Leuconia nivea (Grant, 1826)

Order : BAERIDA

Family : Baeridae


Form: Encrusting sheets to cushions with lobes and ridges.

Colour: White, pale grey.

Smell: None.

Consistency: Firm, crisp, friable.

Surface: Smooth.

Apertures: Small, distributed along the tops of lobes or ridges, "naked" (i.e. without collar of spicules).

Contraction: None.



Internal characters

Skeleton: The ectosomal skeleton consists of several tangential layers of triradiates; the skeleton of chamber layer is of triradiates and microxea, irregularly arranged. The endosomal skeleton, and linings of exhalant canals, are tangential layers of quadriradiates.

Spicules: The ectosomal triradiates (a) have rays ca. 120m long, those of the chamber layer (b) 50-1200m; microxea (c) are 40-60m long. The endosomal quadriradiates (d) are sagittal and have paired rays ca. 20m long and basal ray ca. 60m.


Habitat: In strong water movement beneath boulders in shallow water and in surge gullies on vertical rock surfaces.

Distribution: A common species in the British Isles. "Spitzbergen; Norway; Heligoland; France; Mediterranean. "Littoral to 128m, on rock."

Distribution Map from NBN: Grid map (fast) : Interactive map (slower, requires login to view records) : National Biodiversity Network mapping facility, data for UK.

Identity: Superficially this species can be confused with Leuconia johnstoni (see Burton, 1963:266) and Leuconia gossei (see Burton, 1963:505). It would be useful to see if the three species occupy different ecological niches.

Voucher: BELUM : Mc1778. St. Kilda, W. Scotland.

Editors: D. Moss, B.E. Picton.



 Picton, B.E., Morrow, C.C. & van Soest, R.W.B., 2011. [In] Sponges of Britain and Ireland
http://www.habitas.org.uk/marinelife/sponge_guide/sponges.asp?item=C580

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