledonia.
of the New
Caledonian
Lagoon
de Luffariella caliculata
Dictyoceratido fhore ,do Bergquist, 1995

Externol Chorocters few sconered spicule


A shallow cup-shaped fragments. Near the surface
sponge of regular shape the fibres taper sharply to
with an upper oscular points and often divide into
surface thrown into low two or three multiple
undulotions and a smooth prangs. The secondary
poral face. The surface is reticulum is regular ond
evenly conulose and the almost rectangular, ond the
oscules are in osculor fibres are uncored. An
complexes of 3-6 which ore extremely fine tertiory
evenly dispersed and slightly network is present. Primary
depressed below the fibres ore 120-350 ~m in
general body surfoce. diameter, secondary fibres
The texture is compressible 10-50 ~m and tertiary fibres
and springy. 2-5 ~m in diameter

Dimensions Soft Tissues


The sponge is 15 cm high, The ectosomal region is
14 cm across and the 250-350 ~m deep and
anachment base is 4 cm in mainly occupied by large
diameter. Oscular canals. The choanosome is
complexes are 5-8 mm lightly infiltrated by collagen
in diameter and conules and the choanocyte
0.5-1 mm high. chambers are sphericol,
15-25 ~m in diameter.
Colour
The external pigmentation in Ecology and Hobitat
life and in ethanol is golden Occurs on the reef front
brown, and the internal anached to cora I heads
colouration in life is cream, between 30 and 50 m
in ethanol golden brown. depth. The species is not
common and occurs only
Skeletal Characters in the south east of New
The skeleton is a moderately Caledonia.
dense network of primary
fibres in which coring Distribution Lu!Joriello coliculolo Bergquist (haIOlype): C08tlogon-Goro. 50 m 163
material is reduced to only a I New Caledonia. (photo P. Laboute) The Siliceous
Sponges
Orde ~arnl Luffariella cylindrica
Dictyoceratido fhorectidae Bergquist, 1995

External Characters Colour Soft Tissues


An erect cylindrical sponge The colour in life An ectosomal region,
wilh a single large apical is gray and in ethanol 250-350 ~m deep is
osculum fringed by a the same. marked by large canals
membrane, 1 cm high. which ore separated by
There is a deep central Skeletal Characters tissue tracts.
osculor canal extending the The skeleton is an open The choanosome is lightly
whole length of the sponge network of lightly cored collagen infiltrated and the
into which the exhalant canals primary fibres with choanocyte chambers are
decant. The surface is covered clearly defined secondory spherical, 15-20 pm in
with fine, evenly spaced low and fine tertiary elements in diometer.
conules, each of which is an almost rectangular
supported by several prongs mesh arrangement.
Ecology and Habitat
of a primary fibre fascicle. Primary fibres are ohen in
Occurs on the outer reef
Texture is compressibk!, firm o ladder-like semi-fascicular
ond Iogoon among coral
ond springy, and the sponge array, the elements 01 which
outcrops on the reef
exudes copious mucus when divide at the surface.
dropoff between
hondled. Primary fibres are 60-80 ~m
in diameter, secondory
18 and 70 m.
The species is common on
Dimensions fibres 20-30 ~m,
the north, south and west
The sponge is up 10 50 cm and tertiary fibres 4-7 ~m
coasts of New Coledonia.
high, 15 cm in diometer in diometer.
arising from on o~achment In Ihe prominent oscular
164 3 cm wide. Osculor operture membrone the primary fibres Distribution LujjorieJlo cyJindrico Bergquist (I1010type): Banc Gait. 30 m
Sponges is 1.5-5 cm in diameter. form stout palisades. I New Caledonia. (photo P. Laboute)
of the New
Caledonian
Lagoon
Orde Family Ircinia irregularis
Dictyoceratida Irciniidae (Polejaeff, 1884)

Ircinia irreguJaris (Polc~jaeff): I. Redika. 20 m


(phOl0 P. LaboUle)

Ircinia irregularis (Poiejaeff): Noumea. seagrass bed. Wesl Lagoon 15 m


(photo G. Bargibant)

External Characters light sediment deposits. Colour are likewise cored and 200-250 ~m of the sponge Ecology and Habitat
A massive, cushion-like The small holothurian In life block externally, irregular. Individual fibres but the layer is not 0 Occurs on flat surfaces on
sponge with strongly Synap/ula media is olways pole cream to brown vary dramatically in dimension 1 compoct sandy cortex. the sandy logoon bOllom.
conulose surface and 0
found in association with internally, and in ethanol along their length, depending Common on the west coost
this species. brown throughoul. Soft Tissues ond in the south of New
cluster of apical oscules on the nature and amount
The body is extremely Coledonio in depths of
recessed below the body Dimensions Skeletal Characters of coring moterial present. cavernous, lightly infiltrated 2-25 m.
contour. The texture is The sponge grows to large The primary skeleton is Fine filaments 3-4 ~m in with collagen with no distinct
compressible but extremely size, up to 50 cm in mode up of extremely diameter pock the entire ectosomal thickening.
tough, impossible 10 tear. diameter and 30 cm high in irregular intertwined fibre body. There is 0 Choonocyte chambers ore Distribution
The surface is conulase New Caledonia. Oscules fascicles with 011 elements concentration of sandy spherical 20-25 ~m in Torres Slrait, Great Barrier 165
overall and often attracts are 4-8 mm in diameter. cored. Secondary elements material in the superficial diameter. I
Reef, New Caledonia. The Siliceous
Sponges
de Psammocinia bulbosa
Dic· e Bergquist 1995

External Characters columns in which fibres


A massive repent sponge twine and interlock to form
growing loosely aMached to stout fasciculate columns up
corol. It has an extremely to 700 ~m ocross.
distinctive body form, being Secondary fibres are also
constructed as a series of irregular, 30-50 ~m in
bulbous expansions from diameter and generally
each of wh ich one or two cored. The collagen
erect tapering oscular fistules filaments are very dense,
arise. Oscules also occur fine, 3-5 ~m in diameter.
flush with the general body
surfoce. The surface is Soft Tissues
covered with regularly An ectosomal region is
spaced low rounded defined by the sandy
conules 0.5-1 mm high, cortical crust which is up to
and has a papery texture I mm deep and an
conferred by the well underlying region of
developed sandy crust. lacunae formed by exhalant
The overall texture of the canals. Choanocyte
sponge is firm and crisp, chambers are spherical,
just compressible. 20-30 ~m in diameter.
Collagen deposition is light
Dimensions throughout the sponge.
Sponge is up to 20 cm
long, 3 cm thick, 6 cm wide Ecology and Habitat
with oscular fistules 3-5 cm The sponge occurs an the
high, on which oscules outer reef on coral rubble,
2-5 mm in diameter occur. mainly in crevices ond under
overhangs at 0.2 to 50 m
Colour depth. The species is not
The colaur in life is grayish common and is found
I white,
and in ethanol cream. around Noumeo and in the
south of New Caledonia.
Skeletal Characters
166 The skeleton is an irregular Distribution Psommocinio bulboso Bergquisl (hototype): Barrier reef. M'Bere
Sponges
of the New
Inetwork of cored primary I New Caledonia. (photo J.L. Menou)

Caledonian
Lagoon
Order Family Dysidea herbacea
Dictyocerotido Dysideidoe (Keller, 1889)

External Characters There is no distinction


A spreading sponge with between primary and
thin, digitate to lamellate secondary elements
extensions arising from the and fibres range from
base which is firmly attached 50-160 ~m in diameter.
to the carol substrate. The
lamellae may interlock in Soft Tissues
complex fashion. The surface The ectosomal region is thin
is slimy but finely and and, on both sides of the
regularly conulose. Individual thin lamellae, supports a fine
conules are up to 0.4 mm superficial layer of sandy
high and aligned in vertical material.
rows thus conferring in Choanocyte chambers are
patches an almost striated oval, 50-1 20 ~m in longest
appearance. The texture is dimension and making up
soh, flexible, rather leathery. the bulk of the choanosomal
Oscules are small, flush with volume. The matrix is
the surface and are most strongly and evenly
frequently located toward the collagen reinforced and
upper margins of lamellae is packed with filamentous
cyanobacteria.
Dimensions
The sponge can cover areas Ecology and Habitat
up to 0.5 m' with lamellae The sponge occurs widely in
up to B cm high. Oscules reef habitats, occurring in
are 0.5-1.5 mm in diameter. lagoons, on fringing and
intermediate reefs, along the
Colour edges of passes and on the
In life green to gray ouler reef. It attaches to
depending on the amount of clear hard substrate and is
fine sand adhering to the found from 3-15 m depth.
surface, in ethanol gray to The species is very common
white. around Noumea and in the
south of New Caledonia.
Skeletal Characters
The skeleton is an open Distribution
network of fi bres cored with Red Sea, Indian Ocean,
sand grains of extremely Great Barrier Reef, Marshall Dysidea herbacea (Keller): Chenal des 5 mitles. 25 m 167
irregular dimensions. Islands, Fiji, New Caledonia. (photo P. Laboute) The Siliceous
Sponges
Order Family Dysidea arenaria
Dictyoceratida Dysideidae Bergquist 1965

External Characters region. They are arranged


An irregularly ramose in 0 reticulate panern, the
sponge with branches meshes of which are
interlocking to form 0 tight campoct near the surface,
but cavernous moss. open in the deeper regions.
The surface is covered with All fibres are heavily cored
prominent multi-tuberculate and the diameter is from
conules. The texture is stiff, 60-150 ~m.
just compressible and brinle
os 0 result of the high Soft Tissues
quantity of interstitial debris The ectasame supports 0
present. Oscules ore flush concentration of sand to 0
with the surface and depth of 80-1 00 ~m, and
distributed over the whole below that is seporated from
body. the choonasame by marked
exhalant canal lacunae.
Dimensions The general choonosame
The sponge is commonly contains 0 good deal of
3 to 10 cm high, up to sandy material and is only
8 cm wide with individual lightly collagen reinforced.
branches 1-1.5 cm in Choonacyte chambers are
diameter. Oscules 0.3-1 mm oval, 60-90 ~m in langest
in diameter. dimension.

Colour Ecology and Habitat


In life dull greenish gray Common on lagoon bonams
to pole mauve, in ethanol in mobile sediment anaching
white. to algal holdfasts or buried
rubble in 8-10 m depth.
Skeletal Characters Most frequent in the vicinity
The fibres cannot be clearly of Naumea.
designated os primary ar
168 Dysidea arenaria Bergquisl: Noumea. I. Mailre. 10 m secondary except in the Distribution
Sponges (phOIO P. Laboule) immediate subsurface IPalau, New Caledonia.
of the New
Caledonian
Lagoon
Order Family Dysidea nigrescens
Dictyoceratida Dysideidae Bergquist, 1995

External Characters species such as this will have Soft Tissues


A repent, mossive to lobote very variable dimensions. The dermal membrane and
sponge growing oHoched to Oscules are 2-5 mm in ectosomal region are clear
subsurfoce rubble on sondy diameter and flush with of sand and the ectosome
logoon boHoms, The surfoce surface. shows anly traces of collagen
is covered very evenly with deposition. The choanosame
low rounded conules, 1 mm Colour is lightly collagenaus, with
high ond wide, which are Deep blockish purple in life, oval choanocyte chombers
connected by 0 trocery of I in ethanol cream. 120-1 80 ~m in longest
fine subdermol trocts. dimension, The mesohyl
The opex of eoch conule is Skeletal Characters is packed with filamentous
whitish where sand-filled The fibre skeleton has on cyanobacte1ia.
fibre is exposed. This gives almost perfect rectangular
a regular, light spoHed plan with simple, cored Ecology and Habitat
appearance to the surface. primary fibres 70-400 ~m in Occurs on shell/sand
Oscules are situated apically diometer and secondary Iogoon boHoms aHoched to
on each lobe af the sponge. fibres 40-1 00 ~m in diometer, rubble at 30 m depth,
Texture is soh, easily tarn. always with some clear The species is not common
spongin visible around the and occurs only in the south
Dimensions coring material. The primary of New Caledonio,
The only specimen examined fibres are about 1 mm opart
is 10 cm long, 12 cm wide, and the entire skeleton is Distribution
3 cm high, but a spreading thus a very fragile network. I New Caledonia.

Dysidea nigrescens Bergquist (holotype): South Lagoon between I. Tere and I. N"da, 30 m 169
(photo P. Laboute) The Siliceous
Sponges
Order Family Dysidea frondosa
Dictyoceratida Dysideidae Bergquist, 1995

Dysidea jrandosa Bergquist (holotype): Noumea: I. Maitre, 25 m


(photo P. Laboute)

External Characters like appearance to the Colour Soft Tissues Dark brawn pigment cells
A repent sponge with many surface. Oscules are large, Dark pink to purple in life, in An ectosomal region is are dispersed throughout all
f1affened, lobate projections flush with the surface and I ethanol dark brown. defined by superficial I tissues.
arising from an irregular scaltered. The texture is soh, collagen reinforcement and
spreading base affached to flexible, eaSily torn. Skeletal Characters prominent underlying
Ecology and Habitat
subsurface rubble an sandy All fibres are cored and no exhalant canal lacunae.
Occurs on sandy lagoon
lagoon boffoms. The surface Dimensions distinction can be made The choanosome has almost
baltoms in the region
is covered with low, The sponge is 12 cm long, between primary and no collagen deposition and
around Noumea at 20-24 m
irregularly distributed 8 cm high and 6 cm wide. secondary elements except liffle mesohyl.
depth altached to rubble
conules 1·1.5 mm high. These dimensions will vary immediately below the Most volume is occupied
and Halimeda stalks.
Sandy tracts running in the according to precise surface. The fibres are thick, by the ova I choanocyte
plane of the surface connect location and availability 120-400 ~m in diameter chambers 50·80 ~m
170 adjacent conules to give an of substrate. Oscules are and make up a very in maximum dimension, Distribution
Sponges
of the New
irregularly distributed web- 3·6 mm in diameter. irregular skeletal network. and conals. INew Caledonia.
Coledonian
Lagoon
Order amil Euryspongia delicatula
Dictyoceratida Dvsideidae Bergquist, 1995

External Characters 200400 ~m in diameter


A massive, almost which became fasciculate
hemispherical sponge just belaw the surface,
extending from a broad, and a loose irregularly
continuous allachment base disposed network of
which is carol rock. uncared secondary fibres
The surface is covered with 50-120 ~m in diameter.
evenly spaced, rounded
canules, 1-3 mm high Soft Tissues
An ectasamal region is
elevated by one to several
primary fibres. Fine, defined by a superficial
subdermol sondy tracts collagen reinforced region
rod iate between canules overlying a region of large
exhalant lacunae.
and confer a regular
cobweb-like appearance an The chaanasame is
cavernous; it has light
the surface. Oscules lie flush
with the surface and are collagen deposition,
dispersed. The texture is sporse mesohyl, oval
choanocyte chambers
spongy, very compressible
but elastic. 80-120 ~m in longest
dimension, ond mony
Dimensions canals.
The sponge is up to 15 cm
high, 12 cm wide, 18 cm Ecology and Habitat
long. Oscules are 2-6 mm The sponge occurs on
in diameter. slightly silly or clean lagoon
bolloms alloched to coral
Colour rubble at 20-30 m depth.
In life violet, in methanol It is not common and occurs
I gold-brawn. predominontly in southern
New Caledonia.
Skeletal Characters
The skeleton is composed Distribution Euryspongia delicarulo Bergquisl (hololype): Recif Ue 20-25 m 171
I of cared primary fibres INew Caledonia. (pholo P. Laboule) The Siliceous
Sponges
Order family Euryspongia vasiformis
Dictyoceratida Dysideldae Bergquist, 1995

External Characters Skeletal Characters


An irregular, often eroded, The skeleton is composed of
cup-shaped sponge which lightly cored primary fibres,
grows aMached to worm 80-200 ~m in diameter
tubes and coral rubble on which can be fasciculate
shallow sandy Halimeda near the surface, and a
flats. Both internal and loose, open reticulum of
external surfaces are uncored secondary fibres,
covered with closely spaced 40-1 20 ~m in diameter
sharp conules 1-2 mm high,
each supported by a single Soft Tissues
fibre ond connected by a An ectosomal region is
prominent tracery of surface marked by subdermal canals
tracts which give a web-like and a superficial collagen
surface appearance. reinforced layer.
Oscules are small, flush with The choanosome has almost
the surfoce and are no collagen deposition, liMle
distributed over both faces. mesohyl, and a substantial
volume of canals and
The texture is soft, flexible
oval choanocyte chambers
and eaSily torn.
60-90 ~m in longesl
dimension.
Dimensions
The sponge grows to Ecology and Habitat
16 cm high, 10 cm in Occurs on sandy lagoon
apicol diameter, baMoms aMached to carol
and the walls of the cup rubble, between 8-30 m.
are 4-8 mm thick. The sponge is common in
Oscules are 0.5-1 mm in the region around Noumea,
diameter. but also occurs on the
outer reef.
Colour
172 In life the sponge is dark Distribution Euryspongia uasiformis Bergquisr (hotolype): Recif Tomboo, 30 m
Sponges I brown, in ethanol identical. I New Caledonia. (phOlo P. Laboute)
of the New
Caledonian
Lagoon
Order Family Darwinella Sp.
Dendroceratida Darwinellidae

group of "keratose" sponges, lacking a mineral skeleton,

A dendroceratids are fibrous, like the verongids, but are soft,


compressible, flabby and fleshy in construction. In these
species the main skeleton is dendritic or reticulate, and fibres originate
from a basal plate, without any obvious differences between primary
and secondary spongin fibre elements. Spongin fibres are strongly External Characters tissue. Both bark and pith
laminated, with a distinct pith. Dendroceratids are viviparous, where A complex 10 base sponge elements ore present with
arising from 0 Single basal pith making up half to two
larvae are incubated parenchymella, evenly ciliated, with or without a
anochment. It has an thirds of the fibre diameter.
posterior tuft of long flagella. irregularly conulose surface Bark is strongly laminated.
with individual conules Fibres range from
2-4 mm high and blunt 120-350 ~m in diameter.
terminal regions. Pares are Free fibrous triradiate
evenly dispersed and give 0 spicules ore present, ray
fine reticulated appearance length is 650-700 mm
to the general surface. and the width 20 ~m
Oscules are large, Circular,
situated apicolly on each
Soft Tissues
lobe of the body and An ectosomal region
surrounded by a tronsporent, 60-120 ~m deep, which is
slightly elevated oscular strongly collagen reinforced,
membrane. Texture is soft, grades into the underlyi ng
fleshy, somewhat slimy to choonosome. The
the touch. choanosome is cavernous
with collagen deposition
Dimensions emphasised only around
Up to 10-15 cm high and majar canals. Choanocyte
wide. Oscules ore 3-6 mm chambers ore oval, but the
in diameter. state of preservation of the
sponge does not permit
Colour
measurement.
Bright lemon yellow in life,
I purple block in ethanol. Ecology and Habitat
Occurs on sandy Ha/imeda
Skeletal Characters
flats in silly sand lagoon
The main skeleton is
bonom situations, more
dendritic with large fibres
frequently in the northern
of very irregular diameter
lagoon in depths of 20-40 m.
arising from 0 spreading
oarwinella sp.: North Lagoon. I. Paaba. 27 m basal spongin plate. Fibre is Distribution 173
(photo P. Laboutej sparse in relation to the soh I New Caledonia. The Siliceous
Sponges
Order FamilY Dendrilla rosea
Dendroceratida Darwinellidae Lendenfeld, 1883

External Characters layered bark with no foreign


An erecf ramose to bushy Imaterial incorporated.
sponge with interlocking
low lobes or with discrete Soft Tissues
branches. The surface is The ectosome is distinct,
covered with pronounced densely collagenous
conules 1-5 mm high, 80-140 ~m deep and set
spaced 3-5 mm apart. off from the choanosome
Between conules the pores by 0 system of sub-dermal
impart 0 lacy appearance canals. The choanosomal
to the dermal membrane. mesohyl is densely cellular
The sponge is slimy, with with concentrations of
fleshy fragile texture in ifs archaeocytes and spumous
soft tissues. Oscules are cells toward the ectosomal
dispersed randomly. boundary. Choanocyte
chambers ore oval 35-80 ~m
Dimensions in longest dimension and
Sponge con be up to 30 cm evenly dispersed. Strong
high with branches 4-10 mm collagen tracls traverse Ihe
in diameter or spreading, mesahyl.
covering on area of 15-20 cm
to 0 depth of 6-8 cm. Oscules Ecology and Habitat
are 1-4 mm in diameter.
Occurs on steep sloping
reefs extending on to mobile
Colour
coarse, shell grovel substrate
Bright rose pink in life, pole
Ired brown in ethanol. in lagoon bonoms, where it
anaches to large shells
Skeletal Characters or small fragments of coral
The skeleton is dendritic wifh rubble. Found between
fibres arising from 0 spreading 20 and 35 m depth. The
basal plate and branching species is only moderately
toward the surface. Fibres common and dispersed in
are stout toward the base, occurrence.
1.2-] .6 mm in diameter
narrowing rapidly to Distribution
174 250-300 ~m. Fibres hove New Zealand, Southern DendriIJa rasea Lendenfeld: Noumea: I. Canard. 20 m
Sponges
of the New
o central pith, concentrically IAustralia, New Caledonia. (photo P. LaboUle)

Caledonian
Lagoon
Family Dictyodendrilla elegans
D d do Dictyodendrillidae (Dendy, 1924)

External Characters elements. Fibres ore up to


A digitate to lobate sponge 250 ~m in diameter, with
arising either from a single concentrically laminated bark
stalk or from multiple, and pith which makes
relatively loose anachment up one third of the fibre
points. The surface is diameter. No coring material
strongly conulose, with is present in the fibres.
conules up to 10 mm high
and 2-3 mm aport, aligned Soft Tissues
over short distances to form The ectosome is 0 thin layer
marked surface ridges. 90-140 ~m deep, marked
Pores are evenly dispersed only by light collagen
giving a delicate reticulate reinforcement. No particular
appearance to the smooth cellular aggregations mark
surface. Oscules are flush the ectosomal region which
with the surface and simply grades into the
dispersed in irregular fashion. choanosome. The laner
The texture is delicate, soh region is cavernous with
and compressible and the large canals occupying most
general sponge construction of the volume. Discrete
is cavernous and fragile. groups of oval choanocyte
chambers, 60-140 ~m in
Dimensions longest dimension are
Individuals up to 25 cm surrounded by 0 lightly
high and 25-35 cm wide collagen infiltrated mesohyl
have been recorded, smaller in which cellular elements
specimens are more frequent. are present in low numbers.
Oscules are 3-5 mm in
diameter.
Ecalogy and Habitat
Colour Occurs anached to hard
Grey to grey blue soft tissues surfaces, but is most
in life, contrasting fibres are commonly found on coarse,
block, tissue becomes navy sandy shell grovel substrate
blue, to blue block in ethanol at depths of 15-23 m.
Common in the lagoon
Skeletal Characters habitats of south west New
The skeleton is 0 regular, Caledonia.
rectangular reticulum with
no size distinction between Distribution
ascending (primaryl and Northern New Zealand, DiC/yodendriJIo elegons (Dendy): Noumea: t. Maitre. 20 m 175
secondary (connecting) I New Caledonia. (photo P. Laboutej The Siliceous
Sponges
Order Family Porphyria flintae
Verongida Aplysinellidae Bergquist, 1995

IT hese "keratose" sponges also lack mineral spicules. but unlike the dendroceratids they are typically elastic. verongid
sponges also have pigments that oxidize to purple when in contact with air (aerophobic). The skeleton consists of
large. widely spaced spongin fibres forming dendritic or reticulate structures, and fibres may be aggregated
(fasciculated) into bundles. There is no differentiation between primary and secondary fibre elements, and detritus is only
rarely incorporated into fibres. Spongin fibres have a laminated cortical (bark) region and a distinct central pith of fine spongin
fibrils. The cortex may be reduced or disappear entirely in some species. The mesohyl contains abundant collagenous fibrils.
All species are oViparous. Common genera are Aplysina. Pseudoceratina and Janthella.
L ._._.._ .. __.

External Characters Skeletal Characters deep, with an outer layer


A stalked, gablet'shaped The skeleton has a 20-30 ~m in extent which
sponge with distinct internal pronounced dendritic plan contains little collagen and
ascular and external poral with slender fibres diverging has a high number of
faces. The interior surface of from a central basal point spherulous and other
the vase is smooth with small which is a clear stalk. Fibres secretary cells. The deeper
regularly dispersed oscules ore cylindrical and of even region is strongly collagen
located in slight depressions, dimension, 60-80 ~m reinforced, but also contains
each of which is surrounded across, for most of their many spherulous cells
by a membranous rim. length. They taper to sharp superficially. The choanosome
The poral external face is points near the surface is very evenly collagen
iust raugheneo by fine low where they are 15·30 pm reinforced and choanocyte
conules and can be smooth in diameter. Branch fibres chambers are small
or irregular and lumpy. arising from the main and spherical, 15·30 ~m
The texture is firm, rubbery dendritic elements are short, in diameter.
but compressible. 30-350 ~m long, flexuous
and sharply pOinted. Ecology and Habitat
Dimensions Both bark and pith elements Occurs on the outer reef on
Individuals 15·20 cm high are present in the fibres, firm hard surfaces, among
and 10-15 cm wide are with the pith making up to coral boulders or on steep
common. The wall of the a third of the diameter. coral cliffs between 35 and
cup is 1 S2 cm thick at its The bark is very dense 65 m depth. The species is
midpoint and the stalk is and tightly laminated and moderately common but
OS 1.5 cm thick. as a consequence the fibres appears restricted to the
are very brittle. south west coast of New
Colour Caledonia and the Loyalty
Pale to deep purple externally Islands.
and cream internally in life, Soft Tissues
176 in ethanol it is deep purple The ectosome is a well Distribution Porphyriaj1intae Bergquist (ll0tatype): Cap Boyer, t. Mare, 33 m
Sponges
of the New
block throughout. I marked region, 1 10-140 ~m INew Caledonia (photo P. Labaute)

Caledonion
lagoon
Pseudoceratina verrucosa
Bergquist, 1995

External Characters superficially in life, in inlo distinct islands of tissue


A massive repent sponge I ethanol deep purple bloc in which the smoll, 15·20 ~m
with thick branches spreading diameter, spherical
aver carol substrate. The Skeletal Characters choanocyte chambers lie.
surface is verrucose, covered The skeleton has a dendritic The ectosome is strongly
in abundant low conules, plan and is made up of collagenous, 300·BOO ~m
which are 1-2 mm high and extremely irregular fibres deep and mode up
rounded rather than pointed which ore composed only of alternative bonds 0\
apically. The general body of pith elements in which extremely dense collagen
surface is thrown into low o small amount of sandy separated by areas with
ridges. Texture is hard and debris is incorporated. Bark lower collagen density and
incompressible and ascules is absent from the fibres. high cell density.
are prominent, scaNered over large areas 01 the body,
the upper surface, slightly particularly in the deeper
Ecology and Habitat
elevated and surrounded by region of the chaanasome,
Occurs commonly
a pronounced contractile rim. are devoid of skeleton. Fibres
throughout New Caledonia,
range from 220·600 ~m in
on lagoon habitats and on
Dimensions diameter but the irregularity
intermediate and outer reefs
Individuals can cover makes measurements of
in depths of 10-40 m.
an area up to 30 cm in limited use.
diameter. Specimens
Soft Tissues Distribution
commonly are around
10-20 cm long and wide, The sponge has dense I New Caledonia.
and 4-6 cm Ihick. collagen tracts deployed
Oscules are small, 2·3 mm regionally to structure both Possible Confusions
in diameter. the ectosome and the Suberea creba from which
choonosome. Dense collagen P. verrucoso con be
Colour depositions surround 011 distinguished by the
Dull yellow throughout, conals and fibres, ond serve verrucose surface and more Pseudoceratina uerrucosa Bergqulsl: Bale du Prony, Rocher Auzille, 8·] 0 m 177
I sometimes yellow brown to divide the choonosome dull yellow colouration. (photo G. Bargibant) The Siliceous
Sponges
Order Suberea creba
Verongid ellidae Bergquist, 1995

External Characters component of the fibres is


A massive, thick, spreading very compact and the
sponge. The surfoce is laminate appearance
, smooth, fleshy in appearance, which is diagnostic of the
, and ~he general body is Verongida is not as marked
thrown into lumps and folds as usual until the sponge
giving an irregular is sectioned, when clear
tuberculate impression. laminae appear.
The sponge exudes Fibre diameter falls within
purple/block pigment when the range 120-250 ~m.
domaged. Oscules are
small, 2-3 mm in diameter, Soft Tissues
scaffered, slightly elevated The strongly collagenous
and surrounded by a marked ectosomal region is
contractile collagenous rim. 500-600 mm deep and
The texture is firm and corky, sharply separate from an
becoming extremely hard in underlying choanosome which
dead specimens. is evenly collagen reinforced
throughout. Choonocyte
Dimensions chambers are spherical and
Sponge covers 0 n a rea small, 15-20 ~m in diameter.
10 cm by 15 cm and is
3-4 cm thick. Clearly this
Ecology and Habitat
spreoding growth form
Sponge occurs spreading
permits larger irregular
over stable coral substrates
specimens to develop.
on reef fronts and on cliff
walls 01 depths of 30-55 m
Colour
uncommon on west and
Bright clear yellow in life, in
I ethanol deep purple black
south coasts.

Skeletal Characters Distribution


The plan of the fibrous I New Caledonia.
skeleton is dendritic, fibre is
sparse in relation to Ihe Possible Confusions
surrounding soh tissue. Pseudoceratina verrucosa
Fibres are usually circular which has a similar growth
in cross-section and ore farm, colour and habitat.
composed of both bark and S creba has a more brilliant
pith elements, and the pith clear colour, a smooth
makes up approximotely surface on 0 microscopic
178 Subereo crebo Bergquist (holotype): Passe de St Vincent, 45 m three quarters of the diameter level and extremely corky
Sponges (p/10tO G. Bargibant) of each fibre. The bark texture.
of the New
Coledonion
Logoon
Order amil Suberea laboutei
Veror'gida Aply'sinell,dae Bergquist, 1995

External Characters Colour Soft Tissues


An erect Iobote sponge, The colour in life is dull A distinct ectosomal region,
loosely odherent to corol brownish yellow, 250-350 ~m deep is
substrote ot multiple and in ethanol chocolate characterised by having
aNochment points. brown. islands of very dense
The surfoce is covered with collagen deposition between
pointed conules 1-3 mm Skeletal Characters which lie tracts of cells, 0
high which tend to be The skeleton has 0 dendritic high proportion of which are
aligned into short rows, plan and fibres are spherulous cells. The loNer
thus giving the surfoce 0 relatively abundant in also ore found os on almost
slightly ridged oppearonce. relation to the volume of continuous surface layer.
Surface contours are very the surrounding soh tissue. The choonosome is evenly
irregular with mony thin Individual fibres are collagen reinforced, but
projections extending from spherical to oval in cross- around major canals the
the moin lobes of the body. section and sometimes two density of the collagen is
Oscules are prominent, or three odjacent fibres are increased. Choonocyte
circular and situated incorporated within chambers ore small, spherical,
toward the opex of o common sheath of bark. 10-15 ~m in diameter.
individuollobes ond each Both bark and pith elements
one is surrounded by 0 are present in the fibres and Ecology and Habitat
thickened collagenous the former has strongly Occurs on hard surfaces in
membrane. defined, thin concentric lagoon habitat, aNached to
The texture is fleshy but Iominae which seporate and coral formations ot the base
easily compressible. fragment easily. of cliffs, around 18 m in
Bark never constitutes more depth. The species is not
Dimensions than one quarter of the fibre common and appears to be
Individuals are from diameter and con be confined to the north of
7-20 cm high, reduced to one tenth, New Caledonia.
lobes 4-5 cm thick. pith is dominant.
Suberea Jabourei Bergquisl (hololype): Nonh Lagoon. 18 m Oscules are 3-7 mm in Fibres are from 200-700 ~m Distribution 179
(ph010 P. Laboule) diameter. in maximum dimension. I New Coledonia. The Siliceous
Sponges
Family lanthella basta
lanthellidae (pallas, 1766)

External Characters thick with stalk 2·4 cm verticol orientation. In cross·


A toll fan to vase-shaped diameter. Oscules are section the bark component
sponge occasionally with I 0.5-1 mm in diameter. of the fibre incorporates
multiple lamellae, but more cellular elements laid down
usually 0 single lamella Colour in concentric bonds.
aHached at 0 constricted In life the cafaur is most
base. The lamella is very commonly blueish violet but Soft Tissues
thin and flexible with bright yellow, green, oronge, On the oscular face 0
undulations in bath vertical and vivid blue specimens collagen reinforced
and horizontal planes. occur. Deep reddish·purple ectosome up to 80 ~m
The surface is fleshy and fibres con be seen through deep is distinguished from
marked by extremely regular the surface tissue. On the underlying cavernous
radiating rows af low, exposure to air and in choonosome. On the porol
sharply pointed conules ethanol the sponge is dark face there is 0 thin collagen
arrayed to make 0 perfect reddish·purple. reinforced layer 20 ~m deep.
rectangular pattern. Oscules Choonoeyte chambers ore
ore small, circular, flush with Skeletal Characters oval, eurypylous and
the surface and confined to The skeleton is 0 dense 80-1 00 ~m in greatest
one face of the lamella; reticulation af fibres with dimension.
pores are restricted to the perfect rectangular meshes,
other face. The texture is oriented in one plane. Ecology and Habitat
Fascicles of two to four Occurs singly on inshore
slightly harsh to the touch os
o result af projecting fibre fibres aligned abave each silted coral substrate or on
tips. The thin, two dimensional other run from the base to fringing reef slopes with
fan or vase·like form and the the edge of the lamella and good current flow. Depth
fine, regular, rectangular are connected at intervals of range between 20·40 m.
mesh of the skeleton ore approximately 1 mm by
distinctive, striking features.
Single fibres. Differential Distribution
growth rotes af the skeleton Great Barrier Reef, Torres
Dimensions show up os bonds of very Strait, Papuo New Guinea,
Sponges may reach large closely spaced connecting Guam, Indian Ocean
180 size, up to 1500 cm high fibres that con also be laid IMascarene Islandl, New lonlhello bOSIO (Pallas): Banc Gait. 35 m
Sponges and wide, but only 1·3 mm down in 0 slightly divergent Caledonia. (p11010 P. LaboulC)
of the New
Coledonion
Logoon
Anomoianthella rubra
Bergquist, 1995

External Characters base but anastomosing to Distribution


An erect spreading sponge, form an open reticulum with I New Caledonia.
fan·like ar globose, rising irregular mesh shape and
from a narrowed attachment size. Individual fibres are Possible Confusions
base. Several intersecting slightly flattened, oval in None for the living sponge;
fans are present in larger cross'section and up to dead specimens could be
specimens. The sponge is 2500 ~m in diameter. Both confused with Danwinella
cavernous with great bark and pith elements are sp. and Dendrilla r05ea.
emphasis on the fibre present, with the pith
skeleton in relation to soN making up about one third
tissues. Fibres run for a of the diameter in each
considerable distance in the fibre. The bark is strongly
plane of the surface and laminated and charged with
extend inlo pronounced cellular elements arrayed in
painted canules up to 6 mm concentric wavy rows
high. Brilliant pigmentation which, on sectioning,
with contrasting dark-coloured fracture easily into strings of
fibres and compressible but fibre and cells.
harsh texture are striking
features. Oscules are large Soft Tissues
and scattered over the whole A collagen reinfarced
surface, but most commonly ectosome up to 200 ~m
are aligned along the apex deep is marked by strong
of the fan. aggregations of spherulaus
cells; it is set off from the
Dimensions cavernous choanasame by
Individuals reported from prominent subdermal
5·15 cm high, g·1 3 cm lacunae. Patches of cuticle
wide, 2·4 cm thick with 20 ~m thick are present. The
attachment base from 2·5 cm choanasome has light even
across. Oscules up to 1.2 cm collagen reinforcement and
in diameter. large volume of canals and
eunypylous oval to slightly
Colaur branched chaanacyte
Soh tissues brilliant orange-red, chambers.
contrasting fibres deep red,
in ethanol uniformly purple· Ecolagy and Habitat
black. Common in coral boulder
habitats in lagoons 10-20 m
Skeletal Characters depth. Can tolerate some
Fibres are veny thick and mobile sand. Most frequently AnomoianrheJIa rubra Bergquisl: Noumea: chenal de t'l. Maitre, 25 m 181
I coarse, diverging from the in the vicinity of Naumea. (photo P. Labaute) The Siliceous
Sponges
Further reading
Brien (P.), Levi (C), Sara (M.), Tuzet (0.), Vacelet (J.), 1973 - "Spongiaires". In Grasse
(P.-P.), ed.: Traite de Zoologie. Anatomie, systematique, biologie. Paris, Masson et
Cie. vol. 3(1), 485 fig.: 1-716.
Bergquist (PR.), 1978 - Sponges. London, Hutchinson: 1-268.
Bergquist (P.R), Wells (RJ.), 1983 - "Chemotaxonomy of the Porifera: The develop-
ment and current status of the field". In Scheuer (P.J.), ed.: Marine Natural Products 5,
New York, Academic Press: 1-50.
De Vos (L.), Rutzler (K.), Boury-Esnault (N.), Donadey (C), Vacelet (J .), 1991 - Atlas of
Sponge Morphology. Smithsonian Institution Press: 1-117.
Hartman (W.D.), 1982 - "Porifera". In Parker (S.P.), ed.: Synopsis and Classification of
Liuing Organisms. New York, McGraw-Hill. Vol. I: 640-666.
Van Soest (RW.M.), 1991 - "Demosponge Higher Taxa Classification Re-Examined".
In Reitner (J.), Keupp (H.), ed. Fossil and Recent Sponges: 54-71.

183
Further
reading
Bibliography
Ahond (A.), Bedoyazurita (M.), Colin (M.), et aI., 1988 - La girolline, nouvelle
substance antitumorale extraite de I'eponge, Pseudaxinyssa canthareJla n. sp.
(Axinellidae) C R. Acad. Sci, Fr., 307 (11): 145-148.

Bergquist (P.R), 1965 - The Sponges of Micronesia. Part I: The Palau Archipelago.
pacij. SO., 19 (2): 123-204.

Bergquist (P.R), 1995 - Dictyoceratida, Dendroceratida and verongida from the New
Caledonia lagoon (Porifera: Demospongiae). Mem. Queensland Mus., 38 (I): I-51.

Bergquist (P.R), Kelly-Borges (M.), 1991 - An evaluation of the genus Tethya


(Porifera: Demospongiae: Hadromerida) with descriptions of new species from the
Southwest Pacific. The Beagle, Records of the Northern Territory Museum of Arts
and Sciences, 8 (I): 37-72.

Debitus (C), 1994 - Etat des trauaux SMIB 1985-1993. Rapport Orstom Noumea, 82 p.

Debitus (C), Amade (P.), Laurent (D.), Cosson (J-P.), eds, 1991 - Troisieme
Symposium sur 1es substances natureJles d'interet bio10gique de la region Pacifique-
Asie. Noumea, Nouvelle-Caledonie, 26-30 aout 1991: 438 p.

Desqueyroux-Faundez (R), 1984 - Description de la faune des Haplosclerida


(Porifera) de la Nouvelle-Caledonie. L Niphatidae-Callyspongiidae. Reu. suisse Zoo1.,
32 pI., 91 (3): 765-827.

Desqueyroux-Faundez (R), 1987 - Description de la faune des Petrosida (Porifera)


de la Nouvelle-Caledonie. L Petrosiidae-Oceanapiidae. Reu. suisse Zoo1., 16 pI., 94 (I):
177-243.

Fromont (J.), 1995 - Haplosclerida and Petrosida (Porifera: Demospongiae) from the
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187
Bibliogrophy
Glossary
Acantho- Anastomising
Addition of spines to the spicule sur- Reticulated. rejoining. referring to cross
face. With spines (prefix). connections between fibres of tracts.

Accessory spicules Anatriaene


Old term referring to echinating mega- A triaene with the clads curved back-
scleres (cf. principal. auxiliary spicules). ward toward the long shaft.

-actin Aniso-
Designates the number of rays (suffix). Asymmetrically-ended spicule. e.g. ani-
soxea (prefix).
Actine
Single ray of a spicule. Anisochela
A chelate microsclere with uneven
Alae
ends.
Terminal or lateral "tooth-like" exten-
sions of a microsclere. Anisoxeote
Spicule with morphologically different
Amoebocyte
points.
Mobile mesohyl cells.
Anthaster
Amorphous
Terminology describing sponge shape; A euaster with tuberculate. denticulate.
of variable form. digitate or spined expansions at the ray
tips.
Amphiaster
A microsclere with spines or clads Aphodal
radiating from both ends. (a) A small canal which joins the choa-
nocyte chambers to an exhalant canal
Amphiblastula larva (cf. prosodal); (b) a condition of the aquif-
Larval form which has a hollow central erous system in which the choanocyte
cavity and two distinct cell types (anterior chambers are joined to the inhalant
and posterior). associated with viviparous system directly by a pinacocyte proso-
development; has a flagella on anterior pyle, lacking prosodal canals (cf. diplo- 189
hemisphere only. dal, eurypylous). Glossary
Apopyle Asconoid
An aperture through which water leaves Simple tubular body-plan, without folding
a choanocyte chamber (cL prosopyl). of the body wall, and with the central
cavity (atrium) lined by choanocyte
Aquiferous system chambers: a single osculum at the apex
The water 'circulatory' system extend- (characteristic of primitive Calcarea,
ing from the inhalant pores (ostia) to also seen in a few homoscleromorph
exhalant pores (oscula). demosponges), (et. syconoid, leuconoid).

Aragonite Aspicular
A crystalline form of calcium carbonate. No spicules.
Arborescent
Aster
Branching, tree-like.
Star-like microsclere with more than
Archaeocyte two rays radiating from a central point.
A motile amoeboid or phagocytic cell
Asterose
within the mesohyl of the sponge, with
Star-like.
at least one nucleolus and many phago-
somes; it is able to develop into any
Astrorhizae
other sponge cell type and is also
Refers to surface excurrent canal pat-
known as a nucleolate cell.
tems seen in sclerosponges: appear as
Arcuate chela radiating or star-shaped grooves.
Microsclere where the teeth are formed
Atrium
as one to three curved plates.
Central exhalant water cavity leading to
Arenaceous one or more exhalant canals (oscula):
Condition of skeletal architecture in also known incorrectly as cloaca.
which sand and/or foreign spicule
Autotrophic
debris partly or completely replace native
spicules within the sponge skeleton. Self-sustaining (cL heterotrophic).

Areolate Auxiliary spicules


The surface has many circular ecto- Referring to second and third categories
somal features, e.g. Hamigera. of megascleres, other than the structural
or 'principal' megascleres, usually
190 Ascending fibre found outside the fibres, dispersed
Sponges A synonym for a primary fibre. between tracts or on the surface:
of the New
Caledonian
Lagoon
incorrectly interchanged with the terms Bioerosion
"ectosomal" and "subectosomal spicules" Chemical and physical degradation of
(cL accessory, principal spicules). an inorganic or organic substrate
caused by an organism.
Axial canal or filament
Central lumen of a spicule, occupied in Bipocilli
life by an organic filament. Modified small chelae as found in
Jophon; with one discoid end and the
Axial construction other with a toothed rim or end.
Skeletal organisation in which some
components are condensed to form a Birotula
dense central region. A microsclere with a straight shaft and
umbrella-shaped ends.
Axial skeleton
Organic ancl!or inorganic skeleton found Blastula larva
in the centre or axis of the sponge see Amphiblastula or Coeloblastula.
(cL extra-axial).
Body plan
·axon Grade of construction of sponge body
Designates the number of axes (suffix). based on the compleXity of the aquif-
erous system and disposition of choana-
Bark cyte chambers with interconnecting
Outer layer of spongin fibres in canals (see asconoid, syconoid, leuco-
Dictyoceratid and verongiid sponges. noid, aphodal, diplodal, prosodal); (not
to be confused with the terms body
Basopinacocytes shape or growth form).
Outer layer of epithelial cells covering
the basal surface, at the point of Bud
contact with the substrate (cL exopina- An asexual reproductive propagule.
cocytes).
Calicle
Benthic Unit of body form in a sclerosponge.
Living on the bottom of the sea; 'ben-
thos' refers to life forms on the seabed. Calthrops
Megasclere with four equal and symmet-
Bifurcate rical rays emanating from a central 191
Divides into two forks. point. Glossory
Carbonates Choanoderm
CaC03· Strictly a continuous layer of choano-
cytes lining a single internal cavity
Centrangulate (found only in some Calcarea): also in a
generalized sense to include all internal
Sharp bend or angular curve at the
surfaces not bound by exo- or basopin-
centre, centrally flexed, seen mostly in
oxea megascleres and sigma micro- acocytes.
scleres.
Choanosomal spicules
Localization of megascleres within
Centrum
(coring) spongin fibres or tracts
The globular centre of many euasters. (cr. ectosomal and subectosomal spic-
ules).
Chela
Microsclere with a curved axis and Choanosome
various cup-like or tooth-like termina- Internal region of the sponge, contain-
tions at each end. ing the choanocytes or choanocyte
chambers, which includes everything
Chiaster bounded by the pinacoderm; also
A small euaster without a centrum and known as endoderm or endosome
with truncate rays. (cr. ectosome).

Choanocyte Cilia
Minute hair-like appendages which
Flagellate or collar cell responsible for
vibrate constantly, serve as organs of
generating the water current that circu-
locomotion.
lates through the sponge; a f1agellum
surrounded by a collar of cytoplasmic Clad
microvilli, is used to produce a water
Ray or branch used mainly in triaene
urrent system and to entrap small food
descriptions.
particles or colloidal material.
Cladome
Choanocyte chamber Triradiate head of a triaene.
avity lined by spherical clusters of
choanocytes with f1agella directed into Cladotylotes
the water-filled lumen (Demospongiae, Megascleres with a cladome at one end
192 Calcarea) (cr. flagellated chamber of and a tylote extension at the other, typi-
Sponges lexactinellida). cal of Acarnus.
of the New
Caledonian
lagoon
Clathrate coring spicules
Interwoven tubular construction. Spicules found inside spongin fibres,
usually structural or 'principal' spicules
Clavate (cL echinating spicules).
Club-shaped.
Cortex
Coeloblastula larva A layer of the ectosome supported by a
Simple flagellated form with a cytologi- special organic or inorganic skeleton; a
cally undifferentiated central region, and characteristic of many Choristida and
an even distribution of small f1agella; may comprise two or more layers dis-
has a central cavity; found in Calcinea tinguished by structure and/or localisa-
and associated with oViparous develop- tion of spicule types.
ment.
Crenulate
collagen Wavy.
Proteinaceous connective tissue, can
be elaborated into a range of fibres and Cribripore
filaments; forms the ground substrate A specialised structure where several
or matrix of the mesohyl. exhalent systems combine (a sieve-like
cluster) to empty into a subsurface
Collencytes caVity.
Mobile mesohyl cells which secrete col-
lagen filaments. Cryptic
Hidden
Condensed or compressed
Condition of skeletal architecture in Cuticle
which there is a compressed central Superficial thickening of collagen
axis of fibres and/or spicules, from
which arise plumose or plumo-reticulate Demersal
columns of fibres and/or spicules; also Bottom-dwelling.
known as axinellid or axinelloid.
Dendritic
Conule Term used to describe a skeleton or
A cone-shaped elevation of the surface body form that branches repetitively
membrane of a sponge, generally with little or no anastomosis between
appearing as the surface layer drapes successive branches (i.e. non-reticu- 193
over a fibre end. late). Glossary
Dermal Dioecious
Strictly refers to any association with With the cells of each sex occurring in
the pinacoderm: also used to refer different individuals (also known as
to structures lying on or just below gonochoristic). but in sponges it is
the ectosomal membrane or dermis usual for one individual to produce
(correct usage is "ectosomal"). eggs at one time and sperm at another
times (strictly successive or temporal
Dermis hermaphroditism). (cL hermaphroditic).
The extreme outer surface layer of the
sponge, may be simply membrane but Diplodal
may be reinforced by spicules, sand or A condition of the aquiferous system.
both (correct term is 'ectosome'). where some sponges possess both
prosodal and aphodal canals between
Desmas choanocyte chambers (cL aphodaJ,
Interlocking spicules forming a rigid eurypylous).
skeleton.
Discorhabd
Diactinal A microxea with discs or whorls along
Spicules with two diverging rays. repre- the shaft.
senting growth in two directions.
usually with bilateral symmetry: diacts Dragma
may include monaxonic spicules Bundle of microscleres.
(e.g. oxeas of demosponges). and
tetraxonic derivatives (e.g. "ox ea" of Echinating spicule
Calcarea; uncinate of Hexaetinellida). A megasclere which protrudes from a
(cL monactinal). fibre or spicule tract; characteristic of
several families of Poecilosclerida
Diactine (MicroCionidae. Crellidae. Myxillidae.
Two rays diverge from a central point. Anchinoidae, Ilymedesmiidae,
Raspailiidae).
Dichotriaene
A triaene in which the clads are bifur- Ectosomal spicules
cat Condition referring to localization of
megascleres to the ectosomal skeleton
Digitate (cf. subectosomal. choanosomal spic-
194
Sponges Finger-like. ules)
of the New
Caledonian
Lagoon
Ectosome Eurypylous
Peripheral region of the sponge lacking Condition of the aquiferous system in
choanocyte chambers; the term strictly which there are wide mouthed sac-like
refers to the unicellular surface layer choanocyte chambers without any
(pinacocytes), but it is also used to refer aphodal canals present (ct. aphodal,
to the mineral skeleton found in the diplodal conditions).
periphery; also known as cortex or
dermis (cf. choanosome). Exhalant

Encrusting Part of the aquiferous system related to


the expelling of water from the sponge,
A sheet of sponge thinly coating the
and includes all water vascular struc-
substrate.
tures between the apopyles and the
oscula; also known as excurrent sys-
Endopinacoderm
tem (cL inhalant).
Pinacocytes lining internal canals.
Exopinacocytes
Endosome
All except the ectosomal structures of a Layer of pinacocytes covering the free
sponge (now correctly termed 'choano- surface of the sponge (exopinacoderm).
somaI')
Exopinacoderm
Epitheca Pinacocytes lining external surface of
A thin wrinkled layer different in struc- sponge.
ture from the normal skeleton, covering
the dead basal part of a rigid calcareous Extra-axial
skeleton.
Organic and/or inorganic skeleton arising
from the centre (or axis) and ascending
Erect
towards the periphery of the sponge
An upright growth strategy.
(cL aXial)

Ethanol
Extra-axial skeleton
Preserving fluid or tissue fixative (alco-
hol). Skeleton elements surrounding or arising
from an axial region.
Euaster
Aster with a central core and diverging Fascicles
195
rays. Interwoven spongin fibres. Glossary
Fibre Flagellated chambers
A discrete column of spongin, one of the Cylindrical chambers lined by choano-
chief structural elements of the Keratosa, cytes, which are not embedded within
Haplosclerida and Poecilosclerida. a cellular matrix, and also lack any
connecting canals (Hexactinellida
Fibril
only), (ct. choanocyte chambers of
A small fibre (sub-light microscopiC),
oemospongiae and Calcarea).
collagenous filaments forming the spon-
gin ground substance (see collagen Foliaceous
fibrils).
Leaf-like
Filament
Formaldehyde/formalin
Thin and irregularly flexed with a small
bulge at each end composed of colla- preserving fluid or fixative.
gen; characteristic of Ircinio.
Fusiform
Filter-feeding Spicule tapers regularly towards one or
Process of obtaining food by pumping both ends (cr. hastate).
water through a series of sieves of
decreasing size, finally obtaining small Gamete
food particles for ingestion usually less Egg and sperm.
than 0.1 ~m in diameter.
Gametogenesis
Fistule
Production of eggs or sperm.
Tubular structure, on the upper surface
of some sponges, on which the oscule Gemmules
is situated, used to exhale water; fre-
Asexual reproductive bodies; collec-
quently found on species that burrow
tions of cells and spicules surrounded
into mud or excavate coral.
by a thick wall, when released by the
Flabellatelflabelliform parent form new individuals.
Fan-shaped.
Gonochoric
Flagella Separate sexes.
Hair-like projection from a cell; the cen-
tral organelles of choanocyte cells, Habit
used to set up a water current via rhyth- Term used to describe external shape
196 mic beating and aid in entrapment of of a sponge, also known as ecopheno-
Sponges food particles. type.
of the New
Coledonion
Logoon
Halichondroid plate at each end. or toothed with sev-
Condition of skeletal structure. with eral pointed plates at each end.
megascleres arranged in vague tracts
which may be reticulate or scattered in Isodictyal
a disorganised criss-cross within the Condition of skeletal architecture in
mesohyl. which the reticulation is triangular in
three dimensions. produced by single
Hermaphroditic spicules joined together at their ends by
Male and female cells occur together an accretion of collagenous spongin
in one individual at the same time (also known as 'renieroid').
(cf. gonochorislic).
Isotropic
Heterotrophic Condition of skeletal architecture in
Obligate assistance of symbionts for which there is a disoriented or seemingly
energy requirements. random reticulation of spicules or fibres
Without distinction between primary
Hispid and secondary columns.
Projecting spicules or spicule ends form
a pile. Keratose sponges
Collective term referring to sponges
Inclusions which lack a native mineral skeleton
Foreign material included into fibres; (usually only includes the orders
also a term for undefined cellular com- Dictyoceratida. Dendroceratida.
ponents. verongida).

Inhalant Lacunae
Part of the aquiferous system related to Spaces, usually associated with exhalent
bringing water into the choanocyte canals.
chambers. including all structures
between the ostia and prosopyles; also Lamellatellaminae
known as incurrent system (cr. exhalant). A thin plate or layer/s.

Interstitial Leuconoid
Between fibres or sediments; can also Body-plan construction produced by
mean between cells complex folding of the body wall.
forcing choanocyte chambers to
Isochela become oval and isolated in a maze of
Chela with both ends identical; can be canals within the body wall. and 197
either palmate with a single flattened chambers open onto branching Glossary
xcurrent canals (most Demospongiae, spongin fibre nodes arise from a basal
some calcarea), (cL asconoid, layer of spongin lying on the substrate,
syconoid). and these are echinated by (usually
perpendicular) plumose tracts of spic-
Lobatellobose ules; Widely recognised as the subse-
Having lobes, rounded projections. quent stage of development from a
hymedesmoid skeleton.
Mamillate
Nipple-shaped. Micorhabd
A collective term for monactinal micro-
Massive
scleres.
Term used in describing sponges
which grow from a spreading base to Microsclere
achieve some thickness, usually in A packing or reinforcing spicule usually
xcess of 5 cm, but which can be quite of small size frequently of ornate shape;
irregular in overall form. smaller category of spicules forming the
sponge skeleton; also known as flesh
Megasclere spicules (cL megascleres).
A structural spicule class; larger size of
spicules forming the sponge skeleton; Microsymbiont
also known as structural spicules Prokariotic or rarely eukariotic micro-
(cf. microscleres). organisms living inside sponges;
maybe unicellular or multicellular; occur
Meniscoid inside sponge cells and outside.
Surface; concave depression; term
usually applied to microscleres including Microvilli
sigmas, isochelae. Extensions of the choanocyte cell
which form an upright tube or collar sur-
Mesohyl rounding the central flagellum, and
The region of the sponge enclosed used as in food entrapment and water
between the pinacoderm and the flow.
hoanosome; intercellular compartment
in sponges, equivalent to the mesen- Microxea
chyme of other metazoans. A microsclere in the shape of an oxea;
common in Astrophorida.
Microcionid
Condition of skeletal architecture Monactinal
198 usually found in encrusting sponges, in A spicule with one ray, grOWing from
Sponges which non-anastomosing (plumose) one end only, usually asymmetrical in
of the New
Coledonion
Logoon
geometry; monacts include monaxonic Oscule(um)
spicules (e.g. styles in demosponges), Exhalant opening of a sponge.
derivatives of tetraxonic spicules
(e.g. "needle-eye" microxea in Calcarea) Ostia
a-nd hexactinal spicules (e.g. basal Inhalant openings of a sponge (cL oscula).
bidentates); (cr. diactinal).
Ovipary
Monactine
Method of sexual reproduction in which
Spicule with a single ray or axis, thus eggs develop within the female
the two ends are dissimilar. sponge, are broadcast into the water,
often becoming attached to a mucous
Monaxonic
layer on the external surface, they are
Linear spicule with no more than two
fertilized externally, larvae are subse-
rays along one axis, including both
quently released and are free for
monactinal and diactinal spicules; also
varying periods to eventually settle on
known as monaxonid (cr. triaxonid,
the substrate (cr. vivipary).
tetraxonid).
Oviviparous
Mucronate
Produces eggs.
Sharply pointed.
Ovocytes
Multispicular
More than one row of spicules in a Female reproductive unicell before fertil-
fibre, tract or reticulation; also known as isation.
polyspicular (cr. unispicular)
Oxea
Myocyte A symmetrical diactinal megasclere in
Mobile mesohyl cells which dictate which both ends taper to points; may
contractions of oscules and pores be curved; asymmetrical forms are
called 'anisoxeas'.
Orthotriaenes
Triaenes with projections in a plane at Oxyaster
right angles to the rhabd. An aster in which all the rays are pointed;
the centrum may be small or absent.
Oscula
Exhalant pores, through which water Oxyspheraster
leaves the sponge; usually represented A spheraster with pointed rays; an oxy- 199
as the larger pores (cr. ostia). aster with a thick centrum. Glossary
Repent Sedentary animals
Growth predominantly horizontal; the Animals in which the adults do not
basal attachment area is large in pro- move by usual forms of locomotion
portion to body bulk, though it may not (cilia, pseudopods, legs, etc.), but
be continuous. usually live attached to the substrate;
adult sponges are typically sedentary,
Reticulate
although their larvae swim through the
Condition of skeletal architecture where-
water column using cilia and/or f1agellae.
by spongin fibres and/or spicule
columns branch and rejoin (anasto- Sigma
mose) with each other to form two- or A microsclere in which a single axis is
three-dimensional meshes; any inter- curved or contorted to a 'c' or's' shape.
locking anastomosing skeleton, either
fibre or spicule. Sigmaspirae
Contorted sigmas of one revolution in a
Rhabd spiral manner.
Oxeote or strongylote microsclere; also
a term used to describe a curved end Siliceous
of a spicule. Composed of silica, a glass-like mate-
rial.
Sclerocyte
Anucleolate motile secretory cell which Spermatocyte
produces spicules. Male reproductive unicell.

Sclerodermites Spheraster
Aggregate of crystals forming a micro- An aster with a large centrum and
structural unit of the calcareous skele- many short conical rays.
ton.
Spherulitic
secondary fibre Refers to aragonite skeleton in
A fibre disposed without marked orien- Asrrosclero; globular centric or excentric
tation to the surface; connecting pri- arrangement of crystal fibres radiating
mary fibres. from a common centre.

Secondary fibre tract Spherulous cells


Minor fibre or spicule tract interconnect- Cell filled with large round spherules
202 ing the ascending primary fibres or which occupy most of the cell volume;
Sponges tracts (cr. primary). secretory cells located in the mesohyl.
of the New
Caledonian
lagoon
spicule Spumous cells
Skeletal element composed of silica or Secretory cells in the mesohyl; only
calcium carbonate; discrete element of known from the Dendroceratida.
the skeleton, produced by sclerocytes;
divided into two categories based on Stellate
size (megasclere and microsclere). Star-like.

Spinulate Sterraster
Spined. An aster with a large spherical or ovate
centrum and numbers of fine short
Spongin rays.

Fibrous skeletal material; collagenous Stolon


material deposited in the form of fibres
Root-like processes at the base of the
or plaques which are often of large size
sponge, or filament-like attachments to
forming the organic intercellular matrix
the body.
(collagenous filaments or spongin type
A), and organic skeleton (spongin fibres Strongyle
or spongin type B).
A diactinal spicule in which both ends
are rounded.
spongin fibre
Macroscopic collagenous structures Style
made up of many small microfibrils A monactinal megasclere in which one
bound together, producing discrete end is evenly rounded and the other
stands or plaques; fibres may be end pointed.
homogeneous (e.g. Spongiidae), have
a light central pith (e.g. Thorectidae) or SubdermaVsubectosomal
a granular medullary portion Below the dermis.
(e.g. verongida); fibres frequently
contain the mineralized secreted products Subectosomal spicules
of the sponge (spicules) and/or foreign Condition where megascleres are local-
particles (e.g. arenaceous species); ized to a region below the ectosomal
also known as the organic skeleton. skeleton but not associated with fibres
or primary skeletal tracts (cf. ecto-
spongocytes somal, choanosomal spicules); interme-
Motile nucleolate cells that secrete diate between surface (ectosomal) and 203
spongin fibres. structural (choanosomal) skeletons. Glossary
Subisodictyal Tetraxonid
Partially isodictyal or renieroid; also spicule with four rays each containing a
used to describe a condition of skeletal central axis; also known as tetraxonic
architecture similar to isodictyal reticula- (cf. monaxonid, triaxonid).
tion but where meshes have two or
Tornote
more spicules per side.
A diactinal megasclere in which the
Subtylostyle shaft end is abruptly tapered to produce
points.
A monactinal megasclere which has a
slight, or sub-apical expansion, other- Totipotent
wise a typical style.
Archaeocytes able to differentiate into
many other cell types.
Syconoid construction
Body plan produced by folding of both Toxa
the exterior (pinacoderm) and interior A 'bow-shaped' microsclere.
(choanoderm) walls, such that choano-
cyte chambers lie within the body wall, Triact
and chambers open directly onto the Spicule with three rays (common in
atrium (Calcarea). Calcarea).

Symbiotic bacteria Triaene


Bacteria living within the sponge which A spicule with three rays shorter than
aid the sponge in obtaining energy. the fourth; common in the Choristida.

Trichodragma
Tangential
Bundle of raphides.
Lying at oblique angles, or at a tangent
to ascending spicules of the underlying Triradiate
skeleton; usually used to refer to sur- Calcareous spicule.
face spicules or fibres lying parallel to
the surface. Truncate
Shortened.
Tetractltetractinal
Spicules with four rays (found in some Tyle
oemospongiae, some Hexactinellida, Any rounded swelling or knob (other
204 some Calcarea). than the centrum) in a spicule.
Sponges
of the New
Caledonian
Lagoon
Tylostyle Vermiform
A monactinal megasclere knobbed at undulating.
one end, pointed at the other; typical
megasclere of the Hadromerida. Verrucose
Warty.
Tylote
A diactinal spicule in which both ends Verticillate
are knobbed. Regular rings of spines on spicules
(Age/as species).
Type locality
Original locality from which the original viviparous
specimen of the species, called the Transfer of some material from the
holotype, was described parent to the embryo.

pm Vivipary
Micron = 1/1000 mm. Method of sexual reproduction whereby
unguiferate the female sponge takes in sperm
from another sponge via the inhalant
Chelate microsclere with short discrete
aquiferous system, eggs are fertilized
teeth, often there are more than three
and the ciliated (parenchymella) larvae
teeth at each end of the shaft.
are brooded within the female sponge,
Unispicular and fully developed larvae, usually well
A single aligned row of megascleres in differentiated cytologically, are subse-
a tract, fibre or reticulation (e.g. isodic- quently released into the seawater
tyal) (cf. multispicular, paucispicular). (cf. ovipary).

Vasiform Zooxamhellae
vase-like. Symbiotic unicellular algae.

205
Glossary
List of general illustrations provided
Color photographs
pages
22 lIot Canard in front of Noumea peninsula (photo P. Laboute)
22 N.W. Lagoon. lIe des Pins (photo C. Levi)
23 Grand Recif, Passe de Mato (photo P. Laboute)
24 Canal Woodin. Baie Nord (photo P. Laboute)
25 Outer reef slope, 6 m (photo P. Laboute)
25 Baie des tortues. New Caledonia (photo P. Laboute)
65 Sargassum and limestone platform (photo P. Laboute)
74 Clathrina sp.: Canal Woodin, 28 m (photo G. Bargibant)
75 Leucaltis cla/hrio Haeckel: Canal Woodin, 22 m (photo G. Bargibant)
76 Ascaltis griseo (Oendy and Frederick): Canal Woodin, 36 m (photo G. Bargibant)
77 Leucetta chagosensis Oendy: Canal Woodin, 36 m (photo G. Bargibant)
78 Sycon gelatinosum (Blainville): Canal Woodin, 25 m (photo P. Laboute)
79 Leucascandra coueolata Borojevic and Klautau: Passe de Nakety, 25 m
(photo P Laboute)
79 Leucascandra caueolota Borojevic and Klautau: Poindimie, 30 m
(photo P. Laboute)
82 CinachyreJlo tenuiuioloceo (Pulitzer-Finali): L Belep, 6-10 m (photo G. Bargibant)
83 CinachyreJlo schulzei (Keller): Banc Gail, 33 m (photo P. Laboute)
83 Cinach!jfeJlo schulzei (Keller): L Mato: canyon (photo P. Laboute), (by night)
84 SteJletta (Rhabdos/reJla) globosteJlata Carter: Baie de Canala, 10 m
(photo P Laboute)
85 SteJletta (RhabdastreJla) globosteJlata Carter: Poindimie, 20 m (photo P. Laboute)
86 Dorypleres splendens de Laubenfels: Grande Rade de Noumea, 16 m
(photo P. Laboute)
87 Diacornus leuii Kelly-Borges and Vacelet: L Art, 4-20 m (photo G. Bargibant)
88 Acanlhochoetetes weJlsi Hartman and Goreau: Touho, 30 m
(photo G. Bargibant)
89 Cliona cf. juJJieni Topsent: Baie du Prony (photo J. vacelet)
90 Cliono sp., L N'gea, 10 m (photo P. Laboute) 207
91 Cliona orientolis Thiele: Noumea, L Maltre 5 m (photo P. Laboute) List
of general
illustrations
provided
92 Spheciospongia inconstans: Noumea, I. Croissant, 10 m. Seagrass bed
(photo P. Laboute)
93 Spheciospongia uagabunda (Ridley): Noumea, I. Maltre, 15 m
(photo P. Laboute)
93 Spheciospongia uagabunda (Ridley): I. Maltre, 15 m (photo P. Laboute)
94 AgeJas sp. Noumea S.: Banc Gail, 30 m (photo P. Laboute)
95 AgeJas ceyJonica Dendy: Noumea S.: Banc Gail, 25 m (photo P. Laboute)
96 AstroseJera willeyana Lister: Touho 30 m (photo G. Bargibant)
97 AXinyssa apJysinoides (Dendy): Baie laugier, 20-30 m (photo P Laboute)
98 Liosina paradoxa Thiele: I. Ua, 20 m (photo G. Bargibant)
99 CymbasteJa canthareJJa (Levi): Passe de Yande, 30 m (photo J.L. Menou)
100 ymbasteJa eoneentriea (Lendenfeld): I. Redika, 20 m (photo P. Laboute)
100 CymbasteJa eoneentrica (Lendenfeld): St Vincent (photo P. Laboute)
100 ymbastella eoneentriea (Lendenfeld): I. M'Boa, 13 m (photo P. Laboute)
101 Renioehalina eondyJia Hooper and Levi (holotype): I. Ua, 22 m
(photo P. Laboute)
102 Axinella carteri (Dendy) Chenal de 1'1. Maltre, 20 m (photo G. Bargibant)
103 Aeanthella puJeherrima Ridley and Dendy: Canal woodin, 28 m
(photo P. Laboute)
104 PhakeJJia stipitata (Carter): Canal woodin, 18 m (photo G. Bargibant)
105 StyJissa aurantium (Kelly-Borges and Bergquist): I. Surprise 1-4 m
(photo P Laboute)
105 StyJissa aurantium: Canal woodin, 26 m (photo P. Laboute)
106 Stylissa jJabellijormis (Hentschel)/ Noumea, Baie de Ste Marie, 6 m
(photo P Laboute)
107 PtiJoeauJisjusijormis Levi: Canal Woodin, 25-35 m (photo G. Bargibant)
108 PIiJocauJis epakros Hooper and Levi (holotype): Canal woodin, 40 m
(photo P. Laboute)
109 PseudaxineJJa debitusae Hooper and Levi: Canal woodin, 33 m
(photo P. Laboute)
110 Raphoxya systremma Hooper and Levi (holotype): Noumea, I. Maltre, 22 m
(photo P. Laboute)
111 Myrmekioderma granuJara (Esper) I. Chesterfield, 28 m (photo J.L. Menou)
112 Higginsia ranekea Hooper and Levi (holotype): N. Lagoon: 27 m
(photo P. Laboute)
208
Sponges 113 Higginsia massaJis Carter: Noumea: S.E. I. Maltre, 24 m (photo P. Laboute)
of the New
Coledonian
Lagoon
115 Mycale (Zygomycale) parishi (BOwerbank): Noumea, N. de Nouville, 8-12 m