PORT PHILLIP BAY


Sponge 

Mycale australis (Gray, 1867)

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Members of this subgenus are distinguished by their asymmetrical chelae microscleres that have teeth-like projections at each end, known as unguiferous anisochelae. These microscleres are often arranged in a group like a bunch of roses or rosettes. Massive-spherical in growth form with a warty surface, small conical protruberances, conules, may also be present.

Brief species characters:
Mineral skeleton: siliceous.
Megescleres: monaxone.
Surface texture: warty, oscules prominent.

Family level characters:
Sponges in this family may also be encrusting, massive, branching or fan-shaped but the species treated here are restricted to those having a combination of two features; a surface skeleton of spicules lying parallel or tangential to the surface of the sponge, and possession of asymmetrical chelate microscleres, known as anisochelae. Superficial sculpturing of these sponges is often visible through the transparent surface in the form of grooves and ridges.

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:
Mycalidae
Genus:
Mycale
Species:
australis

General Description

An orange, massive sponge species. Size of about 15 cm.

Habitat

Reef and sandy areas, at depths of 3-40 m.

Sponge gardens

Reefs

Soft substrates

Distribution guide

Southern 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, Mycale australis, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 23 Oct 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/7677

Text: creative commons cc by licence