Craniella cranium (O F Müller, 1776)

Description: Tetilla cranium is a spherical sponge, typically the size of a golf ball. It is a frequent species in deep water but rarely found in depths which divers can reach. The surface is conulose and there is usually a group of osculae at the top which are flush with the surface.

Habitat: In relatively shallow water found on limestone platforms off exposed coasts. Becomes more common below 50m depth.

Distribution: Recent records from depths of 30-45m are from two areas on the west coast of Ireland, the Aran Islands and Kerry Head shoals.

Similar Species: Tethya citrina is similar in appearance but has a much rougher surface. It is common.

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: JNCC MNCR data - Grid map National Biodiversity Network mapping facility, data for UK.

 Picton, B.E. & Morrow, C.C., 2005. [In] Encyclopedia of Marine Life of Britain and Ireland