Notes: Orange, thin and hard encrustation on the undersides of laminar corals or on cave walls. It has characteristic clavadisc spicules. There are two species of Merlia in the W. Atlantic, vis. M. normani and M. deficiens Vacelet, 1980 (see van Soest, 1984 b; Rutzler et al., 2014), distinguished by the presence of a calcareous basal skeleton in the former and its absence in the latter. We have not yet checked if our specimen has a calcareous basal skeleton, so for the time being we are tentatively using the name M. normani. The original name is from the Madeira Archipelago, W. Africa, but seems to be a widespread species from the Indian Ocean, The Mediterranean, and E. and W. Atlantic. The conspecificity of such separate populations should be confirmed.
Author Reference: Kirkpatrick, 1908
Link: World Porifera Database