Geodia barretti Bowerbank, 1858


Family : Geodiidae

Form: A large globular smooth sponge with a hard consistency. It is cream yellow and normally has one or several deep-sunken openings, which contain groups of exhalant oscules. It is a northern deep-water species, especially common in the Scandinavian fjord areas.

Colour: Cream-yellow; pale yellow-white.

Consistency: Consistency hard.

Surface: Surface smooth slightly undulate.

Apertures: Globular, larger specimens become irregular with one or more "sunken" oscules, which are in fact cavities in which grouped oscules are found.

Internal characters

Skeleton: Radiate. Cortex about 0.5mm thick, sterrastral layer about 300μm; choanosomal skeleton confused.

Spicules: Megascleres : Oxeas of the radiate skeleton: up to 3600 x 70 μm; smaller oxeas of the cortex: up to 400 x 10 μm; dichotriaenes: up to 4000 x 100, protoclads up to 300 μm, deuteroclads up to 300 μm; protriaenes rare, but may be present; anatriaenes: up to 4500 x 15 μm, clads up to 170 μm.
Microscleres : Sterrasters, spherical up to 95 μm; spherasters with rounded rays: 8 μm; oxyasters, with spined rays: up to 50 μm.

Habitat: Deeper water, 15-329m.

Distribution: Arctic, Norway, Sweden, North Atlantic.

Identity: The large size, cream colour, and smooth globular habit make this species easy to recognize. It may be confused with Geodia cydonium, likewise a big cream coloured Geodia. This, however, lacks dichotriaenes, instead of which there are orthotriaenes.

Editors: Christine Morrow, Bernard Picton & Rob van Soest.

 Picton, B.E., Morrow, C.C. & van Soest, R.W.B., 2011. [In] Sponges of Britain and Ireland