PORT PHILLIP BAY


Sponge 

Ciocalypta massalis (Carter, 1883)

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Brief species characters:
Growth form: burrowing, fistulose.
Mineral skeleton: siliceous.
Megescleres: monaxone.
Surface texture: ridged, translucent.

Family level characters:
Sponges in this family are distributed widely throughout the world's oceans predominantly in shallow, coastal waters. They are distinguished by their apparent lack of organisation of the skeleton. The megascleres, styles, oxeas or both, are distributed in a random, criss-crossed arrangement throughout the sponge. The descriptive term halichondroid is used to describe this apparent haphazard arrangement of skeletal elements, even when found in sponges of other groups. Spongin fibres are rare and collagenous material is often reduced. Spicule density is high resulting in sponges with a firm, harsh or brittle consistency. Microscleres are absent in this family of sponges, with the exception of hair-like raphides in only one of the eleven genera.

Order level characters:
Sponges in this order exhibit the full range of growth forms and textures. They can possess any combination of three megasclere types - styles, oxeas and strongyles - without showing any regionalisation within the skeleton. The megascleres in members of this order are often curved and or o snake-like (sinuous), or deformed in some way. Microscleres are generally absent but if present tend to be small, rod-shaped microxeas or hair-like raphides. Two of the five families are represented here.

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

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Porifera
Class:
Demospongiae
Order:
Halichondrida
Family:
Halichondriidae
Genus:
Ciocalypta
Species:
massalis

General Description

A white sponge species with fistulose form. Size of about 20 cm.

Habitat

Sand and muddy areas, to depth of 20 m.

Sponge gardens

Soft substrates

Distribution guide

Western Australia and Victoria.

Species Group

Sponges Demosponges

Depth

Shallow (1-30 m)

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

20 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, Ciocalypta massalis, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 23 Nov 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/8073

Text: creative commons cc by licence