PORT PHILLIP BAY


Sponge 

Aplysina lendenfeldi Bergquist, 1980

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

The skeleton of these sponges is a regular, rectangular mesh of uniform fibres with a thick central core or pith. Yellow colouration in life, becoming purple-black on death or if damaged. Typically adopts a characteristic stalked, cigar-shaped growth form with a single oscule on the upper surface.

Brief species characters:
Growth form: stalked.
Mineral skeleton: absent.
Surface texture: ridged.

Family level characters:
The skeletal fibres of these sponges form a polygonal-shaped mesh in one or more planes. All sponges in this family exhibit the aerophobic colour-change on death or when damaged, changing from the typical yellow-green to purple-black. Some of the chemicals produced as a by-product of metabolism by sponges in this family exhibit strong antimicrobial activity. One of the three genera in this family is included here.

Order level characters:
This is the third of the three orders of collagenous sponges (containing no spicules). The skeletons of these sponges are entirely fibrous. The fibres appear characteristically dark microscopically and are layered concentrically (laminated), like the layers of bark on a tree. They also contain a core of fine fibrils (pith) visible through microscopy as a dark line. There is no distinction in size between primary and secondary fibres and they only rarely contain foreign debris (detritus). The skeleton formed by the fibres may be either mesh-like (anastomosing) or branching (dendritic). While the skeletal fibres are quite tough they are flexible and the sponges generally feel quite fleshy and easily deformable. Vergongid sponges are commonly pigmented yellow with a greenish tinge at the edges. They frequently become purple to black if damaged or exposed to air (aerophobic). They are commonly stalked and branching or vase-like, but also may be thin and encrusting. Four families make up the order, only one of which is presented here.

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

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Porifera
Class:
Demospongiae
Order:
Verongida
Family:
Aplysinidae
Genus:
Aplysina
Species:
lendenfeldi

General Description

A yellow to purple sponge species, stalked to cigar-shaped. Size of about 20 cm.

Biology

This species is common around the coast of Victoria and extends into New South Wales, South Australia and Tasmania.

Habitat

Sand and muddy areas, at depths of 10-85 m.

Sponge gardens

Soft substrates

Distribution guide

Australia.

Species Group

Sponges Demosponges

Depth

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

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

20 cm

Diet

Plankton or particles

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Native to 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, Aplysina lendenfeldi, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 25 Mar 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/7653

Text: creative commons cc by licence