PORT PHILLIP BAY


Sponge 

Ecionemia robusta (Carter, 1883)

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Sponges of this genus are either encrusting in thick mats or massive to spherical in shape but unlike most other genera in this family, they do not have a distinct cortex, or outer layer. Representatives of this quite common genus occur around almost, the entire Australian coast, with only one species currently recorded, from Victorian waters.

Brief species characters:
Growth form: spherical.
Mineral skeleton: siliceous.
Megescleres: tetraxone, monaxone.
Surface texture: opaque, smooth.

Family level characters:
The defining characters for this family and its 15 genera are the presence, or absence, of certain types of spicules. These include the triaene megascleres that look like pitch forks with a long shaft, one end pointed and the other end triple-pronged, and one type or a combination of microscleres including star-shaped asterose forms and/or spined rods or microrhabds. Ancorinid sponges adopt diverse growth forms including encrusting, massive or spherical forms, some with long, inhalent and/or exhalent tubes.

Order level characters:
Sponges of the five families in this order are characterised by their star-like or asterose microscleres, often in combination with tetractinal megascleres (having four axes) that are peculiar to this order. The megascleres tend to be arranged radially, obvious at least in the peripheral region or cortex of the sponge.

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

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Porifera
Class:
Demospongiae
Order:
Astrophorida
Family:
Ancorinidae
Genus:
Ecionemia
Species:
robusta

General Description

A pink, brown to yellow sponge species with spherical form. Size of about 15 cm.

Biology

These sponges belong to the class Demospongiae, a group that accounts for approximately 85% of all living sponge species.

Habitat

Reef areas, at depths of 1-30 m.

Sponge gardens

Reefs

Distribution guide

South-eastern Australia.

Species Group

Sponges Demosponges

Depth

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

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

15 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, Ecionemia robusta, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 23 Aug 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/7668

Text: creative commons cc by licence