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Mycale spongiosa (Dendy)  Species


Original Description
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Original Description
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Esperella spongiosa n. sp.

External form variable, from massive to flabellate or digitate. Soft and spongy, with thick, easily separable, reticulate dermal membrane. Vents commonly large and on prominent parts. Pale yellow in spirit. The colours in life recorded are dirty white, brown, vinaceous (purple), ochraceous buff', etc.; nothing very distinctive. Localities recorded : s. 1, s. 5, s. 9, x.

Skeleton. The main skeleton is a very irregular network of stout fibre, usually containing many spicules bound together by much spongin, often also containing much sand or broken spicules. Numerous megascleres are scattered in the ground substance. The dermal skeleton is a rather close reticulation of spicular fibre, echinated by abundant projecting spicules.

Megascleres, slender styli or tylostyli with feebly developed heads; gradually sharp-pointed at the apex; measuring about 0.158 by 0.0027 mm.

Microscleres, (a) slender palmate anisochehe, scattered singly, about 0.025 mm. long and with narrow palm, of ordinary form: (b) some specimens contain a few slender, contort stigmata, about 0.066 mm. long from bend to bend. In many specimens there are scattered through the ground-substance, millions of minute, ovoid, highly refractive, very definite bodies, measuring about 0.0083 mm. in length. These occur in such numbers as to impart a peculiar opaque appearance to the whole sponge and also to sections. I do not at present understand their true nature.

This is a very unsatisfactory species, owing to the absence of constant and well-defined characters.

R.N. 280; 292; 350; 363: 372; 396; 408; 472; 525; 578; 579 ; 581 ; 588 ; 603 ; 648 ; 749 ; 805 ; 941 ; 968 ; 990; 1152 ; 1190 ; 1194.

(Dendy, 1896: 15-16)