|PORIFERA : HALICHONDRIDA : Axinellidae||SPONGES|
Description: This sponge is variable in shape but is usually cup-like or lamellate with a short, thick stalk. The walls are of regular thickness with the margins of the cup/fan rounded and firm. The colour may be pale cream to yellow or buff. The inner surface of the cup has many exhalant openings which are visible with the naked eye.
Habitat: Usually found on upward facing bedrock or stable boulders in the circalittoral zone.
Distribution: Recently known from south, west and northern coasts of Ireland, west coast of Scotland, Isle of Man, Anglesey, Lundy, etc. where it is a common and conspicuous species in the right habitat.
Similar Species: A few other rarer sponges also form cups so identification should be confirmed by microscopic examination. Phakellia ventilabrum is one such species, distinguished by possessing long, flexuous styles (not straight or slightly curved ones). P. ventilabrum has a sharp edged rim to its cup.
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 |
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