PORT PHILLIP BAY


Sponge 

Spheciospongia purpurea (Lamark, 1815)

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

These sponges are massive in growth form with specialised incurrent pore sieve plates. In this species, the loss of red light at depth makes these sponges appear a deep royal blue in colour, their purple colour only visible with camera lights or in sunlight.

Brief species characters:
Growth form: irregular.
Mineral skeleton: siliceous.
Megescleres: monaxone.
Surface texture: lumpy, sieve-plates.

Family level characters:
They possess the pin-head megascleres or tylostyles and a variety of microscleres as shown.

Order level characters:
Hadromerid sponges are often brightly coloured and are also characterised by a radial arrangement of megascleres in the cortex. The megascleres are pin-head shaped tylostyles and pointed, rod-shaped oxeas. Microscleres if present may be star-shaped, rod-shaped or spiral and are key characters when separating these sponges at the family level.

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

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Porifera
Class:
Demospongiae
Order:
Hadromerida
Family:
Clionaidae
Genus:
Spheciospongia
Species:
purpurea

General Description

A bright purple sponge species, massive with irregular form. Size of about 30 cm.

Biology

This species is able to excavate into limestone or calcareous substrates.

Habitat

Reef areas, at depths of 10-320 m.

Sponge gardens

Reefs

Distribution guide

West Pacific and southern Australia.

Species Group

Sponges Demosponges

Depth

Shallow (1-30 m)
Deep ( > 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

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, Spheciospongia purpurea, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 23 Aug 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/7689

Text: creative commons cc by licence