PORIFERA : POECILOSCLERIDA : AcarnidaeSPONGES

Iophonopsis nigricans (Bowerbank, 1858)


Description: This sponge may grow as a thin sheet or cushion, developing into ascending finger-like growths. The surface is irregular, with raised areas that are denser in appearance supported by the underlying skeleton, with a transparent surface membrane between these ridges. The colour is off-white, grey, through bright yellow to bright orange, blackening on contact with air and on preservation.

Habitat: On circalittoral bedrock and boulders under a wide range of wave exposures and current regimes. Also common on Terebratulina retusa a brachiopod that occurs sublittorally in sheltered sea lochs and in deep water on open coasts.

Distribution: Common and widespread in the English Channel, Ireland and W. Scotland.

Similar Species: Large specimens may superficially resemble Myxilla incrustans or Myxilla rosacea, however the blackening on death is very noticeable.

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=C6780

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