PORT PHILLIP BAY


Sponge 

Aplysilla rosea (Barrois, 1876)

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Species of Aplysilla occur world-wide in water ranging from very shallow to over 600 m deep. Easily confused with other encrusting genera in this family, they can really only be identified using features visible under the microscope.

Brief species characters:
Growth form: encrusting.
Mineral skeleton: absent.
Surface texture: conulose, large oscules.

Family level characters:
The fibre skeleton of sponges in this family is always branching (dendritic), never mesh-like (reticulate). Darwinellid sponges are generally encrusting in habit but can be erect and branching. Of the four genera in this family, three are included here.

Order level characters:
Sponges of this collagenous order also lack spicules. They are often soft and very fragile due to a reduction in the fibrous skeleton in relation to the tissue mass. All begin their growth from a base that spreads over the substrate. The fibres of the skeleton then grow either in a branching, tree-like (dendritic) fashion (Family Darwinellidae), or adopt a mesh-like (reticulate) growth pattern (Family Dictyodendrillidae). The fibres of all sponges in this order show strong, concentric layering (lamination) and a very pronounced central core (pith), visible microscopically as a dark, opaque central line or region of collagen within the fibre. Examples of both families occur in southern Australian waters but only one family is included here.

Source: Goudie, L., Norman, M. N. and Finn, J. K. (in press) Sponges, Museum Victoria.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Porifera
Class:
Demospongiae
Order:
Dendroceratida
Family:
Darwinellidae
Genus:
Aplysilla
Species:
rosea

General Description

A pink sponge species with encrusting form. Size of about 30 cm.

Biology

These sponges will sometimes grow on scallop shells.

Habitat

Reef and jetty areas, at depths of 0-600 m.

Sponge gardens

Reefs

Distribution guide

Worldwide. Port Phillip and coastal Victoria.

Species Group

Sponges Demosponges

Depth

Shore (0-1 m)
Shallow (1-30 m)
Deep ( > 30 m)

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

30 cm

Diet

Plankton or particles

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Recorded in Australia

Identify

Conservation Status

  • DSE Advisory List : Not listed
  • EPBC Act 1999 : Not listed
  • IUCN Red List : Not listed

Author

article author Goudie, L.

Lisa Goudie is a consultant with expertise in sponge taxonomy.

citation

Cite this page as:
Goudie, L., 2011, Sponge, Aplysilla rosea, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 23 Aug 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/7652

Text: creative commons cc by licence