UNCW National Science Foundation Valdosta State University Universidad Nacional de Colombia The Sponge Guide

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Class Order Family Genus species Images Notes Author Char
Calcarea Clathrinida Clathrinidae Clathrina? sp. 1 3 It may correspond to Clathrina coriacea (Montagu, 1818) described by several Caribbean authors (a name from NE Atlantic). Yellow cushions with upper or scattered oscula, made of riddled tubules, but somehow compact and possibly sharing a cortex. Only with triactines . It can belong to another genus (Leucascus?) or family of the order Clathrinida. Apparently, there is no available name for Caribbean populations of this species. For Clathrina revision see Klautau & Valentine (2003). yellow,encrusting,soft
Calcarea Clathrinida Clathrinidae Clathrina? sp. 2 2 Upright yellow, rather transparent masses with tube-like oscules. We have not collected this species to define its generic or specific status. It looks similar to Clathrina primordialis (Haeckel, 1872) described from Jamaica by Lehnert & van Soest, 1998. For a comprehensive analysis of the genus Clathrina see Klautau & Valentine (2003). yellow,massive,crumbly
Calcarea Clathrinida Leucettidae Leucetta floridana 4 Light pink or lilac irrugular vases-tubes hanging from cave roofs; consistency stiff, like fiberglass; large triactine calcareous spicules stab fingers. (Haeckel, 1872) white,pink-lilac,tube,lobate,hard
Demospongiae Agelasida Agelasidae Agelas cerebrum 23 Pinkish/orange, thick jugs-tubes; surface with round oscules surrounded by convoluted deep crevices which are rather homogenously distributed throughout the body. Spicules are acanthostyles. May be confused with some Agelas tubulata Lehnert & van Soest, 1996 having some deep crevices or lumps unevenly distributed in parts of the body (some specimens were hard to assign to either A. cerebrum o A. tubulata), but usually those do not have the oscules or fields of pores among recesses. Assman, van Soest & Köck, 2001 pink-lilac,orange,cinnamon-tan,tube,vase,tough
Demospongiae Agelasida Agelasidae Agelas cervicornis 16 Brown, thin to thicker, smooth to undulate, erect branches with scattered oscules. Spicules are acanthostyles. May be confused with club-shaped individuals of Agelas dispar (Duchassaing & Michelotti, 1864), which are thicker. Also with flat-branched individuals of Agelas dilatata Duchassaing & Michelotti, 1864), which usually are lighter in color (tan) and arise from a wider base (A. cervicornis usually arise from a narrow base). Spicules are acanthostyles. (Schmidt, 1870) brown,cinnamon-tan,branching,fan,tough
Demospongiae Agelasida Agelasidae Agelas citrina 33 Pinkish, tan or orange, ear-shaped thick fans; orange when filling crevices. The latter may be confused with Clathria faviformis Lehnert & van Soest, 1996. It may be confused with Agelas clathrodes (Schmidt, 1870), which is harder. A. citrina has a thick skin, which in some portions forms conules or it is stretched over depressions. When they co-exist in the same locality, they can be distinguised by color, being milkier and lighter in A. citrina. Spicules are acanthostyles. Alcolado, 1987 pink-lilac,orange,cream,cinnamon-tan,orange-yellow,encrusting,vase,fan,massive,lobate,tough,soft
Demospongiae Agelasida Agelasidae Agelas clathrodes 32 Orange, fan- or ridge-shaped, riddled with round and elongated-contorted holes. Often the surface which is cryptic or located downcurrent is smoother, having predominantly rounded orifices. Sometimes the fan conforms a partial vase. The outer, exposed side does not have round oscules with a dermis collar, as does Agelas sventres Lehnert & van Soest, 1996, with which this species may be confused. The latter fills crevices and forms lobes but never fans. Spicules are acanthostyles. Large specimens can adopt an elaborate shape combining fan, encrusted, massive and tube-like portions. Fan-shaped specimens may be confused with Agelas citrina Alcolado, 1987. Where they co-exist, usually A. citrina has a different color, either more milky orange-yellow or pinkish. (Schmidt, 1870) orange,brown,fan,massive,lobate,tough
Demospongiae Agelasida Agelasidae Agelas conifera 33 Browhish/pinkish/cinnamon orange, laterally fused tubes running on branches or growing on one another, and usually arising from a single base, forming antlers or clubs. Often with darker zoanthids livion on the skin. May be confused with Agelas tubulata Lehnert & van Soest, 1996, in which the tubes usually arise from the base close to the substratum. Spicules are acanthostyles. (Schmidt, 1870) brown,orange,cinnamon-tan,branching,tube,fan,lobate,tough
Demospongiae Agelasida Agelasidae Agelas dilatata 35 Light brown to tan fans, thin to rather thick; with many round oscules on the upper (exposed) surface. The underside (cryptic) is smooth, often riddled with dark zoanthids, and sometimes having a few scatteres oscules. Some specimens may take a flat-branching form, like that of some A. cervicornis (Schmidt, 1870), but the latter usually arise from a narrow, cylindrical base. Spicules are acanthostyles. Duchassaing & Michelotti, 1864 brown,orange,cinnamon-tan,branching,fan,massive,tough
Demospongiae Agelasida Agelasidae Agelas dispar 26 Brown, massive, lobate, club-shaped, fan-shaped. Surface pierced by numerous round to elongated-contorted holes, interspersed between round oscules with slightly elevated collars. Spicules are acanthostyles. Club shaped, thin individuals can be confused with Agelas cervicornis, which is branching and usually thinner. (Duchassaing & Michelotti, 1864) brown,branching,vase,fan,lobate,tough
Demospongiae Agelasida Agelasidae Agelas sceptrum 20 Withish orange, creeping or erect branches, sometimes flattened or contorted. Oscules dispersed throughout the surface, usually with a collar. Sometimes with dark zoanthids. It can be confused with branching Agelas cervicornis (Schmidt, 1870), which is brown. Spicules acanthostyles. (Lamarck, 1815) orange,cinnamon-tan,yellow,branching,tough
Demospongiae Agelasida Agelasidae Agelas schmidti 6 Thin-walled, orange thin tubes and lobes arising from a crevice-filling mass. It may be a variation of Agelas sventres Lehnert & van Soest, 1996. Agelas wiedenmayeri Alcolado, 1984 also has tubes arising from the substratum, but these are brown. Spicules acanthostyles. Wilson, 1902 orange,branching,encrusting,tube,papillated,lobate,tough
Demospongiae Agelasida Agelasidae Agelas sventres 23 Orange, football shaped to crevice filling with lobate outgrowths; round oscules with a collar. Areas with fields of pores. Previous authors called it an orange morphotype of Agelas dispar (Duchassaing & Michelotti, 1864). It can be confused with small Agelas clathrodes (Schmidt, 1870). A. sventres usually has softer, cavernous lobes crown with holes or oscules. Spicules are acanthostyles. Lehnert & van Soest, 1996 orange,encrusting,spherical,massive,lobate,tough
Demospongiae Agelasida Agelasidae Agelas tubulata 26 Tan/pinkish/orange, usually smooth tubes; if several, they usually arise directly from the substratum base of the sponge. Similar to Agelas conifera (Schmidt, 1870) in color and shape, but the latter usually shows short tubes growing on one another all attached to a narrow base, conforming clubs or antlers. Wide, barrel-shaped specimens may have deep recesses in the body, which may make them difficult to distinguish from Agelas cerebrum Assman, van Soest & Köck, 2001. In the latter, recesses are located rather uniformly throughout the body and there are scattered orifices in the areas between recesses. A. tubulata is rare in the northern Bahamas, where A. conifera and A. cerebrum are the more common similar forms. More common in southern Bahamas and South Florida (especially barrel-shaped specimens), where A. conifera is rare but exists. A. tubulata and A. conifera could be considered geographical variants of the same species, but the two forms co-exist in areas like Bahamas Jamaica and Belize. Spicules are acanthostyles. Lehnert & van Soest, 1996 brown,cinnamon-tan,orange,tube,vase,tough
Demospongiae Agelasida Agelasidae Agelas wiedenmayeri 9 Brown clusters of tubes coming up from a basal, crevice filling mass. Similar but orange tubes are Agelas sventres Lehnert & van Soest, 1996. Spicules are acanthostyles. Alcolado, 1984 brown,cinnamon-tan,tube,tough
Demospongiae Agelasida Astroscleridae Ceratoporella nicholsoni 9 Pink to yellowish, rounded masses, reminiscent of baby butts. Stony hard owing to its calcareous basal skeleton, which makes it a sclerosponge. Spicules are acanthostyles, curved, 120-310 µm. Found in mid depth (15 m) and deeper reef crevices. (Hickson, 1911) orange,cream,cinnamon-tan,yellow,encrusting,massive,hard
Demospongiae Astrophorida Ancorinidae Asteropus niger 5 Massive, tough, with oscules in groups, shiny black externally and internally, surface rough. Spicules are long and very small oxeas, sanidasters and slender asters. Hajdu & van Soest, 1992 black,massive,tough,soft,crumbly
Demospongiae Astrophorida Ancorinidae Stelletta kallitetilla 9 Originally described under genus Myriastra. Gobular to massive, tough sponge, bright yellow-green to dark green, growing on mangrove stilt roots or on sand-sea grass beds. There may be a top oscule. Surface usually nodulose, but can be even, hispid; can also be clean or heavily fouled. (de Laubenfels, 1936) white,purple-violet,yellow,green,brown,cream,massive,spherical,fan,tough,soft
Demospongiae Astrophorida Ancorinidae Stelletta pudica 7 Originally described under genus Jaspis. Spherical to massive sponge with often one central or lateral oscule, and sometimes several ones scattered; color cream with browish tinges, but difficult to distinguish owing to a heavy fouling. Unfouled specimens are reddish brown. Megasclere spicules are long oxeas in primary tracts. Microsclere spicules are tiny tylasters, sometimes scarce and difficult to locate. (Wiedenmayer, 1977) brown,spherical,massive,tough
Demospongiae Astrophorida Geodiidae Erylus formosus 7 Also known as Erylus bahamensis Pulizter-Finali, 1986 (see revision by Cárdenas et al., 2009). Repent branches or ridged masses or stalked lobes; detachable dermis black, internal color cream. Oscules flush to the surface, scattered and on ridged protuberances. Consistency of the dermis slightly leathery, choanosome crumbly. Within The Bahamas, our material varies slightly with locality in the spicule complement (width and shape of aspidaster spicule, size of tylaster spicule, etc.), but the overall shape and color are quite similar and we are quite certain that there is a single open reef species in the Caribbean. There are other species names available that vary only slightly and subtly in spicule complement and shape, which call for a thorough revision of the genus in the W. Atlantic (see Cárdenas et al., 2009). Sollas, 1886 black,cream,branching,encrusting,massive,soft,crumbly
Demospongiae Astrophorida Geodiidae Geodia ?corticostylifera 5 Spherical to oval sponge with an even outer surface (pierced with pores) and an upper central circular depression (sometimes rimmed) where oscules are located. Cinnamon-tan to greenish gray in color. Very hard and difficult to cut owing to its leathery cortex (the interior is softer, cream in color). Megasclere spicules are large oxea, smaller cortical styloids (styles with narrow heads) and oxeas, and orthotriaenes. Spicule preparations show very large (several mm long) broken shafts of spicules whose identity could not be defined. Microsclere spicules are round sterrasters (conforming the cortex) and acanthooxiasters. Identity is pending as previous descriptions of the species do not include spherical forms. Hajdu, Muricy, Custodio, Russo & Peixinho, 1992 cinnamon-tan,yellow,green,orange,spherical,massive,hard
Demospongiae Astrophorida Geodiidae Geodia gibberosa 2 Massive, brown-black upper exposed side, with a field of oscules located in a depression; white unexposed sides with pore sieves. We have not yet found G. papyracea Hechtel, 1965 in the Bahamas, another species inhabiting mangrove stilt roots, which is crumblier. We base our identification in the presence of a small category of oxea spicules traversing abundantly the cortex of sterraster spicules (also present in Sidonops neptuni, which has a different form and habitat). Many oxeas appear flexuous in dried and mounted sections, as in G. flexisclera Pulitzer-Finali, 1986, described from the Bahamas but synonymized with G. gibberosa in the World Porifera Database (and by Cárdenas et al., 2009), but the flexion is, in our case, an artifact of section preparation. Lamarck, 1815 white,black,brown,massive,crumbly,tough
Demospongiae Astrophorida Geodiidae Sidonops neptuni 10 Also placed under genus Geodia. Large and thick, inverted tan cones, with furrows in the inner surface and scattered holes in the outer surface. Consistency very hard and tough, difficult to cut or tear. (Sollas, 1888) brown,cinnamon-tan,vase,tube,massive,hard,tough
Demospongiae Astrophorida Pachastrellidae Dercitus (Halinastra) luteus 4 Bright lemon yellow encrustations or cavity-filling masses living in crevices and under corals, with the tissue peculiarly stretched from wall to floor or wall to wall. It turns dark purple-brown when exposed to air. Originally placed under genus Pachataxa (P. lutea) of family Calthropellidae (see van Soest et al., 2010). Material from the Bahamas only has a few of the calthrop megasclere spicules characteristic of the species, and quite deformed and of much smaller size than those from the type locality (Jamaica) and from Colombia. (Pulitzer-Finali, 1986) yellow,encrusting,massive,tough
Demospongiae Chondrosida Chondrillidae Chondrilla caribensis f. caribensis 3 Previously known as cosmopolitan Chondrilla nucula Gray (a name used originally for Mediterranean populations). In recent work it was demonstrated that Caribbean populations are a separate species, segretated in two ecological morphs, possibly also different species. The forma caribensis is graysh to reddish brown, thickly encrusting, often lobed. It inhabits mangrove and shallow lagoons. The other form of the species (hermatypica Rützler, Duran & Piantoni, 2007) lives in the open reef, is thinner and mustard to greenish yellow. Rützler, Duran & Piantoni, 2007 brown,cinnamon-tan,encrusting,tough,soft
Demospongiae Chondrosida Chondrillidae Chondrilla caribensis f. hermatypica 6 Shiny mustard yellow to greenish yellow, tough encrustations with paler oscular areas (often in a star pattern). It inhabits reefs, sometimes overgrowing live corals. Rützler, Duran & Piantoni, 2007 yellow,cream,cinnamon-tan,encrusting,tough
Demospongiae Chondrosida Chondrillidae Chondrilla sp.-cave, grayish morphotype 1 Gray encrutation with paler oscular areas. Found in deep reef caves. It has a reticulation of spicules in the dermis, which is generally absent in the other Chondrilla morphotypes; spicules tend to be stouter than the other Chondrilla morphotypes of The Bahamas. blue,gray,encrusting,tough
Demospongiae Chondrosida Chondrillidae Chondrosia "reniformis" 8 Brown to blackish masses, sometimes with whitish spots; cave specimens may be light brown. Surface convoluted and shiny; oscules large and deep (sometimes not present); very tough. It does not have spicules. The toughness is due to a strong and thick cartilaginous cortex. The name C. reniformis Nardo, 1847 is from The Mediterranean and the Caribbean material possibly needs a new name. Nardo, 1847 white,brown,black,cream,orange,cinnamon-tan,massive,encrusting,spherical,vase,tough
Demospongiae Chondrosida Chondrillidae Chondrosia collectrix 4 Shiny black, tough cushions or encrustations. No spicules. (Schmidt, 1870) black,encrusting,tough
Demospongiae Dendroceratida Darwinellidae Chelonaplysilla "erecta" 1 Soft, dark purple cushions-encrustations. Skin looks paler than oscular collars. In the W. Atlantic this species has been named C. erecta (Row, 1911), which is a name for the Red Sea. It probably needs a new name. (Row, 1911) purple-violet,encrusting,soft
Demospongiae Dendroceratida Dictyodendrillidae Igernella notabilis 7 Originally placed under genus Euryades. Also known as Darwinella joyeuxi Topsent, 1889. Bright pink cushions or clumped branches-lobes with upper oscules. The color looks solid throughout the tissue. Characteristic diactine and triactine spongin filaments that look like soft spicules. (Duchassaing & Michelotti, 1864) red,pink-lilac,encrusting,tube,massive,lobate,soft,tough
Demospongiae Dictyoceratida Dysideidae Dysidea etheria 5 Usually made of soft, erect and tangled branches, rather transparent, navy blue; scattered oscules with transparent collars; when oscules are on top of branches, they appear as tubes. Can be also encrusting or massive. de Laubenfels, 1936 blue,pink-lilac,branching,massive,encrusting,tube,bushy,lobate,soft
Demospongiae Dictyoceratida Dysideidae Dysidea janiae 4 Creamy pink groups of crumbly tubes, often attached to gorgonians. Its skeleton is made up of the red alga Jania adherens with spongin and there are varaious kinds of foreign spicules embedded in the tissue. Florida specimens tend to be a bit more fleshy than those from the Bahamas and their interior is contrastingly orange-yellow; coincidentally, two specimens examined had as the only "foreign" spicule a straight, thin oxea (150-350 µm), but not distributed throughout the tissue. However, we cannot rule the possibility that the Florida specimens belong to a different species which also uses Jania algae as supporting skeleton (see also Hyrtios? sp. in this guide). (Duchassaing & Michelotti, 1864) pink-lilac,cream,orange-yellow,tube,lobate,crumbly,soft,tough
Demospongiae Dictyoceratida Dysideidae Dysidea? sp. 2 Light pinkish to bluish, thickly encrusting, with prominent conules. Specimens lost for taxonomic identification; they may not be the same species. They look similar to some specimens of Dysidea etheria. blue,pink-lilac,encrusting,massive,soft
Demospongiae Dictyoceratida Dysideidae Pleraplysilla sp. 7 Thin, greenish to yellowish to orangy soft crusts with characteristic raised oscular collars and exhalant canals. It becomes dark bue to purple upon exposure to air. This is an undescribed species. As as skeleton it only has vertical, undivided fibers loaded with debris. gray,yellow,green,pink-lilac,orange,encrusting,soft
Demospongiae Dictyoceratida Irciniidae Ircinia campana 7 Inverted cones with relatively thin walls. Sometimes as thicker vases or as fans (incomplete tubes), or as masses with an upper depression. External surface with low conules. Internal survace with aligned or scattered circular oscules. Color tan to light brown to dark brown. Consistency very tough, difficult to cut. Strong odor of sulfur and garlic. No spicules. Skeleton of ascending and diverging primary fascicles of fibers interconnected perpendicularly by secondary fibers. All fibers with embedded. Spongin fibrils characteristic of the genus are present throughout the tissue. Species absent in the Bahamas. (Lamarck, 1816) cinnamon-tan,gray,cream,vase,fan,tough
Demospongiae Dictyoceratida Irciniidae Ircinia felix-brown, dark oscules, massive morphotype 9 Massive in shape. Oscules usually spread over the surface, sometimes in groups. Surface conulose .Its color can be dark brown to light brown to grayish, with characteristic darker oscular rims; cryptic specimens can be decolored. Whether the various morphotypes of what is called Ircinia felix are different species remains to be determined. This form may be what Rützler (1988) calls I. felix forma felix in Bermuda. (Duchassaing & Michelotti, 1864) white,gray,brown,cream,cinnamon-tan,encrusting,fan,massive,tough
Demospongiae Dictyoceratida Irciniidae Ircinia felix-whitish, dark oscules, sprawling morphotype 18 Thinly encrusting, sprawling to erect, with oscular mounds, ridges or branches. Surface with low conules; oscules usually on top of conical elevations or aligned on ridges. Creamy to grayish color and oscules with a dark rim. Whether the various morphotypes of what is called Ircinia felix are different species remains to be determined. This form may contain in part be what Rützler (1988) calls I. felix forma fistularis (Verrill, 1907) from Bermuda. (Duchassaing & Michelotti, 1864) white,gray,brown,cream,cinnamon-tan,branching,encrusting,tube,fan,massive,lobate,tough
Demospongiae Dictyoceratida Irciniidae Ircinia sp.-black and smooth morphotype 4 Massive to lobate, jet black, often smooth, with scattered oscules. Surface may be conulose on the sides. Presence of spongin fibrils and sulfur/garlic smell confirmed it to be an Ircinia; fibers are not as cored by foreign material as the other species of Ircinia. Found growing near I. strobilina black and they are easily distinguished. Smaller I. strobilina appear to have large conules like the adults. It may be confused with Hyrtios cavernosus. black,massive,tough
Demospongiae Dictyoceratida Irciniidae Ircinia sp.-creamy/dirty morphotype 18 Thckly encrusting to massive, sometimes irregular. It usually has large conules, sometimes interconnected by ridges. The color is dirty yellow to cream. Oscules are dark, scattered or in groups. This group may comprise specimens of various Ircinia species, whose surface embedds a lot of sediment and thus appears dirty. brown,cream,cinnamon-tan,gray,massive,tough
Demospongiae Dictyoceratida Irciniidae Ircinia sp.-tigrina morphotype 11 Globular sponges with large and packed conules. Color usually creamy or grayish, or light brown. Oscules are usually grouped on top, on a depression, but can conform scattered groups. There are often groups of pores on the sides of the sponge, but this may not unique to this species. It is what Vacelet (1990) calls Ircinia sp. from St. Barthelemy, dubbed by him Ircinia "tigrina" (pers. comm.). It may also conform to what Rutzler (1988) calls I. felix forma acuta (Duchassaing & Michelotti, 1864), although van Soest (1978) had considered it to be I. strobilina. (Lamarck, 1816) white,brown,cream,cinnamon-tan,black,spherical,massive,lobate,tough
Demospongiae Dictyoceratida Irciniidae Ircinia strobilina 28 Massive, globular, large. Jet black (shiny) or grayish (opaque) black. Large conules often connected by ridges. Oscules often grouped on the top, located in a large depression in larger individuals. There are two individuals included tentatively here (24, no photo; 134, photo), pending further work. (Lamarck, 1816) gray,black,massive,fan,spherical,lobate,tough
Demospongiae Dictyoceratida Spongiidae Hyattella cavernosa 3 Also named Hyattella intestinalis (Lamarck, 1814) (a name from the Indian Ocean and the Western Pacific). Semiburied masses crown with irregular processes and lobes, gray to black on top, gray to cream on the sides and in buried parts. Areas of semitransparent skin pierced by fields of holes are common. The material examined from the Bahamas possess the characteristic Spongiidae (commercial sponge) primary (cored) and secondary reticulation, plus the tertiary reticulation supporting the dermis in some parts. Not to be confused with Hyrtios cavernosus sensu Wiedenmayer (1977), which is a different species also included here, which may need a different name as the latter author believed it was conspecific with Pallas' Spongia cavernosa. (Pallas, 1766) gray,black,cream,green,encrusting,massive,lobate,tough
Demospongiae Dictyoceratida Spongiidae Spongia sp. "obscura" shaggy 4 Black, laterally flattened or rounded mounds. Flattened ones with oscules aligned on tops; rounded ones with scattered oscules. Oscules with a conical collar. Surface shaggy with fiber ends. Interior brick red. Spongin fibers thinner than in other Spongia of this guide, in a more packed reticulation. Definite identification pending. (Hyatt, 1877) black,massive,lobate,tough
Demospongiae Dictyoceratida Spongiidae Spongia sp. "obscura" smooth 7 Black, smooth mounds, often quite rounded but can be laterally expanded. Oscules scattered or aligned, with a conical collar. Interior color creamy. Fibers thicker than Spongia sp. "obscura" shaggy. Definite identification pending. (Hyatt, 1877) black,massive,encrusting,tough
Demospongiae Dictyoceratida Spongiidae Spongia sp. "tubulifera" fouled 7 Globular masses. Skin color is black, but appears heavily fouled in between scattered oscules, which can be elevated as chimneys; they end in a conical collar. Interior creamy white. Fiber similar to Spongia sp. "obscura" smooth, thicker than Spongia sp. "obscura" shaggy. Definite identification pending. Lamarck, 1813) black,massive,tough,soft
Demospongiae Dictyoceratida Thorectidae Hyrtios cavernosus 11 Correspondos to what Wiedenmayer (1977) called Hyrtios cavernosus, but it is not the original Hyatella cavernosa (Pallas, 1766, as Spongia), which is a different, valid species with the typical skeleton of a commercial sponge [also known as Hyatella intestinalis (Lamarck, 1814) by some Caribbean authors]. Massive to rounded, sometimes encrusting, with oscules elevated by a conical smooth membrane. Surface usually conulose, with smooth areas or skin over subdermal spaces, sometimes with fields of pores. Dark-gray exterior, cream interior. It is spongy, usually easy to tear. It smells slightly like sponge of the genus Ircinia (garlic and sulfur), but does not have spongin fibrills. Fasciculated and striated spongin fibers. Primaries with debris, often fasciculated; secondary inteconecting usually clean; fibers not have as much debris as H. proteus Duchassaing & Michelotti, 1864, which is jet black in the field in other areas of the Caribbean. It may need a new name, or a thorough search for one in the older literature and collections. sensu Wiedenmayer (1977) gray,black,massive,encrusting,lobate,tough
Demospongiae Dictyoceratida Thorectidae Hyrtios proteus 3 Black mass with volcano-shaped oscular mounds; surface with a honeycomb pattern of fiber endings. Interior cream. Consistency relatively soft, as it can be easily cut with a knife. This is a tentative designation, pending revision of more material. In other areas of the Caribbean H. proteus tends to be thickly encrusting to massive with oscules aligned and does not tend to form volcano-like elevations. It concurs in having a dermis and thick primary spongin fibers filled with sand grains. Secondary interconnecting fibers are not too evident and apparently far apart. Duchassaing & Michelotti, 1864 black,gray,tube,massive,soft
Demospongiae Dictyoceratida Thorectidae Hyrtios sp.-gray amphora 4 Gray, amphora-like sponges arising from cave ledges and bending towards the outside. Oscular rim narrow, smooth; surface often fouled, with a low-profile honeycomb pattern. Consistency compressible, but not too elastic, somewhat difficult to tear. Skeleton of ascending and interconnecting spongin fibers filled with sand grains and foreign material; surface with a network of sand grains, leaving only pore spaces. Should be compared to Hyrtios tubulatus Lehnert & van Soest, 1998, for which there only exists dry material. It could also be a growth form (cave?) of Hyrtios cavernosus sensu Wiedenmayer, 1977 (also pictured in this guide), as it shares with it the gray color and the skeletal architecture. There are small-juvenile? Stages similar to this one in Ircinia strobilina (see photos therein). gray,green,cream,tube,tough
Demospongiae Dictyoceratida Thorectidae Hyrtios violaceus 7 Also known as Oligoceras hemorraghes de Laubenfels, 1936. Sprawling, irregular, soft masses of interconnected repent fingers or blunt ridges with slightly elevated oscules located on top. Color brownish to purplish. Exudates purple ink but only sometime after collection. (Duchassaing & Michelotti, 1864) black,brown,purple-violet,massive,encrusting,tube,lobate,soft
Demospongiae Dictyoceratida Thorectidae Hyrtios? sp. 2 Black cushions, smooth to lowly conulose. It uses a branching red coralline algae as skeleton. Different from Dysidea janiae (Duchassaing & Michelotti, 1864) in color and shape. Generic and species identity pending further work. black,massive,tough,soft
Demospongiae Dictyoceratida Thorectidae Smenospongia aurea 17 Massive, often forming groups of adjacent oscular mounds or volcanos. It becomes dark and exudes abundant mucus when handled. There are three color morphs of this species: drab to brown skin-yellow oscules-yellow flesh; light greenish skin-yellow green oscules-yellow green flesh; yellow skin and interior. Two different species are readily distinguished in the Caribbean, often co-existing: S. aurea and S. conulosa Pulitzer-Finali, 1986. It is distinguished from S. conulosa by the honeycomb pattern of the dermis resting on fibers while in S. conulosa the primary fibers ends at the surface form blunt projections not connected to each other. A possibly third species, vivid parrot green in color is also included in this catalogue. There is considerable taxonomic confusion regarding S. aurea, with many names still available, which persist owing to the similarity among fixed, type specimens. Older names that may fit into this species are those of Duchassaing & Michelotti (1864, Spongia musicalis, Spongia cerebriformis), and also younger Polyfibrospongia echina de Laubenfels, 1934. (Hyatt, 1875) gray,yellow,green,cream,cinnamon-tan,branching,tube,massive,lobate,tough,soft
Demospongiae Dictyoceratida Thorectidae Smenospongia conulosa 23 Massive, with oscular mounds or volcanoes, Bright to dark green to brown black or gray. It becomes dark and exudes abundant mucus when handled. Distinguished from S. aurea (Hyatt, 1875) by having blunt ends of primary fibers protruding on the surface, while the surface of S. aurea forms a honeycomb pattern of ridges. These primary fibers are also wider apart than in S. aurea. S. aurea fibers are also wider, especially the secondary reticulum, with many characteristic rectangular meshes (longer axis perpendicular to de surface). Pulitzer-Finali, 1986 green,brown,gray,black,tube,massive,lobate,vase,tough
Demospongiae Dictyoceratida Thorectidae Smenospongia sp.-black massive 1 Black, massive, tough, with a strongly warty surface. It releases abundant mucus and darkens in air as other species of the genus. It is close to Smenospongia conulosa Pulitzer-Finali, 1986, which is usually dark green. But the fibers of this species are much thicker than those of S. conulosa, hence its greater toughness. black,spherical,massive,tough
Demospongiae Dictyoceratida Thorectidae Smenospongia sp.-parrot green 3 Massive, parrot green exterior, yellow interior. Color becomes dark purple upon exposure to air. Abundant mucus release. Surface with low, regularly scattered protrusions which correspond to the end of groups of primary skeletal fibers. Skeleton of clear, tough, laminated spongin fibers arrranged in a more or less regular reticulation, which is somewhat condensed in the areas that protrude to the surface.The fibers are of similar thickness to those of Smenospongia conulosa Pulitzer-Finali, 1986, but the reticulation appears more fine. Fibers are not as wide to those of Smenospongia aurea (Hyatt, 1875). We initially placed this parrot green morphotype as part of the variation of S. conulosa, being dominant in some areas. But as we found the two morphotypes growing together with S. aurea and S. conulosa, and clearly distinct in color and shape, we decided to place it as a separate, yet unidentified species. The old literature must be searched for a possible available name before deciding whether it is a new, undescribed species. green,tube,massive,tough
Demospongiae Hadromerida Clionaidae Cervicornia cuspidifera 6 Tan or mustard yellow, antler like, erect irregular cylinders arising from the sandy or rubble bottom, single or in groups. There is a large portion buried under the substratum. Formerly placed under genus Spheciospongia, and also known erroneously as Xestospongia tierneyi (see Wiedenmayer, 1977 and Vicente et al., 1991). (Lamarck, 1815) yellow,cinnamon-tan,branching,bushy,lobate,tough
Demospongiae Hadromerida Clionaidae Cliona ?peponaca 1 Excavating sponge. Orange oscular and inhalant papillae; tylostyle spicules with a well-formed head, no microscleries. Identity pending further revision. May be confused with papillated Cliona delitrix Pang, 1973. Pang, 1973 orange,papillated,soft
Demospongiae Hadromerida Clionaidae Cliona aprica 9 Excavating sponge. Fields of black papillae, often partly fused, level with the substratum, slightly elevated when relaxed. This sponge excavates the upper 1-2 cm of the substratum, filling cavities with a greenish yellow tissue. For distinction from other similar species see Zea & Weil (2003). Pang, 1973 black,encrusting,papillated,hard,tough
Demospongiae Hadromerida Clionaidae Cliona caribbaea 63 Also known as Cliona langae Pang, 1973. Dark green to brown incrustations, spread over the excavated substratum, reaching sizes up to about 1-2 m; young specimens are made of partly fused papillae. Oscules conspicuous, usually of lighter color. Can be confused with Cliona tenuis (not yet found in the Bahamas), which is thinner (the substratum is visible through the tissue) and has tiny oscules (apart from spiculation, see Zea and Weil, 2003). This sponge excavates the upper 1-2 cm of the substratum, filling cavities with a greenish yellow tissue. Carter, 1882 green,black,brown,gray,cream,encrusting,papillated,hard,tough
Demospongiae Hadromerida Clionaidae Cliona delitrix 26 Excavating sponge. It excavates and encrusts massive corals. Externally it appears as a bright red encrustation with many scattered elevated papillae and one or several large and deep oscules with a high dermal collar. Often riddled with zoanthids. Excavations are deep, filled with orange tissue. We have included here the papillated forms which in some areas are dominant, perhaps because coralline or turf algae (or predators?) do not allow them to grow larger and fuse papillae. From the above, it is our belief that Cliona laticavicola Pang, 1973 (papillated sponges described originally from the same locality of C. delitrix) are either young individuals or ecophenotypes of C. delitrix. Pang, 1973 red,yellow,green,orange,encrusting,papillated,tough,soft,crumbly,hard
Demospongiae Hadromerida Clionaidae Cliona schmidti 1 Excavating sponge. Sparse, rather cryptic papillae; it was revealed to us when collecting another excavating sponge (Cliona aprica Pang, 1973, righ side of photo) as a deep blue excavating tissue (center of photo). C. schmidti was originally described from the Mediterranean Sea. It remains to be determined if W. Atlantic populations are conspecific or different. (Ridley, 1881), sensu Pang (1973) blue,papillated,soft
Demospongiae Hadromerida Clionaidae Cliona sp. amber papillae 4 Excavating sponge. Amber brown-tan papillae. One specimen has tylostyles and thick spirasters; the other specimen only has tylostyles. It may be a young form of Cliona varians (Duch. & Mich., 1864), but it needs to be compared with C. flavifodina Rützler, 1974 and C. paucispina Rützler, 1974. yellow,cinnamon-tan,papillated,tough
Demospongiae Hadromerida Clionaidae Cliona sp.-orange crust 2 Excavating sponge. Orange incrustation with large oscules, no papillae. Should not be confused with co-occurring C. delitrix Pang, 1973, which show elevated papillae even in fully encrusting individuals. Spicules are close to C. dioryssa (de Laubenfels, 1950, as Spirastrella; tylostyles and rather stout spirasters and deriatives), which is described from Bermuda (see also Rützler, 1974) as ragged coalescing encrustations not larger than a few cm, with minute and contractile oscules. Also needs to be compared with co-occurring C. varians (Duchassaing & Michelotti, 1864). orange,encrusting,tough,hard
Demospongiae Hadromerida Clionaidae Cliona tenuis 5 Excavating sponge. It encrust entirely the excavated substratum with a thin veneer of brown tissue; the underlying coral skeleton can be discerned. Oscules are small and inconspicuous. Can grow up to several m in diameter, especially in fore reef pavement settings. It prefers windward, wave-exposed shallow reefs. We did not observe it in the Bahamas, because we did not visit open windward reef sites. The accompanied photos are from Colombia. It has been colonizing the dead stands of the elkhorn coral Acropora palmata throughout the Caribbean. It can be distinguished from C. caribbaea Carter, 1882 by the latter being thicker and with larger oscules; there are also slight spicular differences (size and shape, see Zea & Weil, 2003). This sponge excavates the upper 1-2 cm of the substratum, filling cavities with a greenish yellow tissue. Zea & Weil, 2003 brown,encrusting,soft
Demospongiae Hadromerida Clionaidae Cliona varians 18 Previously placed under genus Anthosigmella. Excavating sponge. Dull orange to tan or brownish, thick encrustations that may cover several square meters of substratum. Oscules are relatively large, paler and slighlty elevated. (Duchassaing & Michelotti, 1864) yellow,brown,orange,green,cream,cinnamon-tan,encrusting,fan,massive,tough,crumbly
Demospongiae Hadromerida Clionaidae Cliona vermifera 4 Excavating sponge in which its small red-orange papillae are the only feature visible on the substratum. Upon breaking the coral where it dwells, the excavating chambers are revealed, which are filled by orange tissue. It can be confused with other tiny papillated sponges such as the excavating Pione lampa fo. occulta Rützler, 1974, and the non-excavating but crevice filling (when in reefs) Tedania ignis (Duchassaing & Michelotti, 1864). Papillae of Cliona delitrix Pang, 1973 are larger. Hancock, 1867 orange,red,papillated,soft
Demospongiae Hadromerida Clionaidae Pione lampa 6 Excavating and encrusting sponge, covering the excavated the substratum with a thin layer of orange-red tissue, from which the excavated substratum is visible. The excavating tissue is of the same color of the external tissue. Previously placed under Cliona, but transfered to Pione by having a spicule complement of tylostyles, crenulated oxea and spiny microrhabds. We are including here shallow reef specimens which just show tiny papillae on the substrate, which were previously named fo. occulta Rützler, 1974. Perhaps predators do not allow the sponge to overgrow the substratum. These can be confused with papillated Cliona delitrix Pang, 1973 (which were originally named C. laticavicola Pang, 1973), which has larger oscules and papillae. It can also be confused to papillated reef Tedania ignis (Duchassaing & Michelotti, 1864). (de Laubenfels, 1950) orange,red,encrusting,papillated,tough,soft
Demospongiae Hadromerida Clionaidae Spheciospongia vesparium 21 Also known as Spheciospongia othella de Laubenfels, 1950. Black, leathery skin, and dark gray interior. Young reef individuals are encrusting and excavating, with a few scattered large and deep oscules, often like low volcanoes. Larger specimens are globular with one or two large atria. Surface with scattered fields of holes, often colonized by whitish zoanthids. Young specimens inhabiting sand and rubble appear as scattered elevated lobular papillae with many perforations, protruding from the substrate. Large specimens are giant barrels or globules, with 1-2 thick-lipped large atria, and the surface with the same perforated papillae. There exists S. vesparium forma pallida Vicente, Rützler & Carballeira, 1991 described from Puerto Rico but not yet found in the Bahamas. (Lamarck, 1815) black,encrusting,massive,papillated,vase,tough
Demospongiae Hadromerida Placospongiidae Placospherastra antillensis 7 Erroneously being called Diplastrella megastellata (Hechtel, 1965), which is a good, different species. Bright red or orange encrustations. Tough and leathery cortex. Suface pierced by rounded to elongated furrows with slightly elevated borders; furrows are not connected to each other; oscules round and large, interspersed throughout the surface, with slightly elevated collars. There is a cortex of spheraster spicules (developmental stages diplaster-like), supported by rather sparse thick tracts of tylostyle spicules. A small category of micraster spicules is present. Although Placospherastra is described as having polygonal armor plates as Placospongia, from live photos this characteristic is not clear. Unfortunately, we failed in disturbing the specimens previous to taken the photos, to have them close the furrows and show the plates. However, the spiculation closely conforms to this genus and its species antillensis as originally described. From light microscopy alone, we have not been able to confirm the presence of rings of small spines ornamenting the main spines of the spherasters. van Soest, 2009 red,orange,encrusting,tough
Demospongiae Hadromerida Placospongiidae Placospongia sp. 2 (?intermedia sensu de Laubenfels, 1936) 1 Orange encrusting sponge with the surface covered by irregularly polygonal armor plates. Spaces between plates with soft tissue and oscules. According to the recent review of van Soest (2009), it may correspond to Placospongia intermedia sensu de Laubenfels (1936), from the Caribbean side of Panama, but detailed comparisons of spicules is pending for confirmation. orange,encrusting,hard
Demospongiae Hadromerida Polymastiidae Polymastia tenax 7 This sponge appears as reddish brown groups of large papillae surrounding tall membranous oscules, filling crevices or growoing among coral branches. It is very tough and papillae contract upon contact. Very probably this species is a junior synonym of Polymastia nigra Alcolado, 1984. Upon confirmation, the latter name would have priority. Another species that may be conspecific with these is P. fordei Lehnert & van Soest, 1999. Spicule lenght and thickness and degree of development of subtylostyle spicule head appear to vary geographically, generating confusion. Pulitzer-Finali, 1986 brown,black,encrusting,papillated,tough
Demospongiae Hadromerida Spirastrellidae Spirastrella coccinea 18 Thick, leathery incrustations with scattered, slighlty elevated oscules. Color bright vermillion in shallow specimens, dull red in deeper specimens, the latter as a result of having a withish skin patched by bright colored inhalant areas (oscular collars are also whitish). S. hartmani Boury-Esnault, Klautau, Bézac, Wulff and Solé-Cava, 1999 is distinguished from S. coccinea by having a salmon color, a softer consistency, and clearly elevanted exhalant canals that converge in raised oscula. S. coccinea has a category of stouter spiraster spicules. (Duchassaing & Michelotti, 1864) red,orange,encrusting,tough
Demospongiae Hadromerida Spirastrellidae Spirastrella hartmani 17 Previoulsy known as S. cuncatrix (Schmidt, 1868), which is a different species from the Mediterranean. Thick encrustantions, salmon color to dull orange, usually with oscules and exhalant canals forming an elevanted vein star pattern over the surface. S. mollis Verrill, 1907 may be a previous name, but as the type specimen seems to be lost (Boury-Esnault et al., 1999), it cannot be compared at present. It may be a valid, different species, existing only in Bermuda. However, as in other reef localities of the Caribbean there are only two Spirastrella coexisting morphs corresponding to S. hartmani and to S. coccinea (Duchassaing & Michelotti, 1864), S. mollis may have priority over S. hartmani. S. coccinea is bright vermillion or dull red, more leathery, and has a stouter category of spiraster spicules. Deep water specimens of S. hartmani in the Bahamas also have stout spirasters adding confusion to the distinction between these two species. Detailed comparisons of pairs of specimens from each locality may help resolve this problem. Boury-Esnault, Klautau, Bézac, Wulff & Solé-Cava, 1999 brown,orange,gray,cinnamon-tan,cream,encrusting,tough,soft
Demospongiae Hadromerida Suberitidae Aaptos lithophaga 4 Exterior black, interior cream; rounded masses or sprawling thick encrustations. Originally described from The Bahamas under the genus Epipolasis. Spicules are thick to very thin long styles to styloids to anysostrongyles. (Wiedenmayer, 1977) black,brown,encrusting,massive,tough
Demospongiae Hadromerida Suberitidae Prosuberites laughlini 3 Originally described under genus Eurypon. Thickly encrusting, bright orange, with a rather uneven and rough surface, with scattered oscules having an elevated, transparent collar. Spicules protrude from the surface. (Diaz, Alvarez & van Soest, 1987) orange,encrusting,soft
Demospongiae Hadromerida Suberitidae Suberites aurantiacus 1 Also placed under genus Terpios, and known also as Terpios zeteki de Laubenfels, 1936. Tangled, finger-shaped or lobular branches in lagoonal, usually brackish environments. Internal color can be orange to yellow, tinged in the surface with gray, green, purple tones. Wide and deep oscules on top and sides of branches. Upon handling, the skin retracts; the sponge then is reminiscent of a Codium green algae. For the lack of pictures from the Bahamas, a photo from Colombia is included. (Duchassaing & Michelotti, 1864) green,orange,gray,yellow,branching,lobate,tough
Demospongiae Hadromerida Suberitidae Terpios belindae 1 Thin, orange encrustations; small oscules spread throughout the surface. Distinguished from other orange encrustations by its pin-like tylostyle spicules with lobed heads. Rützler & Smith, 1993 orange,encrusting,soft
Demospongiae Hadromerida Tethyidae Tectitethya crypta 9 Also placed under genera Tethya and Cryptotethya. Thick to globular masses with top, membranous oscules. Surface papillated. Heavy fouling prevents detailing the surface and color, which is dark olive green. The species lives in sand and rubble in lagoonal environments. Sarŕ & Bavastrello (1996) described several new species of Tectitethya from the Caribbean (e.g., T. keyensis, T. macrostella) that are externally and internally similar to T. crypta. All our specimens were assigned to T. crypta on the basis of the typical external shape and color. Whether these conform to one or various species cannot be determined at the moment. (de Laubenfels, 1936) white,green,black,massive,tough,soft,crumbly
Demospongiae Hadromerida Timeidae Timea ?micraster 1 Thinly encrusting, soft, bright vermillion red with oscules and exhalant canals visible forming a star pattern. Skeleton as closely spaced brushes or erect tylostyles 240-520 by 5-11µm, traversing a cortex of diplaster-like spherasters microscleres. Also present are microamphiasters. The closest Timea species described for the Caribbean is Timea micraster. Our identification is tentative pending further comparisons. (Lehnert & Heimler, 2001) red,orange,encrusting,soft
Demospongiae Halichondrida Axinellidae Auletta? sp.-orange velvety tubes 6 Narrow funnell-like tubes, orange to orange yellow, arising form a narrow stalk, single or branched. Spicules are styles, some flexuous, some with a slightly wide head or a subterminal ring; and curved oxea with blunt to acute ends. The skeleton is a reticulation of ascending-radiating and interconnecting, loose tracts of spicules embedded in spongin. The inner part of tubes appear not to be reinforced by sheets of sinuous spicules as the definition of the genus states, hence its tentative assignment. The two Western Atlantic species described are deep water, vis. Auletta sycinularia Schmidt, 1870 and Auletta tuberosa Alvarez, van Soest and Rützler, 1998, both tubular. Detailed comparisons are pending. orange-yellow,tube,soft
Demospongiae Halichondrida Axinellidae Axinella corrugata 6 Originally placed under genus Acanthella. Also known as Oxeostylon (or Teichaxinella) burtoni de Laubenfels, 1934. Orange-yellow bushes, often with tubular ends. Surface very corrugated and velvety. It has been synonymyzed with Teichaxinella morchella Wiedenmayer, 1977, which is more probably Stylissa caribica Lehnert & van Soest, 1998, also pictured in this guide. S. caribica which has a softer and smoother skin, with has wider convolutions. In addition, it has only regular sized styles as spicules, in contrast to the additional category of long styles and oxea spicules of A. corrugata. A. corrugata can also be confused with Axinella sp.-orange corrugated tubes-branches, also pictured in this guide, but the latter corrugation is lower and it lacks the long category of styles, the oxea being larger that the larger style. Axinella digitiformis Lehnert & van Soest, 1996 may be a junior synonim of A. corrugata. (George & Wilson, 1919) orange,orange-yellow,branching,tube,bushy,tough
Demospongiae Halichondrida Axinellidae Axinella sp.-orange corrugated tubes-branches 5 Orange tubes with a corrugated surface, compressible; a branching specimen was found with the same spicule complement. Spicules are curved styles of various sizes, and curved to bent oxea always larger than styles. It can be confused with Axinella corrugata (George & Wilson, 1919). We compared co-existing specimens (see images) and their surface is different, A. corrugata having larger protrusions. They have a similar spicule complement, excepting that A. corrugata has an additional category of styles which are larger than the oxea. orange,branching,tube,bushy,tough
Demospongiae Halichondrida Axinellidae Dragmacidon explicatum 13 Previoulsy placed under genera Pseudaxinella and Ectyoplasia (as Ectyoplasia ferox explicata). Thick bright orange or red encrustations with volcano-like oscules having a wide rim and often partly or totally closed by a diafragm; surface often spiny or having a honeycombed pattern of ridges. It was previously synonymized with Dragmacidon reticulatum (=also locally known as Pseudaxinella lunaecharta). However, this is a clearly distinct although similarly-looking species, coexisting with D. reticulatum in some areas (Stirrups Cays, Bahamas, Santa Marta, Colombia), with distinct spicules. D. explicatum has a more elaborated surface and is tougher, while D. reticulatum has a smoother surface is softer and often grows erect. In coexisting specimens, D. explicatum has some of the styles spicules as long as the oxea spicules, while D. reticulatum has oxea larger than styles. (Wiedenmayer, 1977) orange,encrusting,massive,bushy,lobate,tough,crumbly
Demospongiae Halichondrida Axinellidae Dragmacidon reticulatum 9 Previously known as Pseudaxinella lunaecharta Ridley and Dendy, 1886, a name from the E. Atlantic. Small masses to erect clubs or thick lamellae, brigh orange or red; surface usually smooth, with scattered oscules, often flush to the surface, and aligned on the upper ridges. Dragmacidon explicatum was placed in synonymy with D. reticulatum but they are clearly distinct species, in overall shape and spicule characteristics. They coexist in some areas (Stirrups Cays, Bahamas, Santa Marta, Colombia). D. reticulatum has a smoother surface and often grows erect, while D. explicatum has a more elaborated surface and is predominantly thickly encrusting and slightly softer. In coexisting specimens, typically, D. reticulatum has oxea spicules larger than the style spicules, while D. explicatum has some of the styles as long as the oxea. (Ridley & Dendy, 1886) orange,red,branching,fan,bushy,lobate,massive,tough
Demospongiae Halichondrida Axinellidae Dragmaxia undata 1 Orange-yellow, low mounds to low bushes, with all the surface made of irregular hispid projections. The species was collected in the Bahamas but no photo was obtained. A photo from Santa Marta, Colombia, is included. Alvarez, van Soest & Rützler, 1998 orange-yellow,massive,bushy,tough
Demospongiae Halichondrida Axinellidae Ptilocaulis marquezi 3 Also placed under genus Teichaxinella. Orange, erect, cylindrical branches, single or divided, with the surface composed of thin, semihorizontal lamellae. Can be confused with Ptilocaulis walpersi, wich is usually more scarlet, and has the surface projections more spinous, round and blunt. They can be distinguished by the spicules (styles in P. walpersi, oxea in P. marquezi). P. marquezi is always much more uncommon than P. walpersi. Can also be confused in the field with Higginsia coralloides Higgin, 1877, which has oxea and acanthomicroxea spicules. (Duchassaing & Michelotti, 1864) orange,orange-yellow,branching,bushy,tough
Demospongiae Halichondrida Axinellidae Ptilocaulis walpersi 13 Scarlet red to orange cylindrical branches, single or divided; sometimes laterally fused conforming a fan. Surface with spiny, round and blunt processes. Can be confused with P. marquezi (Duchassaing & Michelotti, 1864), which is usually more orange and has flattened lamellae in the surface. They are also distinguished by spicules (oxea in P. marquezi, styles in P. walpersi). P. walpersi is much more common (P. marquezi is rare). Can also be confused in the field with Higginsia coralloides Higgin, 1877, which has oxea and acanthomicroxea spicules. (Duchassaing & Michelotti, 1864) red,orange,branching,bushy,tough
Demospongiae Halichondrida Dictyonellidae Acanthella ?mastophora 2 Orange-yellow bush; tube-like branches arise from a single stalk. Confirmation of the species name needs further work. Spicules are sinuous strongyles and curved styles-styloids organized in loose, dendritic tracts. (Schmidt, 1870) orange,tube,bushy,soft
Demospongiae Halichondrida Dictyonellidae Dictyonella funicularis 6 Previously placed under genus Ulosa. Olive green. Thinly encrusting, often with many erect processes and tangled branchelets, becoming massive. It is frequently found growing on other sponges. (Rützler, 1981) green,gray,branching,encrusting,massive,bushy,soft
Demospongiae Halichondrida Dictyonellidae Scopalina ruetzleri 9 Originally described under genus Ulosa. Rather soft and fluffy orange to orange-yellow cushions. Surface conulose, rather transparent, with scatered and membranous oscules. Naturally shrunk specimens look less transparent and show tufts of spicules at the tip of conules. (Wiedenmayer, 1977) orange,orange-yellow,encrusting,soft
Demospongiae Halichondrida Dictyonellidae Stylissa caribica 12 This is possibly the same species as Teichaxinella morchella Wiedenmayer, 1977. But the latter name has been synonymyzed with Axinella corrugata (incorrectly in our oppinion), which is a different species, also pictured in this catalogue. Erect, bright orange bushes, with scattered collared oscules; surface strongly corrugated to lamellated, although the skin is rather lustrous. Spicules are styles in a single size. In contrast, in A. corrugata the surface is hispid and not lustrous, and the megasclere spicules, in addition to the regular size styles, it has very long styles and oxea. Lehnert & van Soest, 1998 orange,tube,bushy,lobate,tough,soft
Demospongiae Halichondrida Dictyonellidae Svenzea cristinae 1 Thick, crumbly to soft encrustations, golden brown, with the interior cream. Oscules on top of lobed elevations; sometimes lobes grow upwards and ramify. Spicules are curved to sinuous styles, 420-480 µm. Most specimens from the localities where it was described (Belize, Jamaica) have also oxea spicules, but these are reported to be sometimes absent. It has the dark granular cells in the interior characteristic of the genus Svenzea (see Svenzea zeai in this guide). Alvarez, van Soest & Rützler, 2002 brown,cinnamon-tan,encrusting,lobate,crumbly
Demospongiae Halichondrida Dictyonellidae Svenzea flava 9 Originally described under genus Pseudaxinella. Orange-yellow to yellow thick encrustations to masses, with oscular lobes. Surface smooth; fields of pores are scattered in concave areas. Subsurface color is purple brown, internal color cream. Spicules are strongyles, often slightly asymmetrical (could be called styloids, but the less blunt end is not as pointed as in, for example, S. tubulosa). Alvarez et al. (2002) suggested it to belong to genus Svenzea but it lacks the dark granulous cells that other species of the genus have. (Lehnert & van Soest, 1999) yellow,cinnamon-tan,orange-yellow,encrusting,tube,massive,lobate,soft,crumbly
Demospongiae Halichondrida Dictyonellidae Svenzea sp. lobes, fans or branches 7 Lobes, ridges or branches arising from an encrusting base. Yellowish to golden brown exterior, purple in the subsurface and creamy inside. Consistency compressible, spongy, but somewhat hard to cut or tear. Skeleton as a plumose paucispicular reticulation of slightly asymetric (oxeote) strongyles 150-230 x 2.5-7.5 µm. Svenzea flava Lehnert & van Soest, 1999 and Svenzea tubulosa (Alcolado & Gotera, 1986) are similar in coloration and spiculation but the spicules are larger and thicker than the present species. This species also seem to lack the strongly pigmented cells described for genus Svenzea. It should be compared to Neopetrosia dominicana (Pulitzler-Finali, 1986, as Xestospongia), which is described from a brown, slightly resilient, subcylindrical fragment, as having strongyles, slightly curved, 140-260 x 5-14 µm. yellow,cinnamon-tan,fan,lobate,branching,massive,tough,crumbly
Demospongiae Halichondrida Dictyonellidae Svenzea sp.-thick tubes 6 A group of thick vases-tubes, cinnamon-tan in external color, soft and crumbly; subsurface color purplish, interior cream. Spicules are strongyles, curved and somewhat flexuous. In The Bahamas, it has only been seen in deep reef of Plana Cays. From its shape, at some point we thought it could be Xestospongia caminata Pulitzler-Finali, 1986, but the latter has oxeas as spicules. Svenzea sp. has a skeleton of ascending and interconnecting loose spicule tracts, ladder like, embedded in spongin, somewaht similar to Svenzea flava Lehnert & van Soest, 1999, Svenzea tubulosa (Alcolado & Gotera, 1986) and Svenzea sp-lobes or branches, but with the ascending tracts less obvious and plumose; as these, it also seem to lack the strongly pigmented cells described for genus Svenzea. pink-lilac,cinnamon-tan,tube,vase,fan,lobate,tough,soft,crumbly
Demospongiae Halichondrida Dictyonellidae Svenzea tubulosa 9 Originally described under genus Scopalina. Tubes and bushes arising from crevices in the bottom. Tubes often have more than one hole. External color yellow, subsurface color purple, interior color cream.The genus allocation here is due to its similarity in texture, color and skeleton to Svenzea flava (Lehnert & van Soest, 1999), although S. tubulosa lacks as S. flava the strongly pigmented cells defined for the genus (see Alvarez et al., 2000). It has erroneously been considered the same as Ectyoplasia ferox, which has different spicules [stout styles and smaller styles spined at the tip in E. ferox, styloids (pointed end blunt) in S. tubulosa] and skeleton (plumose ascending, echinated tracts in E. ferox vs. Plumose ascending and interconnected tracts forming a reticulation in S. tubulosa). Also, E. ferox is a bit stiffer and may have tubes, but arising from an encrusting base, while the base in S. tubulosa is buried. (Alcolado & Gotera, 1986) yellow,orange,cinnamon-tan,tube,branching,papillated,bushy,lobate,crumbly,soft
Demospongiae Halichondrida Dictyonellidae Svenzea zeai 13 Formerly considered (erroneously) Calyx podatypa (de Laubenfels, 1934), which is a valid, different species from shallow crevices (see Zea, 1987, and this catalogue). Originally and tentatively placed under genus Pseudaxinella. Thick encrustations to masses with low to high to globular volcano-shaped oscular mounds. Dark brown exterior and creamy interior. Very crumbly. It is one of the most abundant sponges in Caribbean reefs (but scarce at Santa Marta, Colombia, an area of seasonal upwelling). (Alvarez et al., 1998) brown,cream,encrusting,tube,massive,lobate,soft,crumbly
Demospongiae Halichondrida Halichondriidae Halichondria melanodocia 3 Black or dark gray irregular cushions, rather crumbly, with a few slighlty elevated oscules; skin a bit leathery, with visible reticulation of tangentially placed spicules, it can be detached. It grows on mangrove roots and seagrass beds. de Laubenfels, 1936 green,black,massive,soft,crumbly
Demospongiae Halichondrida Halichondriidae Topsentia ophiraphidites 11 Stiff to hard, globular to massive-amorphous with velvety-hispid surface, often partly buried in sediments or filling crevices in hard substrata, and with projecting elevations, pointed or lobed, sometimes with branchelets. Color from light brown-cinnanon to yellowish. Deep or cave specimens whitish. Reglardless of shape and color, we have placed under this species all stiff specimens with several categories of stout oxea, some of them bent twice, often erect as a palisade in the surface. Perhaps there is more than one species involved, but this needs further studies. For synonymies and related species see Álvarez et al. (1993). (de Laubenfels, 1934) yellow,white,brown,pink-lilac,cinnamon-tan,cream,purple-violet,branching,fan,massive,encrusting,spherical,papillated,lobate,tube,crumbly,hard,tough
Demospongiae Halichondrida Halichondriidae Topsentia pseudoporrecta 3 Also known in the Caribbean as Topsentia porrecta, which is a name from the Azores (E. Atlantic). Encrusting to massive, creamy white, with fistules arising from the main body. Consistency stiff, crumbly. It is similar in consistency and skeleton (oxeas of various sizes, confused in arrangement, with a crust of spicules paratangentially arranged) to Topsentia ophiraphidites, also pictured in this catalogue, but the latter usually has tan to brownish tinges and when it has projections these are irregular and seldom papillae-like. The two specimens examined had abundant sand grains throughout the skeleton and on the surface, often forming a distinguishable cortex. Pending confirmation of spicule sizes. Diaz, Pomponi & van Soest, 1993 white,cream,encrusting,massive,papillated,tough,crumbly
Demospongiae Halichondrida Heteroxyidae Higginsia coralloides 2 Previously known as Higginsia strigilata (Lamarck, 1814), a name originally from Australia. Scarlet red to orange, erect cylinder or bushes, with the surface formed by many evenly-spaced spiny, roundish processes from which spicules protrude. Spicules are very long styles, shorter oxea, and smaller acanthomicroxea. Can be confused with Ptilocaulis walpersi (styles only) and P. marquezi (oxea, no microxea). Higgin, 1877 orange,bushy,tough
Demospongiae Halichondrida Heteroxyidae Myrmekioderma gyroderma 8 Previously placed under genus Topsentia. Erroneously know by many Caribbean authors as Myrmekioderma styx (de Laubenfels, 1953), which is a junior synonym of M. rea (de Laubenfels, 1934), a valid species (also depicted here). Orange-yellow thick masses with conical or lobed oscular elevations. Surface heavily fouled, excepting elongated, meandering grooves of clean tissue (inhalant areas). It is distinguished from M. rea by its large, stout oxea; the latter has thinner oxea and styles. Besides, M. gyroderma lives on hard exposed substrata on the reef, while M. rea fills reef crevices or dwells buried in sand and rubble in lagoonal settings. (Alcolado, 1984) orange,orange-yellow,tube,massive,lobate,encrusting,tough,crumbly
Demospongiae Halichondrida Heteroxyidae Myrmekioderma rea 6 Also known as Myrmekioderma styx de Laubenfels, 1953 [but other Caribbean authors used M. styx erroneously for another species which is known now as M. gyroderma (Alcolado, 1984), also described here]. M. rea grows filling cavities in reef hard substratum or is buried in sand and rubble; only the oscular areas are seen as orange-yellow patches, with the surface as a stretched membrane with fields of oscules. Buried surfaces or free sides have circular grooves which contract when handled, forming characteristic warts. This species may co-exists sympatrically with M. gyroderma in reefs, but it is distinguished from the latter in its growth form (massive and exposed in M. gyroderma), the circular grooves (elongated in M. gyroderma), and in having thinner oxea and styles instead of stout oxeas as principal spicules. (de Laubenfels, 1934) yellow,orange-yellow,encrusting,soft,crumbly
Demospongiae Halisarcida Halisarcidae Halisarca caerulea 4 Encrusting light blue or pinkish leathery patches with darker star patterns of oscules and confluent exhalant canals. No spicules. Vacelet & Donadey, 1987 blue,pink-lilac,encrusting,tough
Demospongiae Haplosclerida Calcifibrospongiidae Calcifibrospongia actinostromarioides 3 Orange, hard, encrusting plate, with regularly scattered oscules. It is a sclerosponge, which means it has a basal skeleton of calcium carbonate (still to be confirmed) in which the sponge tissue is embedded. Spicules are strongyles to strongyloxeas in a loose reticulation. Ground and polished hystological sections of tissue with skeleton are needed for further confirmation. Hartman, 1979 orange,encrusting,hard
Demospongiae Haplosclerida Callyspongiidae Callyspongia ?eschrichti 10 Lobate with scattered oscules, conules and contorted skin fibers. Light gray. It remains to be determined if this is C. eschriti or one of the Callyspongia o Tuba species described originally by Duchassaing and Michellotti and now synonymized under C. vaginalis (Lamarck, 1814). It is certainly different to C. vaginalis, with which it coexists; but it does not exactly match the thorny appearance of C. eschriti depicted in the literature. Pedro Alcolado (Cuba) names this sponge Callyspongia vaginalis forma solida. Duchassaing & Michelotti, 1864 blue,gray,pink-lilac,tube,massive,bushy,lobate,branching,tough,soft
Demospongiae Haplosclerida Callyspongiidae Callyspongia armigera 8 Gray, erect to repent branches, conulose, oscules aligned. (Duchassaing & Michelotti, 1864) gray,branching,tough
Demospongiae Haplosclerida Callyspongiidae Callyspongia fallax 10 Bluish or pinkish tubes, usually low, in groups; may be massive or thickly encrusting with oscular mounds; stiffly spongy; tissue clears away easily, leaving the clean skeleton. Duchassaing & Michelotti, 1864 blue,pink-lilac,gray,cream,branching,tube,tough
Demospongiae Haplosclerida Callyspongiidae Callyspongia longissima 2 Long, single vases-tubes, gray. Considered as a valid, separate species from C. vaginalis (Lamarck, 1814), but further analyses may be needed to confirm it. (Duchassaing & Michelotti, 1864) gray,orange,tube,vase,tough
Demospongiae Haplosclerida Callyspongiidae Callyspongia pallida 2 In The Bahamas it grows as light purple or greenish-grayish thin branches or aligned tubes; easily compressible. Lagoonal specimens may be similar to C. fallax Duchassaing & Michelotti, 1864, but C. pallida is much softer and its fiber networks of much smaller size. In other areas C. pallida is more massive with oscular or tubular mounds, and tends to be whitish. Pedro Alcolado (Cuba) call this form Callyspongia arcesiosa de Laubenfels, 1936, as a distinct species from C. pallida. We haave so far found only one form of soft Callyspongia and used C. pallida following van Soest (1980). Hechtel, 1965 blue,pink-lilac,branching,tube,soft
Demospongiae Haplosclerida Callyspongiidae Callyspongia plicifera 14 Iridiscent blue vases; when not iridiscent, creamy orange. Surface characteristically convoluted. (Lamarck, 1814) blue,pink-lilac,cream,gray,vase,tube,fan,tough
Demospongiae Haplosclerida Callyspongiidae Callyspongia strongylophora 1 A tangled mass of thin, brown, elastic branches. Not to be confused with Haliclona ?ruetzleri de Weerdt, 2002, which has thinner branches, is softer, and has an unispicular reticulation of oxea spicules (compared to a reticulation of spongin fibers with cored spicules typical of Callyspongia in C. strongylophora. Hartman, 1955 brown,branching,soft
Demospongiae Haplosclerida Callyspongiidae Callyspongia tenerrima 13 Erect, gray branches. Oscula spread throughout the branches, flush with the surface. Surface generally even; a network of fibers is visible. Duchassaing & Michelotti, 1864 gray,pink-lilac,blue,branching,tough,soft
Demospongiae Haplosclerida Callyspongiidae Callyspongia vaginalis 21 Groups of cylindrical tubes, sometimes wider at the top, forming vases, grayish, pinkish, yellowish, with smooth conules. In the Florida Keys there are three co-existing morphotypes, gray, red, and yellow, which are not genetically distinct and appear to be the result of ecophenotypic plasticity due to some degree of ecological differentiation (see López-Legentil et al., 2010). (Lamarck, 1814) gray,yellow,green,pink-lilac,orange,cream,cinnamon-tan,tube,vase,spherical,fan,tough
Demospongiae Haplosclerida Chalinidae Chalinula molitba 7 Light purple to pink to bluish branches or tangled tubes. De Weerdt (2000) included within this species a spongin-dominated morphotype and a spicule-dominating one. Here we include only specimens with spongin-dominated skeletons and use Chalinula pseudomolitba (de Weerdt, Rützler & Smith, 1991) for the spicule-dominated ones. It differs from Ch. pseudomolitba in having a loose network of spongin fibers (ascending and interconnecting) with a few embedded thin spicules. (de Laubenfels, 1949) blue,pink-lilac,purple-violet,branching,tube,massive,soft
Demospongiae Haplosclerida Chalinidae Chalinula pseudomolitba 6 Light purple or pinkish cushions, even or with oscular mounds or fistules. We use this name for what de Weerdt (2000) refers to the spicule-dominated morph of Ch. molitba (de Laubenfels, 1949). This species is distinguished from the Ch. molitba in having a reticulation of single spicules, or tracts of few spicules, cemented by spongin. This form seems to be restricted to mangrove stilt roots in The Bahamas. The presence of tubes and fistules may one think that it is Haliclona (Reniera) tubifera (George & Wilson). (de Weerdt, Rützler & Smith, 1991) pink-lilac,purple-violet,massive,soft
Demospongiae Haplosclerida Chalinidae Chalinula zeae 4 Orange encrustation with a whitish, transparent skin; oscules and exhalant canals conform a star pattern in the surface. Could be easily confused with Clathria species (order Poecilosclerida, family Microcionidae) except that it has oxeas as main spicules instead of styles or subtylostyles. de Weerdt, 2000 orange,cream,encrusting,soft
Demospongiae Haplosclerida Chalinidae Haliclona (Halichoclona) magnifica 3 White crispy and crumbly masses with elevated fistules-oscular tubes. Available photos are from Belize and The Florida Cays (material from the Bahamas was examined but no photo was obtained). de Weerdt, Rützler & Smith, 1991 white,tube,massive,papillated,soft,crumbly
Demospongiae Haplosclerida Chalinidae Haliclona (Reniera) ?ruetzleri 1 Thin, sprawling, brown, soft branches. The ectosome has an unispicular tangential reticulation with additional erect spicules at the nodes. Choanosomal reticulation a bit more paucispicular. Spicules oxea 90-100 by 7.5-10 µm. Bahamas material lacks microscleres (two categories of sigma, toxa), hence the tentative identification pending further comparisons. de Weerdt, 2000 brown,branching,soft
Demospongiae Haplosclerida Chalinidae Haliclona (Reniera) tubifera 1 Soft, limp tubes arising from a base, often with sprawling branchelets. Can be confused with Chalinula molitba forma pseudomolitba (de Weerdt, Rützler & Smith, 1991). (George & Wilson, 1919) purple-violet,tube,soft
Demospongiae Haplosclerida Chalinidae Haliclona (Soestella) ?melana 3 The only individuals seen were black tangled thin branches partly buried in sand. Only black oscular fistules were visible in the sandy bottom of tidal lagoonal channels. Species originally described from Brazil. Spicules are oxea 150-210 µm. The ectosome is an unispicular tangential reticulation. The present material conforms to some of the variation described. Confirmation of species identity needs further material and comparisons. Muricy & Ribeiro, 1999 black,encrusting,papillated,soft
Demospongiae Haplosclerida Chalinidae Haliclona (Soestella) ?twincayensis 1 Whitish-creamy branches, rather soft and limp. Identification remains tentative until further material can be analyzed and comparisons can be made. It has slightly shorter spicules and it is softer than H. magnifica de Weerdt, Rützler & Smith, 1991 collected in the same area. De Weerdt et al., 1991 cream,branching,soft
Demospongiae Haplosclerida Niphatidae Amphimedon complanata 3 Black, thickly encrusting; skeleton as a reticulation of spongin fibers with a few spicules embedded in the ascending fibers. It can be confused with dark brown encrusting Amphimedon compressa. It has a reticulation of clear spongin fibers with a few spicules included. When touched, a subsuperficial pattern of vertical canals, wider than in A. compressa, is visible below the ectosome. (Duchassaing, 1850) black,encrusting,tough
Demospongiae Haplosclerida Niphatidae Amphimedon compressa 17 Thickly encrusting, massive, flabellated or branching, from dark brown to purple to bright red, sometimes dark orange; all apparently seem the same species, with a reticulation of spongin fibers filled with oxea spicules. Dark specimens may be confused with black Amphimedon complanata. Duchassaing & Michelotti, 1864 red,black,brown,cinnamon-tan,purple-violet,orange,branching,encrusting,fan,massive,tough,soft
Demospongiae Haplosclerida Niphatidae Amphimedon sp. gray-green branch-ridge 3 Gray-green erect branches, single or in groups, sometimes flattened, looking like and irregular ridge; oscules usually aligned; surface conulose, especilly towards the tips. Consistency softly spongy, difficult to tear. Spicules oxea with rather blunt ends. It is probably an undescribed species, although being from South Florida, there may be old names available for it. gray,green,branching,fan,lobate,soft
Demospongiae Haplosclerida Niphatidae Amphimedon viridis 4 Emerald or bluish green, crumbly masses with oscular mounds. Some specimens appear brownish. We consider A. erina (de Laubenfels, 1936) a junior synonym. Duchassaing & Michelotti, 1864 green,massive,encrusting,tube,crumbly
Demospongiae Haplosclerida Niphatidae Cribrochalina dura 3 Tan to brown with vinaceous tinges, tangled, repent, crooked and anastomosed, or straight erect branches, with blunt ends, often flattened; branches are somewhat elastic and their consistency is slightly compressible, not stiff or crumbly. Here we are following the description of Cribrochalina dura by Wiedenmayer (1977). What Wilson (1902) originally described has also been placed under genus Petrosia [but different from P. dura (Nardo, 1883) from The Mediterranean]. However, our material and Wilson (1902) and Wiedenmayer (1977) descriptions clearly show the skeletal architecture of Cribrochalina, made of a reticulation of ascending and interconnecting thick multispicular tracts cemented by spongin. Petrosia, in contrast, has a more isotropic and paucispicular reticulation. Hence the different consistencies, tough in Cribrochalina and brittle in Petrosia. Pharetronema zingiberis Sollas 1879 from Jamaica may be conspecific with this species, in which case its name should take priority. At Santa Marta, Colombia, there are branching individuals with rather flat and wide branches intermediate between C. dura and C. vasculum. As regular vase and fan-shaped individuals are absent there, Zea (1987) assigned them to C. vasculum. Whether they are C. vasculum or C. dura remains to be determined. (Wilson, 1902) cinnamon-tan,brown,purple-violet,branching,fan,tough
Demospongiae Haplosclerida Niphatidae Cribrochalina vasculum 9 Also called Cribrochalina infundibulum Schmidt, 1870. Smooth inverted cones, to ear-shaped or fan-shaped, sometimes torn or crooked by waves or predators; color tan to vinaceous. May be confused with Petrosia pellasarca (de Laubenfels, 1934), which is crumbly. Both have a small category of oxeas spicules concentrated at the surface reticulations. But the skeleton of Cribrochalina is made of thick multispicular tracts cemented by spongin, while the one of Petrosia is more paucispicular and loose, hence the different consistencies. Specimens from Santa Marta, Colombia, made of flattened wide branches were asigned to this species by Zea (1987), but their belonging to C. dura remains to be determined. (Lamarck, 1814) brown,cinnamon-tan,purple-violet,vase,branching,fan,tough
Demospongiae Haplosclerida Niphatidae Niphates alba 5 Erect cylinders, light purple or bluish. Surface smooth, slighlty shiny, sometimes with spinous conules on top of branches, with level or slightly elevated oscules often with a transparent iris (sometimes completely closed); interior rather cavernous. Its megasclere spicules (strongyles to strongyloxeas) have been compared with sympatric Bahamian Niphates erecta (mammiform oxea) and Niphates digitalis (hastate oxea). Repent specimens of N. ?caycedoi from Stirrups Cay, N Berry Island, Bahamas have the same spicule complement of co-existing erect N. alba, but they are slightly thinner. Also, the surface has a slightly different aspect (more hispid surface, less oscules). van Soest, 1980 blue,gray,pink-lilac,purple-violet,branching,encrusting,massive,bushy,lobate,tough
Demospongiae Haplosclerida Niphatidae Niphates amorpha 10 Originally called Niphates digitalis fo. amorpha. Zea (1987) and other authors synonymized it to Niphates erecta, on the grounds of several individuals having both broad encrusting and erect parts, and in not finding skeletal differences between fully encrusting and branching individuals from the same locality. However, in the Bahamas N. amorpha individuals always have pointed oxea spicules, while N. erecta (repent and erect branches) have their oxeas rather blunt, with mammiform tips, almost like strongyles. Thus, it appears that at least for the Bahamas, N. amorpha is a good species. It remains to be determined if it exists elsewhere and if it maintains skeletal differences with N. erecta. In the World Porifera Database it has been synonymized to Gelliodes sosuae Pulitzer-Finally, 1986, but this remains to be confirmed, as the latter has similar spiculation to Niphates recondita (Wiedenmayer, 1977). Wiedenmayer, 1977 gray,blue,pink-lilac,encrusting,branching,tough
Demospongiae Haplosclerida Niphatidae Niphates caribica 8 Originally placed under genus Cribrochalina, and later under Amphimedon (see Lehnert & van Soest, 1996). Also named Cribrochalina spiculosa (Dendy, 1890) (see van Soest, 1980). Gray to purplish, irregular fans, firmy compresible but difficult to cut. Skeleton of a reticulation of spicule tracts embedded in spongin, ending at the surface in a paratangential reticulation with spicule brushes. Spicules hastate oxea with slightly telescopic ends, 125-240 x 3.7-6.3 µm. It has the same spicules and similar skeletal arrangement of Niphates digitalis (Lamarck, 1815) and Niphates amorpha Wiedenmayer, 1977. In fact, on can envision a gradation from encrusting forms (N. amorpha) to irregular fans (N. caribica). Also, there are thin, partly closed inverted-cone specimens of N. digitalis which may be easily confused with N. caribica open fans. Perhaps the characteristically spined rim of N. digitalis, vs. a smoother one of N. caribica help telling them apart. The most recently published report (Lehnert & van Soest, 1996) and the World Porifera Database place this species under Amphimedon, but our observations of freshly collected specimens cleary show them as Niphates. (Pulitzer-Finali, 1986) gray,pink-lilac,vase,fan,tough
Demospongiae Haplosclerida Niphatidae Niphates digitalis 13 Thick vases to thin inverted cones, sometimes becoming fans. Light gray with pinkish or bluish hues; surface spiny, especially on the rim of the atrium. Spicules are pointed oxea. (Lamarck, 1814) blue,gray,pink-lilac,tube,vase,fan,tough
Demospongiae Haplosclerida Niphatidae Niphates erecta 7 Repent and erect branches, grayish, with pinkish or bluish tones, with scattered oscules; often riddled with zoanthids. Spicules in the Bahamas are blunt to mammiform oxea, sometimes almost strongyles. Thickly encrusting specimens photographed in the Bahamas correspond to what Wiedenmayer (1977) described as Niphates digitalis forma amorpha (synonym Gelliodes sosuae Pulitzer-Finali, 1986), considered as a valid species by van Soest (1980), vis. N. amorpha. In the Bahamas, coexisting specimens of these two forms are readily distinguished by N. amorpha having acute, pointed oxea. In other Caribbean areas, erect specimens have encrusting areas and there are wholly encrusting individuals in wave-swept shores, but spiculation (pointed oxea), color and general aspect coincide. This led to Zea (1987) to consider N. amorpha a junior synonym of N. erecta. The Bahamian encrusting forms are thus a separate valid species. It remains to be determined if it lives elsewhere in the Caribbean. It is distinguished from co-existing Niphates alba because the latter has a more smooth surface (patches of smooth skin over subdermal spaces), a more lavender color, and true strongyles as spicules. Duchassaing & Michelotti, 1864 blue,gray,pink-lilac,purple-violet,branching,encrusting,massive,tough
Demospongiae Haplosclerida Niphatidae Niphates recondita 3 Erect, single stem-branch, crown by smaller branchelets. Color gray. Consistency soft, not easily torn. Oscules scattered or aligned on the mayor branch. Spicules are rather blunt oxeas, and sigmas. A possible junior synonim for this species is Gelliodes sosuae Pulitzer-Finali (1986). (Wiledenmayer, 1977) gray,branching,soft
Demospongiae Haplosclerida Niphatidae Niphates sp.-orange thick encrustation 1 Pale orange thick encrustation with oscules on lobes. Consistency firmly compressible, elastic. Spicules are strongyles in a wide size range, embedded in a reticulation of spongin fibers. Assignation to Niphates is tentative. Another Haplosclerid with yellowish-orangish color and strongyle spicules, with which detailed comparisons are pending, is Niphates lutea Lehnert & van Soest, 1999. orange,encrusting,tough
Demospongiae Haplosclerida Petrosiidae Neopetrosia proxima 4 Previously placed under genus Xestospongia. Also known as Densa araminta de Laubenfels, 1934. Dark brown to tan (sometimes with greenish, purplish or pinkish tinges), thick, hard mats incrusted in the substratum, with scattered oscules. When cut and handled, it has a sticky texture. (Duchassaing & Michelotti, 1864) green,brown,encrusting,hard
Demospongiae Haplosclerida Petrosiidae Neopetrosia rosariensis 7 Previously placed under genus Xestospongia. In The western and northern Caribbean and the Bahamas, this species occurs as low, dark brown to black tubes, orten partly buried or with a basal mass widely filling crevices from which low tubes protrude. The surface may be riddled with holes. In the southern Caribbean it occurs as long, dark brown, smooth tubes, single or in groups. Spicules are oxea with ends a little rounded, 140-175 x 3.1-5 µm in the Bahamas. Crevice-filling specimens may be confused with Calyx podatypa (de Laubenfels, 1934) (pictured herein), which are brown, more crumbly, and have smaller and thinner spicules (92-122 x up to 2 µm. (Zea & Rützler, 1981) brown,black,tube,encrusting,massive,lobate,hard
Demospongiae Haplosclerida Petrosiidae Neopetrosia subtriangularis 11 Previously placed in genus in Xestospongia. Hard, repent to erect tan branches with oscules aligned on top. In the Bahamas the branches are thicker (3-5 cm) than in other Caribbean areas (1-2 cm). (Duchassaing, 1850) cinnamon-tan,branching,hard
Demospongiae Haplosclerida Petrosiidae Petrosia (Petrosia) pellasarca 4 Ear to fan-shaped, uniformly thick (ca. 1 cm), smooth, crumbly, reddish brown (pale in shaded parts). Can be confused with Cribrochalina vasculum (Lamarck, 1814), which is tougher and rather more elastic. Also, with Petrosia weinbergi, with which it shares a wide range size of oxea spicules, but lack the small toxa, is more crispy in consistency, and is greenish. (de Laubenfels, 1934) red,brown,cinnamon-tan,white,cream,fan,vase,crumbly
Demospongiae Haplosclerida Petrosiidae Petrosia (Petrosia) weinbergi 12 Dark green ears partly or totally encrusted onto the substratum; hard and brittle, with a smooth but crusty surface; no oscules usually apparent. Can be confused with Petrosia pellasarca, which is brown, grows more off the substratum and is crumbly and has small toxa spicules in addition to the oxea in a wide size range that both share. There are deep reef cave-wall fully encrusting specimens with scattered, slightly elevated oscules, usually creamy but sometimes green, a bit more crumbly, with the same spicule complement and skeletal architecture. We are placing these tentatively within this species. van Soest, 1980 green,brown,cream,gray,encrusting,fan,massive,lobate,hard,crumbly
Demospongiae Haplosclerida Petrosiidae Petrosia (Strongylophora) davilai 1 Dark brown, hard and thick encrustation with sprawling branching extensions. Originally described under genus Strongylophora, which now is considered a subgenus of Petrosia. Hence, the full name is Petrosia (Strongylophora) davilai. The megasclere spicules are small to large strongyles, and microscleres are microxea. There are also thin raphide like spicules which may be developmental stages of strongyles. It can be confused in the field with Petrosia weinbergi van Soest, 1980, which forms green to cream hard encrustations. (Alcolado, 1979) brown,branching,encrusting,hard
Demospongiae Haplosclerida Petrosiidae Petrosia (Strongylophora) sp.-crumbly round volcano 1 A dark green-brown, crumbly, rounded volcano. Identification is tentative. It has strongyle spicules in variuos sizes, about 120 to 200 micrometers, which places it into Petrosia (Strongylophora). Ectosomal skeleton is a tangential irregular reticulation of single spicules. Internal skeleton as a ladder-like irregular unispicular reticulation. Spicules appear to be joined by spongin at the nodes; meshes are irregular because they are made up of spicules of different sizes. Spicules appear similar to Neopetrosia dominicana (Pulitzer-Finali, 1986) (originally placed under Xestospongia; not represented in this work; it has not been re-described after the original) but the external shape, the consistency and the skeleton seem to be different. We compared it to Petrosia (Strongylophora) davilai (Alcolado & Gotera, 1986), but the structure of the skeleton is different (reticulation of ascending and interconnecting multispicular tracts). green,brown,vase,crumbly
Demospongiae Haplosclerida Petrosiidae Xestospongia deweerdtae 1 Pinkish to orange thick encrustations with volcano-shaped oscules. Consistency firmy compressible, crumbly. Spicules are perfect strongyles 325-400 x 10-20 µm arranged in the ectosome as a tangential unispicular reticulation, and in the choanosome as multispicular reticulation. Lehnert & van Soest, 1999 pink-lilac,orange,tube,massive,tough
Demospongiae Haplosclerida Petrosiidae Xestospongia muta 16 Large barrels, golden to reddish brown. Surface rather smooth or with numerous irregular, finger-shaped, pyramidal or lamellated projections. Top usually thin-walled, usually with projections. Interior of atria rough, as a bubble-like pattern. Also knows as X. rampa (de Laubenfels, 1934). (Schmidt, 1870) yellow,brown,pink-lilac,cream,cinnamon-tan,tube,vase,crumbly,hard
Demospongiae Haplosclerida Petrosiidae Xestospongia sp.-thin pink sheet over Plakortis 5 Thin lavender-pink, soft crust, found living over the sponge Plakortis halichondroides (Wilson, 1902). Oscules of P. halichondroides are free of Xestospongia sp. tissue; there are also numerous holes on the surface that may serve as inhalant areas for the lower sponge. Spicules are strongyles 170-260 x 2.5-6.3 µm, arranged in an unispicular isotropic reticulation. We initially thought it was X. deweerdtae Lehnert & van Soest, 1999 (also pictured here), but when we found the free living sponge it turned out to be different, with larger spicules. It should be compared to Haliclona strongylophora Lehnert & van Soest, 1996 (not included herein). pink-lilac,encrusting,soft,crumbly
Demospongiae Haplosclerida Petrosiidae Xestospongia sp.-whitish thick encrustation 1 White to greenish, tough but crumbly encrustations with large oscula with transparent collars. Megasclere spicules are hastate oxea 350-450 x 7-10 µm arranged in an isotropic unispicular reticulation (both ectosomal and choanosomal, although the latter can be paucispicular). Owing to its large spicule size, it may fit into genus Xestospongia. However, it needs to be compared to Haliclona megasclera Lehnert & vanb Soest, 1996, which also has large oxea spicules. Also needs to be compared to Xestospongia arenosa van Soest & de Weerdt, 2001, which is also withish but usually lives buried in sediments. white,encrusting,crumbly
Demospongiae Haplosclerida Phloeodictyidae Aka brevitubulata 4 Originally described under genus Siphonodictyon. Excavating sponge; tiny yellow papillae. Mucus is exudated when handled. (Pang, 1973) yellow,papillated,soft,crumbly
Demospongiae Haplosclerida Phloeodictyidae Aka coralliphaga 16 Originally described under genus Siphonodictyon. Excavating, with epilithic bright yellow large papillae; excavating mass soft, fills the entire cavities. It may encrust all the excavated substratum becoming massive. Exudes abundant mucus when handled. (Rützler, 1971) yellow,encrusting,tube,papillated,massive,tough,crumbly
Demospongiae Haplosclerida Phloeodictyidae Aka siphona 2 Placed previously under genus Siphonodictyon. Excavating and agglutinating rubble buried under sandy substratum, with epilithic brown papillae. Releases mucus when handled. (de Laubenfels, 1949) brown,papillated,tube,tough
Demospongiae Haplosclerida Phloeodictyidae Aka xamaycaensis 2 Originally described under genus Siphonodictyon. Excavating with epilithic white papillae. Exudes mucus when handled. (Pulitzer-Finali, 1986) white,papillated,tough
Demospongiae Haplosclerida Phloeodictyidae Calyx podatypa 2 This name was mistakenly used for Svenzea zeai, but it is a distinct species. Creeping cylinders and cavity-filling masses or crusts under corals and rubble in shallow water. Surface often pierced by holes. Parts of the same sponge hard, others crumbly. Bahamas material has as spicules thin oxea 92-122 x up to 2 µm arranged in the surface in a tangential unispicular reticulation, more paucispicular in the interior. Cavity filling specimens of Neopetrosia rosariensis (Zea & Rützler, 1981) may be confused with this species because they also have fields of holes in the surface. The latter are darker, almost black, hard throughout the body, often with elevated tubular oscules and thin branchelets, and have slightly larger and thicker oxeote spicules (130-175 x 3-5 µm for the Bahamas material), with points often a bit blunt or stair-stepped. (de Laubenfels, 1934) brown,encrusting,crumbly
Demospongiae Haplosclerida Phloeodictyidae Oceanapia bartschi 8 From small, cavity filling, to medium-size globular, to large barrel-shaped; it is characterized by having a central highly collared and transparent oscule, and erect fistules densely scattered throughout the surface. Tissue color of oscule and fistules is brown. The remaining surface is heavily fouled with crustose, filamentous and flesy algae and sometimes other sessile invertebrates. (de Laubenfels, 1934) black,brown,spherical,massive,papillated,tough,crumbly
Demospongiae Homosclerophorida Plakinidae Oscarella sp.-cream veil 3 Extremely soft sheets, cream in color, semitransparent, inhabiting deep reef cave walls and overhangs. The sponge is only partly attached to the substratum, so that the edges are free. It is extremely difficult to collect as it virtually disintegrates upon handling. No spicules. It has also been pictured in Colin (1978) Caribbean reef invertebrate guide as Halisarca sp. cream,encrusting,fan,soft
Demospongiae Homosclerophorida Plakinidae Plakina jamaicensis 6 Slightly tough to softer, creamy-orangy encrustations growing on deep reef overhangs, with characteristic brain-like convolutions and scattered oscules on skin lobes. Spicules are diods and triods with a few spines, calthrops and small branched lophocalthrops (lophotriaenes). Softer specimens have less spicules than tougher ones, often just a few. Should be compared to Plakina versatilis (Schmidt, 1880) (originally described under Corcitium, see Rützler et l., 2009). Lehnert & van Soest, 1998 cream,orange,cinnamon-tan,encrusting,massive,tough,soft
Demospongiae Homosclerophorida Plakinidae Plakinastrella onkodes 2 Cream-gray to yellow lobes with a top oscule, to high, thick-walled tubes. It may also be cushion-shaped with scattered, slightly elevated oscules. Consistency tough. There is geographic variation in megasclere spicule calthrops size, being larger and stouter in the Southern Caribbean. (Uliczka, 1929) cream,gray,yellow,tube,lobate,tough
Demospongiae Homosclerophorida Plakinidae Plakortis angulospiculatus 16 Dark brown to dark and light green to gray, soft cushions. Compared to the other dark (brown to black) species of the genus in the Caribbean [Plakortis halichondroides (Wilson, 1902)], it is thinner, it has smaller oscules and smaller spicules (up to about 120 µm). Specimens without spicules (regardless of color) are included as a separate species (Plakortis sp.-no spicules) pending further work with other tools. Some of our specimens of P. angulospiculatus had relatively few spicules. It may be that they all belong to one or several species (perhaps distinguished by predominant color) in which spicule contents vary ecologycally, from many to none. Perhaps the variability of the color, pungent smell and consistency implies a complex of several species which may include Plakortis zygompha (de Laubenfels, 1934), P. insularis Moraes & Muricy, 2003 and P. microrhabdifera Moraes & Muricy, 2003. We have not yet made a detailed analysis of spicule morphology and size and skeletal arrangement. (Carter, 1882) green,brown,black,encrusting,massive,soft
Demospongiae Homosclerophorida Plakinidae Plakortis halichondrioides-dark morphotype 15 Dark brown to black (sometimes dark green), thick and large, soft cushions with a few, slightly elevated, large oscules. Consistency is soft but grainy. Underwater strobe brings lighter brown color to some photos. A dark ink is exuded when handled and fixed, which strongly stains the fixative. Compared to other Caribbean species of the genus it is less soft, and has larger spicules, of a rather uniform size (usually >150 µm). In some areas there are light brown (cinnamon-tan) specimens with the same spicule shape and size that apparently do not produce the dark exudate, but more work is needed to find if they belong to a different species. Herein we have placed them as separate morphotypes of P. halichondroides. We have placed any dark Plakortis with larger spicules exceeding 150 µm in lenght within P. halichondroides, in contradiction to Diaz & van Soest (1984) and Moraes & Muricy (2003) who report some P. angulospiculatus with greater spicule sizes. (Wilson, 1902) green,black,brown,orange,cinnamon-tan,massive,encrusting,tough,soft,crumbly
Demospongiae Homosclerophorida Plakinidae Plakortis halichondroides-light brown morphotype 9 Light reddish (tan), thick and large, soft cushions with a few, slightly elevated, large oscules. Interior color is slightly lighter. Consistency is soft but grainy. In contrast to the dark brown morphotype of this species, it does not exude a dark ink when handled and fixed. It has the same larger spicules (usually >150 µm) of the dark morphotype, but we have not carried out detailed comparisons to see if they differ in size or arrangement. It remains to be seen whether the dark and light morphotypes are different species. (Wilson, 1902) orange,cinnamon-tan,encrusting,massive,tough,soft
Demospongiae Homosclerophorida Plakinidae Plakortis sp.-no spicules 9 Very soft, gray black, light brown or parrot green encrustations with scattered oscules; internal color lighter. Often the tissue dissintegrates upon handling. No spicules. It has the look of a typical sponge of the genus Plakortis [(especially Plakortis angulospiculatus (Carter, 1882)] except by the lack of spicules. Genus Pseudocorticium was recently erected to hold those species of the family Plakinidae without spicules (Boury-Esnault et al., 1995), but its external appearance is completely different to that of Plakortis. Further work with tools other than external morphology and size of spicules is needed. We are puzzled by the variation in color and by the fact that there are specimens of P. angulospiculatus with a few spicules, perhaps indicating that spicule contents vary ecologically. brown,gray,green,black,cinnamon-tan,encrusting,massive,soft
Demospongiae Incertae sedis Incertae sedis Unidentified Soft on green filamentous algae 2 Soft, thick, light green mas with elevated transparent oscules. Abundant, green filamentous algae traverse the tissue. There are sparse spongin tracts with debris and spicules. Maybe a species of Dysidea? green,massive,bushy,soft
Demospongiae Incertae sedis Incertae sedis Unidentified Yellow fistules 3 Material was lost. Fresh section showed algal tissue. Could be Axinyssa flaveolivescens Hofman & Kielman, 1992, an excavating and burying sponge which turns purple when exposed to air and often does not have spicules (and may be a Suberea). yellow,papillated,tough
Demospongiae Lithistida Desmanthidae Desmanthus incrustans 2 Thinly encrusting, dark orange, as a hard crust with hispid surface, owing respectively to its Lithisthid skeleton of basal desmas (articulated reticulation of silicon spicules) and erect protruding spicules (styles). Looks geen when deep underwater. (Topsent, 1899) green,orange,encrusting,hard
Demospongiae Poecilosclerida Chondropsidae Batzella rubra 5 Originally placed under genus Keratilum. Soft cushions with wide oscules on elevations. Orange to salmon skin; interior bright orange. Creamy, lighter colored stripes radiate from an equally lighter oscular rim. Spicules are straight strongyles to strongyloxeas, with one end slightly thicker, almost like a subtylostyle. This is most likely the same as Batzella rosea van Soest, 1984. (Alcolado, 1984) red,orange,encrusting,massive,soft
Demospongiae Poecilosclerida Chondropsidae Batzella sp. creamy salmon 6 Thick encrustations, or masses, with irregular lobes. Skin color creamy, over an orange internal tissue, producing an overal withish salmon color. Consistency soft. Spicules are straight strongyles with one of the sides slightly engrossed and the other slighlty pointed, making them look like subtylostyles. Spicules are equal in shape to co-existing Batzella rubra, but shorter in length and slightly stouter. Needs to be compared to Batzella rosea van Soest, 1984. orange,cream,pink-lilac,tube,massive,lobate,soft
Demospongiae Poecilosclerida Chondropsidae Strongylacidon griseum 5 Irregular masses to bushes, with protrusions tending to form or forming tubes with oscules terminated in transparent collars. Often growing on gorgonians. Color light gray to light purple or pink. The skeleton is reinforced by calcareous alga of the type Jania, with megasclere spicules tornotes and microsclere spicules sigmas and chelae. Also known as Strongylacidon osburnensis (George & Wilson, 1929). (Schmidt, 1870) gray,pink-lilac,tube,massive,bushy,soft
Demospongiae Poecilosclerida Coelosphaeridae Lissodendoryx isodictyalis 8 Light greenish, bluish to grayish, soft crumbly masses with oscular lobes or tubes growing on mangrove roots or on the bottom of lagoons or tidal channels. L. isodictyalis and L. carolinensis Wilson, 1911 are similar in external shape and spicule complement and co-occur in some localities of the northern Atlantic. The latter has two instead on one size clase of microsclere spicules sigmas and chelae. Of those specimens in which we examined microscopically they had a single size class of these spicules conforming to L. isodictyalis. (Carter, 1882) blue,green,gray,massive,tube,crumbly,soft
Demospongiae Poecilosclerida Coelosphaeridae Lissodendoryx sigmata 1 Orange-yellow fistules arising from a body buried in sand. (de Laubenfels, 1949) orange-yellow,encrusting,papillated,soft
Demospongiae Poecilosclerida Crambeidae Monanchora arbuscula 6 Also known as Monanchora barbadensis Hechtel, 1969 and M. unguifera (de Laubenfels, 1953). Bright scarlet encrustations to thick or thin bushes. Encrusting specimens with oscules scattered, marked by a white collar and a star pattern of exhalant canals, although these sometimes are not discernible. Erect specimens with many surface knobs or lamellae and oscules on top of tube-like elevations; a lightly colored vein pattern can or cannot be evident. It stains the fingers when handled. Often specimens lack one or more categories of microsclere spicules, making identification problematic. (Duchassaing & Michelotti) red,orange,massive,encrusting,bushy,tough,soft
Demospongiae Poecilosclerida Desmacellidae Biemna caribea 3 Also known from The Caribbean as Biemna tubulata Dendy, 1905 (but is an Indian Ocean name). Yellow encrustations or oscular masses or sprawling tubules and branches. It grows on mangrove stilt roots or erect substrata on lagoonal environments. Pulitzer-Finali, 1986 yellow,branching,tube,massive,lobate,encrusting,soft
Demospongiae Poecilosclerida Desmacellidae Biemna cribaria 4 Light brown rather circular sponge that lives partially buried in sediments; surface with irregular processes, and elevated oscular areas with shallow internal exhalant canals. It is reminiscent of dirty old cow dung. Also known as Biemna oxeata van Soest & Stentoft, 1988. Alcolado & Gotera, 1986 brown,massive,crumbly
Demospongiae Poecilosclerida Desmacellidae Biemna sp.-yellow tough cushions 3 Small tough but crumbly and mucosy cushions with a yellow punctiform surface. Subsuperficial color is dark purple, some specimens thus appearing darker, especially after collecting. Different from Biemna caribea Pulitzer-Finali, 1986 and from B. cribaria (Alcolado & Gotera, 1986). Spicules are styles, 2-3 categories of sigmas, 2 categories of microxea, and raphides. It needs to be compared to Biemna trisigmata Mothes & Campos, 2004, from North Brazil, with which shares many characters. orange-yellow,brown,yellow,purple-violet,massive,tough,crumbly
Demospongiae Poecilosclerida Desmacellidae Neofibularia nolitangere 9 "Touch-me-not sponge." In the Bahamas it occurs as thick encrustation to tall masses with scattered wide and deep atria, maroon to orange-brown; oscules inside atria are directed diagonally upwards. In other Caribbean areas it consists of large vases/tubes, single or in groups, while in the Bahama it appears as if these vases had laterally fused. It produces strong itching when handled. (Duchassaing & Michelotti, 1864) red,brown,orange,cinnamon-tan,vase,massive,crumbly
Demospongiae Poecilosclerida Desmacididae Desmapsamma anchorata 5 Also known as Holopsamma helwigi de Laubenfels, 1936. Soft pinkish masses with or without branches; oscules scattered and usually elevated on volcano-like mounds; skin is creamy-white and contrasts with the strong orange of the interior tissue. When handled it releases abundant mucus. Bahamas populations do not have microsclere spicules. Spicules of Florida photos were not examined. (Carter, 1882) pink-lilac,orange,cream,branching,lobate,tube,soft
Demospongiae Poecilosclerida Hymedesmiidae Phorbas amaranthus 13 Red to purple, thin encrustations to thick cushions. It stains the fingers when handled. Surface with fields of round, slightly elevated areas which are fields of inhalant pore sieves. Oscules scatteres, slightly elevated or in volcano-like mounds. Florida populations grow upright, masive to lobate. Duchassaing & Michelotti, 1864 red,purple-violet,white,encrusting,massive,lobate,soft
Demospongiae Poecilosclerida Iotrochotidae Iotrochota arenosa 5 Thickly encrusting, irregular outline, deep purple to black, but somewhat transparent, usually partly buried on sediments; it produces abundant mucus which stains the fingers. Material from the Bahamas does not have birotule microsclere spicules, and megaslclere spicules are thin, curved to straight strongyles, often with a slight swelling at one or both ends. The lack of style spicules and birotules in Bahamian material, parallel what is found in local populations of Iotrochota birolulata (Higgin, 1877), which Rützler et al. (2007) named I. atra (Whitfield, 1901). A specimen from the Florida Keys had the usual megasclere spicule complement of the species (curved styles and strongyles, some oxeote; straight strongyles), but also lacked birotula microsclere spicules. This species is thicker than Artemisina melana van Soest, 1984, with it which may be confused in the field. Encrusting reef deep wall specimens with a brightly colored green skin, pictured in this catalogue, were assigned tentatively to I. birotulata, pending detailed examination of the spicules. Rützler, Maldonado, Piantoni & Riesgo, 2007 black,purple-violet,encrusting,soft,tough
Demospongiae Poecilosclerida Iotrochotidae Iotrochota birotulata 19 Also known from the Bahamas as Iotrochota atra Rützler, Maldonado, Piantoni and Riesgo, 2007. Deep purple to black, repent to erect, single or divided branches. Skin often with parrot green tinges; upon manipulation, the skin retracts; it stains the fingers deep purple, releasing mucus. Oscules aligned usually on top of branches, may be slightly elevated. Sometimes found as clusters of tubes with top oscules. Fully encrusting deep reef wall specimens with vividly colored skin are tentatively assigned to this species instead of to I. arenosa in lieu of their color and lack of sand accumulation characteristic of the latter; also, because in mid-depth reef caves branching specimens may have wide encrusting bases; further detailed comparisons of spicules are pending. Rützler et al. (2007) decided that the material from The Bahamas, lacking birotulate microsclere spicules and style megasclere spicules, should be a different species which they named I. atra (Whitfield, 1901). But since its encrusting counterpart, I. arenosa, also lack birotules and styles in the Bahamas, we feel it to be the result of a regional condition (of low silicon content?) that affects both species. (Higgin, 1877) green,black,yellow,branching,encrusting,tube,bushy,tough,soft
Demospongiae Poecilosclerida Merliidae Merlia normani 1 Orange, thin and hard encrustation on the underside of laminar corals or on cave walls. Characteristic clavadisc spicules. This species is a sclerosponge but may be devoid of basal massive calcareous skeleton (form previously known as Merlia deficiens Vacelet, 1980, see van Soest, 1984b). Our material apparently does not have a basal skeleton but we did not check for it. Original name from Arch. Madeira, W. Africa, but seems to be a widespread species from the Indian Ocean, The Mediterranean, E. and W. Atlantic. Kirkpatrick, 1908 orange,encrusting,soft
Demospongiae Poecilosclerida Microcionidae Artemisina melana 5 Thin, soft black sheet; purple inside; stains the fingers purple. Could be confused with Iotrochota arenosa, which is always thicker and releases more mucus. It is also known as Artemisina nigra sensu Alcolado & Gotera, 1986. van Soest, 1984 black,encrusting,soft
Demospongiae Poecilosclerida Microcionidae Clathria (Clathria) faviformis 8 Orange-yellow irregular masses with rugose surface, often growing among algae in vertical cliffs. It may be confused with massive or cavity-filling specimens of Agelas citrina Alcolado, 1987. It is more crumbly than A. citrina. Lehnert & van Soest, 1996 orange,orange-yellow,spherical,massive,soft,crumbly
Demospongiae Poecilosclerida Microcionidae Clathria (Microciona calla 5 Red, thick encrustation on gorgonian branches. Surface looks pierced by numerous, contiguous perforations. Transparent skin outlines oscules and exhalant canals. (de Laubenfels, 1934) orange,red,encrusting,soft
Demospongiae Poecilosclerida Microcionidae Clathria (Microciona) bulbotoxa 1 Thinly encrusting bright red orange, with slighlty evident exhalant canals in a star pattern. The spiculation consists of stout, curved tylostyles 350-480 x 10-15 µm, straight subtylostyles 275-450 µm, toxa bulging towards the center (hence the name bulbotoxa) 45-180 µm, and twisted isochelae 12-15 µm. It is difficult to distinguish it in the field from other bright orange encrusting sponges such as Clathria spinosa Wilson, 1902 or Timea ?micraster (Lehnert & Heimler, 2001). van Soest, 1984 red,orange,encrusting,soft
Demospongiae Poecilosclerida Microcionidae Clathria (Microciona) echinata 1 Originally placed under genus Axociella. Also known as Clathria (Microciona) simpsoni van Soest, 1984. Bright red vases, single or in groups, with the outer surface very spiny. May be confused with Mycale laxissima (Duchassaing & Michelotti, 1864), but the latter is usually dark purple, is much more mucous, and has a different spicule complement. (Alcolado, 1984) orange,vase,tough
Demospongiae Poecilosclerida Microcionidae Clathria (Microciona) spinosa 8 Bright orange encrustations with smooth to spiny surface. Frequently found under platy corals, with their oscules showing up at the coral plate edge, in a way similar to Mycale laevis (Carter, 1882). Wilson, 1902 red,orange,encrusting,soft
Demospongiae Poecilosclerida Microcionidae Clathria (Thalysias) ?minuta 1 Originally described under he genus Rhaphidophlus, as R. minutus. Thinly encrusting, orange encrustations, with a rather transparent but similarly colored skin that conform a vein pattern of the exhalant canal system that opens into oscules. Spicules are styles with slightly mucronated heads, subtylostyles in two categories, chelae and small toxa. Originally described as red. Identity pending thorough comparison with other thinly encrusting Clathria such as C. venosa (Alcolado, 1984) and C. hymedesmioides Van Soest, 1984. For Bahamian waters, C. ?venosa and C. ?minuta have similar spiculation. For co-existing specimens, we have assigned to C. ?venosa those with a whitish transparent skin over a red tissue, and to C. ?minuta those with the skin of the same color of the internal tissue (orange in this case). (van Soest, 1984) orange,encrusting,soft
Demospongiae Poecilosclerida Microcionidae Clathria (Thalysias) ?schoenus 7 Placed also under genera Aulospongus, Microciona, Rhaphidophlus and Thalysias. Also known as Clathria raraechelae (van Soest, 1984). Thin encrustations to tangled branches with transparent skin and red and yellow interior (often speckled). Exhalant canals in a star pattern centering in the oscules are evident. Could be confused with Clathria venosa (Alcolado, 1984)(=Microciona microchela Hechtel, 1965), but the latter has a white pinkish skin with deep orange interior and the star pattern of canals is much larger. They have also differences in spiculation, the most important being that styles have a smooth head in C. schoenus and a rugose one in C. venosa. The identification is tentative for the Bahamas material because spicule development there is low and not all spicules are present. Southern Caribbean populations have stouter spicules and there is a small category of chelae (=microchela). (de Laubenfels, 1936) red,white,yellow,orange,brown,cream,cinnamon-tan,orange-yellow,encrusting,branching,soft
Demospongiae Poecilosclerida Microcionidae Clathria (Thalysias) ?venosa 6 Also placed under genera Microciona, Thalysias and Rhaphidophlus. Also known as Microciona microchela Hechtel, 1965, Clathria hechteli Hooper, 1996 and Rhaphidophlus oxeotus van Soest, 1984; erroneously synonymyzed to Clathria schoenus (de Laubenfels, 1936). Encrustations with a transparent to whitish/pinkish dermis and a dull red interior. The dermis outlines a wide star pattern of exhalant canals radiating from the oscules. Spicules are styles with slightly mucronated heads, subtylostyles in two categories, chelae and small toxa. The identification for The Bahamas material is tentative because not all spicule types or C. venosa are present; southern Caribbeaen populations have a small category of chela (microchela); also missing in the Bahamas are intermediate-size toxa, and the long, oxeote toxa. The whitish color of the dermis and its conspicuous vein pattern of the surface plus structural style spicules with mucronated heads (in addition to chelae and toxa) may distinguish it from other Clathria species. But it could also belong to Clathria minuta van Soest, 1984, also pictured in this catalogue. For co-existing specimens, we have assigned to C. ?venosa those with a whitish transparent skin over a red tissue, and to C. ?minuta those with the skin of the same color of the internal tissue (orange in this case). (Alcolado, 1984) red,white,cream,pink-lilac,encrusting,soft
Demospongiae Poecilosclerida Microcionidae Clathria (Thalysias) virgultosa 8 Previously known as Clathria juniperina (Lamarck, 1814). Red, erect to repent branches, single or ramified; scattered oscules; surface nodulose. There are thickly encrusting specimens in high energy environments (shallow wave-exposed or in tidal currents). (Lamarck, 1814) red,orange,white,branching,encrusting,tough
Demospongiae Poecilosclerida Microcionidae Clathrina ?panis 2 Anastomosed lemon yellow tubes forming cushions from which a few oscules raise. Tubes appear clearly separated of each other in thick sections, lined tangentially by spicules. Cryptic species from mangrove roots and underside of caves and corals in shallow water. C. panis is the only Caribbean species (Florida) redescribed by Klautau and Valentine (2003), with tri and tetractines. In The Bahamas, there is another cryptic yellow calcareous sponge, in which the tubes are more compact, forming cushions with oscules, having only triactines (see Clathrina? sp. 1). We have photographed but not collected another yellow calcareous sponge (included hereis as Clathrina? sp. 2). (Haeckel, 1872) yellow,encrusting,massive,soft
Demospongiae Poecilosclerida Microcionidae Pandaros acanthifolium 3 Dark red to purple bushes, crown with oscular tubes or lobes; surface very irregular and contorted. Stains the fingers when handled. Duchassaing & Michelotti, 1864 purple-violet,branching,tube,bushy,tough,soft
Demospongiae Poecilosclerida Mycalidae Mycale laevis 6 Bright orange yellow crumbly masses filling crevices or growing below laminar corals; oscules and skin tend to be transparent. Bahamas specimens have as megasclere spicules strongyles instead of styles-subtylostyles of other areas (data from Loh et al., 2010). (Carter, 1882) yellow,orange,orange-yellow,encrusting,crumbly,tough
Demospongiae Poecilosclerida Mycalidae Mycale laxissima 11 Dark red, brown to purple or violet barrels-thick tubes, single or in groups, with a transparent collar lining the oscules/atria. Surface is spinuous owing to arising fibers. Its mucosy tissue falls off when handled, staining the fingers. It may also be encrusting or fill cavities in crevices. It may be confused with Clathria spinosa, but the latter is stiffer and has a much spinuous surface. The lack of the microsclere spicule complement in specimens from certain areas generated many synonyms (see World Porifera Database; van Soest et al., 2009). (Duchassaing & Michelotti, 1864) red,brown,purple-violet,orange,encrusting,tube,vase,massive,lobate,tough,soft
Demospongiae Poecilosclerida Mycalidae Mycale microsigmatosa 7 Thick encrustations to repent branches with scattered membranous oscules. Surface smooth or with spined elevations (possibly made up by worm tubes or hydroid stalks). Skin transparent and thick; the orange to red color looks like curd beneath the dermis. Material from the Bahamas did not have microsclere spicules, but the identification was made from the skeletal arrangement, texture and color. Florida material only have part of the microsclere spicule complement, and variable among specimens. (Arndt, 1927) red,orange,orange-yellow,bushy,branching,encrusting,massive,soft,crumbly
Demospongiae Poecilosclerida Raspailiidae Ectyoplasia ferox 11 Orange to orange-yellow thick encrustations with oscules on volcano-like elevations with wide rims; surface smooth, although it may be uneven. In larger specimens volcanos can grow as tubes. Cave or reef-wall specimens can be thinner with less elevated oscules, which can have a transparent collar. Tidal channel specimens can be rather irregular, lobed, with furrows and grooves. Ectyoplasia ferox explicata described by Wiedenmayer (1977) from The Bahamas is Dragmacidon explicata, a valid species, different from this one. (Duchassaing & Michelotti, 1864) orange,yellow,cinnamon-tan,orange-yellow,encrusting,massive,tube,lobate,crumbly
Demospongiae Poecilosclerida Tedaniidae Tedania ignis 7 Bright orange, irregular masses with oscules located in lower mounds. The allocation of specimens to either T. ignis or T. klausi Wulff, 2006 was made after the photos were taken, so identification here is tentative. T. klausi has tall oscular chimneys with vertical inflated canals forming stripes. Very small, crack-filling papillated individuals growing in the open reef are herein arbitrarily refered to T. ignis. (Duchassaing & Michelotti, 1864) red,orange,blue,massive,papillated,crumbly,soft
Demospongiae Poecilosclerida Tedaniidae Tedania klausi 2 Bright orange to vermillion masses with upright oscular chimneys which have vertical stripes made of inflated canals. The allocation of specimens to either T. klausi or T. ignis (Duchassaing & Michelotti, 1864) was made after the photos were taken, so identification here is tentative. T. ignis does not have the tall oscular chimneys; oscules lie on lower cones or flush to the surface. Wulff, 2006 orange,massive,soft,crumbly
Demospongiae Spirophorida Tetillidae Cinachyrella apion 4 Spherical sponges living on lagoon sediments, relatively small (those seen were max 3-4 cm in diameter), heavily fouled by algae and covered by silt, which hide the internal yellow colors. A few round apertures (oscule or pore fields) irregularly scattered. It is distinguished from the other Cinachyrella species by having rhaphide spicules (thin hair-like). (Uliczka, 1929) yellow,spherical,tough
Demospongiae Spirophorida Tetillidae Cinachyrella kuekenthali 8 Previously placed under Cinachyra. Orange-yellow spheres with fouled surface. Surface hispid with erect spicules which may stick into diver's fingers and gloves. Circular depresions are pore areas. Small individuals have a top oscule and equatorially placed pore areas. Larger specimens have oscules grouped in an upper depression and pore areas more randomly scattered throughout the surface. Cinachyrella alloclada (Uliczka, 1929) is another common species of this genus, but we were unable to find it or perhaps to distinguish it within our material. C. kuekenthali is distinguished mainly by having a category of small, crenulated oxea spicules. (Uliczka, 1929) yellow,orange-yellow,cream,spherical,tough,soft
Demospongiae Verongida Aplysinellidae Suberea sp. (soft Aplysina lacunosa) 9 It has probably being missidentified as Aplysina lacunosa (Pallas, 1766), which is a different species. Single or groups of globular tubes with a somewhat convoluted and heavily fouled surface. Oscules on top of lobes and tubes have a fleshy low collar; the bottom of the atrium has a concave membrane heavily perforated. It belongs to genus Suberea by its skeleton of dendritic, pithed fibers. A search for an existing name in the old literature is needed before proposing a new one. yellow,green,tube,spherical,massive,lobate,tough,soft
Demospongiae Verongida Aplysinidae Aiolochroia crassa 23 Previously placed under genus Pseudoceratina. Multicolor and multishape sponge, probably meaning there may be several species. The most usual morphotypes consist of a basal mass (could be ridged) with oscular lobes or long tubes, with bluish, purplish or pinkish tones; the surface is knobbed, often in a regular pattern. There is a distinct spherical yellow morphotype with collared oscules flush to the surface, which here is described as a separate form. (Hyatt, 1875) yellow,orange,blue,purple-violet,cinnamon-tan,gray,massive,tube,vase,fan,spherical,lobate,tough
Demospongiae Verongida Aplysinidae Aiolochroia crassa yellow spherical morphotype 4 Yellow spherical masses with scattered collared non-elevated oscules and low nodules (tops of ascending skeletal fibers). Sometimes there are large apical atria, conforming a vase. It status as a separate species needs to be evaluated. (Hyatt, 1875) yellow,vase,spherical,tough
Demospongiae Verongida Aplysinidae Aplysina archeri 20 Long tubes, single or in groups, usually having an iridiscent lavender color, but co-occurring specimens may be brownish or greenish tan. (Higgin, 1875) green,brown,pink-lilac,purple-violet,gray,cinnamon-tan,branching,tube,tough
Demospongiae Verongida Aplysinidae Aplysina bathyphila 9 Tan to cream stalked, solid cups. This is the only stalked aplysinid in The Caribbean. It inhabits the deep reef slopes. Pale specimens in caves and crevices. Variation in consistency and color may imply the existence of more than one species. Maldonado & Young, 1998 yellow,brown,cream,cinnamon-tan,tube,vase,tough,soft
Demospongiae Verongida Aplysinidae Aplysina cauliformis-brown erect morphotype 13 There are two clearly separable species, both ramose, within the name Aplysina cauliformis. This morphotype is erect, thick, brownish (sometimes greenish), in contrast to the thinner, lilac, usually creeping one. A valid name should be searched for in the old literature and collections. (Carter, 1882) gray,brown,pink-lilac,cream,cinnamon-tan,purple-violet,green,branching,tough
Demospongiae Verongida Aplysinidae Aplysina cauliformis-lilac creeping morphotype 14 There are two clearly separable species, both ramose, within the name Aplysina cauliformis. This morphotype is lilac, thin, creeping, in contrast to the more cinnamon/brownish/cream/greenish, generally thicker, erect form. A valid name for this form should be searched for in the old literature and collections. (Carter, 1882) pink-lilac,cinnamon-tan,branching,tough
Demospongiae Verongida Aplysinidae Aplysina fistularis 20 Yellow tubes, smooth or with little branchelets. In The Bahamas it is difficult to decide when a small specimen with branchelets is A. fistularis or A. insularis (Duchassaing & Michelotti, 1864). Aggregated tubes were called forma aggregata by Wiedenmayer (1977). (Pallas, 1766) yellow,tube,tough
Demospongiae Verongida Aplysinidae Aplysina fulva 20 Mustard yellow groups of branches with scattered oscules flush to the surface or sometimes over mounds, especially at the base. In the latter case there may be a gradation of form from low tubes with branchelets in A. insularis (Duchassaing & Michelotti, 1864) to low oscular mounds with branches in A. fulva. In some areas in the Bahamas the species tends to be greenish yellow, contrasting with co-existing typical mustard yellow branches of this species and tubes of Aplysina fistularis (Pallas, 1766) and A. insularis tubes with outgrowing branchelets. This makes us wonder if the greenish morph (pictured here) belongs to a different species or if these combinations of mustard yellow tubes and branches are hybrids. (Pallas, 1766) yellow,green,branching,tube,spherical,tough
Demospongiae Verongida Aplysinidae Aplysina insularis 13 Lower and usually smaller tubes than in Aplysina fistularis (Pallas, 1766); usually crowned with branchelets. It prefers shallow reefs and lagoon and tidal channels environments, but can also be seen in reefs. In the Bahamas it may be an ecophenotypic form of A. fistularis, but it appears to be a valid species elsewhere in the Caribbean and in Brazil. (Duchassaing & Michelotti, 1864) yellow,orange,branching,tube,massive,bushy,tough
Demospongiae Verongida Aplysinidae Aplysina lacunosa 8 Creamy yellow to brownish vases or tubes, riddled with roundish holes; usually hard. Not to be confused with Suberea sp., which has mistakenly been included within this species in the past. (Lamarck, 1814) red,yellow,cinnamon-tan,tube,vase,spherical,lobate,hard,tough
Demospongiae Verongida Aplysinidae Aplysina sp.-long branchelets 11 Central branch or low tube with branchelets. Cinnamon-tan with golden-brown or purple tinges. Sponge may be heavily fouled by algae. The surface of the central branch or tube has concave shallow depressions; oscules on upper portions. A yellow specimen comprising only a branch was found clinging to a cave wall. It was compared to adjacent A. cauliformis brown-erect and A. cauliformis-lilac creeping morphs and colors differ. The finding of several specimens with the same morphology may indicate it is a different species on its own, but it may be a crevice or juvenile stage of A. fulva, or of A. caulilformis-brown erect morphotype, or of A. lacunosa. cinnamon-tan,orange-yellow,brown,yellow,branching,tube,lobate,tough
Demospongiae Verongida Aplysinidae Verongula gigantea 11 Inverted cones with relatively thin walls, greenish to purplish in the outside, bright yellow inside, turn purple in air. Skeleton is a pithed spongin fiber network forming the walls of a honeycomb, which show on the surface. A sister species is V. reiswigi Alcolado, 1984 (also pictured in this catalogue), whose shape is that of a thick-walled barrel or amphora. (Hyatt, 1875) yellow,brown,cinnamon-tan,green,pink-lilac,orange,vase,fan,tough,soft
Demospongiae Verongida Aplysinidae Verongula reiswigi 14 Thick-walled barrels-jugs, single or in groups. Greenish to purplish in the outside, bright yellow inside, turn purple in air. Skeleton is a pithed spongin fiber network forming the walls of a honeycomb, which show on the surface. A sister species is V. gigantea (Hyatt, 1875) (also pictured in this catalogue), whose shape is that of a thin-walled inverted cone. Alcolado, 1984 yellow,green,brown,purple-violet,cinnamon-tan,tube,vase,lobate,tough,soft
Demospongiae Verongida Aplysinidae Verongula rigida 8 Groups of low oscular mounds-tubes, placed side by side and irregularly arranged,orften forming repent branches. In wave-exposed sites the species looks as repent thick branches with oscules aligned on top. Color light to dark green in the outside, lemon yellow in the inside, turns purple in air. Skeleton is a pithed spongin fiber network forming the walls of a honeycomb, which show on the surface. (Esper, 1794) yellow,green,branching,encrusting,tube,massive,soft
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