PORIFERA : HALICHONDRIDA : AxinellidaeSPONGES

Axinella damicornis (Esper, 1794)


Axinella damicornis

Description: A small (up to 10cm tall, but more typically 5cm) branching-erect sponge with a short stalk. The branches are compressed and 'webbed' together. The colour is bright to deep yellow, verging sometimes towards deep orange at the margins. It is distinctively 'bright'. The surface has a characteristic 'mealy' appearance, as though dusted with small yellow particles. Small oscules are borne on the apices of the branches. When alive, the open oscules are partially surrounded by a small triangular 'flap' of tissue.

Habitat: This is a scarce species in the British Isles, it may be found at certain localities on sloping, lower circalittoral bedrock in areas exposed or semi-exposed to wave action. It is also frequent on extremely sheltered sublittoral cliffs in Lough Hyne, Co Cork.

Distribution: A south-western species in the British Isles occuring in Lough Hyne, Co Cork, scattered sites on the west coast of Ireland and North to the west coast of Scotland.

Similar Species: The overall form is similar to Stelligera rigida but the mealy appearance of the surface and bright yellow colour are characteristic. Most readily confused with Axinella verrucosa, so far only recorded as far north as Roscoff and the Channel Islands.

Key Identification Features:

Distribution Map from BioMar data for Ireland - Google Earth map:  download this placemark (not got Google Earth installed?)

Distribution Map from NBN: Grid map (fast) : Interactive map (slow, requires login to view records) : National Biodiversity Network mapping facility, data for UK.



 Picton, B.E. & Morrow, C.C., 2010. [In] Encyclopedia of Marine Life of Britain and Ireland
http://www.habitas.org.uk/marinelife/species.asp?item=C3510

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