PORT PHILLIP BAY


Sponge 

Crella incrustans (Carter, 1885)

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Sponges in this genus may be lobate, stalked or encrusting.

Brief species characters:
Growth form: encrusting.
Mineral skeleton: siliceous.
Megescleres: monaxone.
Surface texture: irregulat, translucent.

Family level characters:
Members of this family adopt many habits ranging from encrusting to club-shaped, branching or massive. The group is characterised by an outer crust of spined spicules, either oxeas or styles, lying parallel or tangential to the surface. Smooth structural spicules form a regular mesh deeper in the sponge. Most crellid species exhibit specialised pore sieve-plates (areolae), or groups of inhalant pores on the surface. Identification of genera and species within this family rely on megasclere morphologies throughout the sponge and the presence or absence of certain microscleres.

Order level characters:
This order contains the highest diversity of sponge species in the phylum, spread amongst 25 families. Member species have been recorded from all marine habitats. Poecilosclerid sponges are characterised by the presence of both organic (fibre) and inorganic (spicular) skeletal components, both usually well developed. Different spicule and skeletal elements are often localised to particular regions of the sponge. A diverse range of spicule types is displayed throughout this order including the c-shaped chelae microscleres that are peculiar to this order. Examples from 11 of the 25 families are included here.

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

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Porifera
Class:
Demospongiae
Order:
Poecilosclerida
Family:
Crellidae
Genus:
Crella
Species:
incrustans

General Description

An orange sponge species with encrusting form. Size of about 10 cm.

Biology

Species within this genus group often settle on the shells of bivalve molluscs, or are cut off by decorator crabs and worn on the crab's carapace. In both cases the host animals gain camouflage and chemical protection, while the sponge obtains mobility and may gain better access to food-rich waters.

Habitat

Shell areas, to depth of 30 m.

Sponge gardens

Distribution guide

Victoria.

Species Group

Sponges Demosponges

Depth

Shallow (1-30 m)

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

10 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, Crella incrustans, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 17 Aug 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/7663

Text: creative commons cc by licence