Callyspongia (Callyspongia) cf. pallida Hechtel, 1965,

Van, Rob W. M., 2017, Sponges of the Guyana Shelf, Zootaxa 1, pp. 1-225: 22-23

publication ID 10.5281/zenodo.272951

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Callyspongia (Callyspongia) cf. pallida Hechtel, 1965


Callyspongia (Callyspongia) cf. pallida Hechtel, 1965 

Figures 12View FIGURE 12 a –d

Callyspongia pallida Hechtel, 1965: 36  , pl. 3 fig.5, text-fig. 6.

Callyspongia (Callyspongia) pallida  ; Van Soest 1980: 51, pl. VIII fig. 4, text-fig. 18 (Not: Zea 1987: 102 = Callyspongia (C.) fallax  ).

Material examined. RMNH Por. 9894, Suriname, ‘ Snellius O.C.P.S. ’ Guyana Shelf Expedition, station D33, 6.9433°N 55.9483°W, Agassiz trawl, depth 60–62 m, bottom sand, shells, 4 May 1966GoogleMaps  ; RMNH Por. 9900, Suriname, ‘ Snellius O.C.P.S. ’ Guyana Shelf Expedition, station F40, 7.0033°N 56.4417°W, depth 59 m, bottom sand, 6 May 1966GoogleMaps  ; RMNH Por. 9948, Suriname, ‘ Snellius O.C.P.S. ’ Guyana Shelf Expedition, station F46, 6.312°N 56.57°W, depth 25–29 m, bottom sand, 7 May 1966GoogleMaps  .

Description. Thick, creeping, short branches, up to 6 cm long and 1–1.5 cm in diameter, forming masses of up to 12 x 7 cm in lateral expansion ( Figs 12View FIGURE 12 a,a1). Branches may have sub-branches and show large oscules either flush with the surface or raised on volcanoe-shaped mounds. Oscule size usually about 5 mm in diameter. Surface punctate, rather irregular, and microconulose. Color in alcohol pale red-brown. Consistency compressible.

Skeleton. At the surface the usual double network of cored spongin fibers is poorly developed, only distinct in a few places ( Figs 12View FIGURE 12 b,c,c1). The choanosomal skeleton is similarly irregular, but shows the typical Callyspongia  rectangular reticulation, with the meshes wide and irregular in places. Coring of the fibers is light, one or two spicules in the surface fibers, up to four in the ascending fibers of the choanosomal skeleton.

Spciules. Oxeas only.

Oxeas (Fig, 12d) usually straight, short and fat, with sharp apices, 99– 114 –129 x 4.5– 6.9 –10.5 µm.

Distribution and ecology. Guyana Shelf, if correctly identified also Jamaica and Curaçao, shallow-water down to 62 m (previously down to 12 m).

Remarks. The identification is not certain due to the fact that the type from shallow-water in Jamaica has the shape more definitely as a lateral mass of short lobes, whereas the present material is more repent-ramose. Nevertheless, the skeleton and the spicule sizes and shapes are similar. The Curaçao specimens described and figured in Van Soest (1980) conform to Hechtel’s type in habitus and also have fusiform spicules, so are likely to be conspecific. Both have the spicules smaller (up to 104 and 92 respectively), but close enough in size and shape to the Guyana specimens. Nevertheless, the Guyana specimens have distinctly thicker oxeas, up to 10.5 µm against up to 5–5.5 µm in the Jamaican and Curacao specimens.

Zea’s (1987) specimen features thin strongylote spicules, similar to those of Callyspongia (Callyspongia) fallax Duchassaing & Michelotti, 1864  . That species is otherwise rather close to C. (C.) pallida  , so it is likely Zea’s specimen belongs to C. (C.) fallax  . This applies also to Callyspongia fallax  forma debilis Wiedenmayer, 1977, which was assigned to the synonymy of C. (C.) pallida  by Van Soest (1980) and Zea (1987), incorrectly in my present opinion.


National Museum of Natural History, Naturalis














Callyspongia (Callyspongia) cf. pallida Hechtel, 1965

Van, Rob W. M. 2017

Callyspongia (Callyspongia) pallida

Zea 1987: 102
Van 1980: 51

Callyspongia pallida

Hechtel 1965: 36