Hymeraphia elongata Picton & Goodwin, 2007


Family : Raspailiidae

Form: Hispid, thin, non-descript crust.

Colour: Yellow

Internal characters

Skeleton: Hymedesmoid with heads of tylostyles and acanthostyles embedded in a thin basal layer of spongin. The longer tylostyles penetrate the surface of the sponge and the ectosomal spicules form bouquets around their points. The ectosomal spicules are asymmetrical with the thicker end being embedded in the sponge surface.

Spicules: Tylostyles: 260–1450 by 5–12 μm. Tylote head, similar in form to that of the acanthostyles. Sometimes shaft near head is straight but most often slightly curved. Ectosomal spicules: 300–330 by <0.5–2.5 μm. Very thin hair-like spicules. Head rounded but not tylote, tapering to the other end which is often rounded—strongyle in form. Acanthostyles: 90–145 by 7–10 μm. Base tylote and slightly curved. Tip spined but spines are often poorly developed, small and rounded. Most are towards the larger end of this size-range, only a few short ones are present. Occasionally acanthostyles like those of H. stellifera are present.

Identity: This is distinguished from both Hymeraphia stellifera and H. breeni by the long length and narrower width of the acanthostyles and the form of the spines at their tips. It is yellow in colour whereas H. breeni is always orange, however, some yellow specimens of H. stellifera have been reported so colour is not likely to be a reliable characteristic. It does not have the papillae with oscules on their ends that are typical of the two other Hymeraphia species.

Editors: Claire Goodwin & Bernard Picton.

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