PORIFERA : HALICHONDRIDA : HalichondriidaeSPONGES

Halichondria panicea (Pallas, 1766)


Halichondria panicea

Description: The form of this sponge can be very polymorphic, varying from thin sheets, massive forms and cushions to branching-repent forms. Prone to give off stout branching processes which develop into oscular chimneys. The colour is also variable, green in well-lit sites owing to the presence of algae and cream-yellow in more shaded sites. The surface of the sponge is usually smooth, often with a slightly glassy appearance.

Habitat: An opportunistic species found in a wide range of habitats from the mid-shore to the lower-circalittoral and under a wide variety of physical conditions.

Distribution: A common species on all coasts of the British Isles.

Similar Species: This species can be difficult to identify in the field, however it does have a characteristic smell when fresh, once recognised this is a reliable character to use for field identification.

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=C4840

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