PORT PHILLIP BAY


Sponge 

Dactylia sp. MoV 6714

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

These sponges typically have a plant-like growth form and contain no spicules in their skeletons. They have a smooth, sandy appearance.

Brief species characters:
Growth form: flabelliform, branching.
Mineral skeleton: absent.
Surface texture: porous, sandy.

Family level characters:
Most growth forms are represented in this family of sponges including encrusting, massive, vase-shaped, tubular, fan-shaped, plate-like and branching. Species within the family are differentiated by two main features; the reticulation of spicules or mesh type on the surface (ectosome) and the presence or absence of spongin fibres in the internal region of the sponge (choanosome).

Order level characters:
This order contains the greatest biodiversity of sponges with representatives inhabiting all oceans and habitat types, including freshwater bodies, of every continent in the world. Sponges of this order are characterised by a triangular mesh formed by their fibre and/or spicular skeletal elements. This is termed an isodictyal skeleton. The megasclere spicules found in haplosclerid sponges are exclusively oxeas, with either sharply pointed, or rounded (strongylote) ends. Microscleres are present in representatives of only a few genera. Some of the more common marine species are included here.

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

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Porifera
Class:
Demospongiae
Order:
Haplosclerida
Family:
Callyspongiidae
Genus:
Dactylia

General Description

A sandy-green to pink sponge species, flabelliform to branching. Size of about 50 cm.

Biology

Despite the amount of sand and debris incorporated into the skeleton of these sponges, they retain an elastic texture due to the fibre content. Since their skeletons do not contain spicules, they gain structural strength from the sand and other foreign particles incorporated into the sponge.

Habitat

Reef areas, to depth of 30 m.

Sponge gardens

Reefs

Distribution guide

Port Phillip in Victoria.

Species Group

Sponges Demosponges

Depth

Shallow (1-30 m)

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

50 cm

Diet

Plankton or particles

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Recorded in Australia

Species Code

sp. MoV 6714

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, Dactylia , in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 25 Nov 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/7664

Text: creative commons cc by licence