PORT PHILLIP BAY


Sponge 

Chondropsis kirki

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Sponges in this genus are characterised by their tendency to incorporate sand and foreign spicule fragments into the skeletal fibres. Native spicules, if seen in these sponges are fine and small or reduced (vestigial). Megascleres if present are strongyles, rod-shaped and rounded at both ends.

Brief species characters:
Growth form: lobate, flabelliform.
Mineral skeleton: siliceous.
Megescleres: monaxone.
Surface texture: smooth, translucent.

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.

Order level characters:
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. This order contains the highest diversity of sponge species in the phylum, spread amongst 25 families.

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:
Chondropsis
Species:
kirki

General Description

A pale yellow, orange to brown sponge species, lobate to flabelliform. Size of about 50 cm.

Biology

Sponges in this genus group often incorporate large amounts of sand and broken spicule fragments into their skeletons, which have been drawn in with the incurrent of seawater.

Habitat

Reef and jetty areas, at depths of 1-100 m.

Sponge gardens

Reefs

Distribution guide

New Zealand and Victoria.

Species Group

Sponges Demosponges

Depth

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

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

50 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, Chondropsis kirki, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 18 Dec 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/8133

Text: creative commons cc by licence