PORT PHILLIP BAY


Sponge 

Psammoclema sp. MoV 6706

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

These chondropsid sponges contain no native spicules at all - instead the skeleton consists only of sand and foreign spicule debris. They tend to be either massive in form or spreading over the substrate.

Brief species characters:
Growth form: encrusting.
Mineral skeleton: absent.
Surface texture: honeycombed.

Family level characters:
Chondropsid sponges may be encrusting, massive, fan-shaped or digitate in form and are characterised by their much reduced (vestigial) megascleres, which are usually rounded at both ends (strongyles) or occasionally pointed one end and rounded the other (styles). If present the microscleres found in this family are claw-like chelae, or c- and s-shaped sigmas. These sponges often incorporate large amounts of sand and broken spicule fragments into their skeletons, which have been drawn in with the incurrent of seawater. There are five genera in this family, all of which have been reported from Victorian waters. Examples of two of the more commonly occurring genera are included here.

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:
Chondropsidae
Genus:
Psammoclema

General Description

A sandy to purple sponge species with encrusting form. Size of about 30 cm.

Biology

These sponges only incorporate sand and broken spicule fragments into their skeletons, which have been drawn in with the incurrent of seawater.

Habitat

Reef areas, to depth of 5 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

30 cm

Diet

Plankton or particles

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Recorded in Australia

Species Code

sp. MoV 6706

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, Psammoclema , in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 19 Oct 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/7685

Text: creative commons cc by licence