Higginsia coralloides Higgin, 1877,

Van, Rob W. M., 2017, Sponges of the Guyana Shelf, Zootaxa 1, pp. 1-225: 53-55

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http://doi.org/ 10.5281/zenodo.272951

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Higginsia coralloides Higgin, 1877


Higginsia coralloides Higgin, 1877 

Figures 35View FIGURE 35 a –f

Higginsia coralloides Higgin, 1877: 291  , pl. XIV figs 1–5; De Laubenfels 1949: 17; Hooper 2002: 763, fig. 5; Higginsia strigilata  ; De Laubenfels 1953: 534; Burton 1954: 235; Hartman 1955: 185; Wells et al. 1960: 223, fig. 52; Wiedenmayer 1977: 156, pl. 33 figs 1–2, text-fig. 157. (Not: Spongia strigilata Lamarck, 1814  = Higginsia strigilata  , occurrence Australia).

Material examined. RMNH Por. 6304, Guyana,‘ Luymes O.C.P.S. ’ Guyana Shelf Expedition, station N79, 6.2217°N 57.825°W, depth 27 m, Agassiz trawl, 9 April 1969GoogleMaps  ; RMNH Por. 9327, Guyana, ‘Luymes’ Guyana Shelf Expedition, station 95, 6.9°N 57.5°W, depth 23–24 m, mixed hard bottom, 3 September 1970GoogleMaps  .

Description. Two specimens, one inverted cone-shaped bush of tightly compressed branches ( Fig. 35View FIGURE 35 a), 7 cm high, 7 cm in widest expansion, the other a smaller erect finger-shaped sponge, 4 cm high, 1.5 cm in diameter. The larger bush narrows to a short stalk, but no attachment to the substratum is preserved, the other is attached to a dead bivalve shell with a broad holdfast. The surface of individual branches is irregularly conulose/corrugated, hispid. Colors (in alcohol) are shades of orange and light brown. Consistency is firm to hard.

Skeleton. The choanosomal skeleton is a tight reticulation of oxeas, occupying about two-thirds or more of the thickness of the individual branches. Extra-axial spicules are long thin styles and anisoxeas. These are protruding from the centre of the skeleton, surrounded by rare thin ectosomal oxeas, at the surface piercing it and causing hispidation. Inbetween the styles, the surface skeleton is a tangential layer of acanthoxeas, and these are also scattered in the extra-axial region.

Spicules. ( Figs 35View FIGURE 35 b –f) Oxeas, long thin styles and ditto oxeas, small thin oxeas, acanthomicroxeas.

Oxeas of the choanosomal skeleton ( Fig. 35View FIGURE 35 b,b1), fusiform, curved, gradually tapering to slightly blunt points, 582– 642 –738 x 15 – 20.2 –24 µm.

Long thin styles of the extra-axial skeleton ( Fig. 35View FIGURE 35 c,c1), occasionally modified to long thin anisoxeas ( Figs 35View FIGURE 35 d,d1), curved, largely equidiametrical, gradually tapering to sharp points, 1144– 1428 – 1817 x 7.5– 12.1 –18 µm.

Raphidiform oxeas ( Fig. 35View FIGURE 35 e) of the ectosomal skeleton, widely varying in length and curvature, 246– 577 –798 x 1.5– 5.1 –10 µm

Acanthomicroxeas ( Figs 35View FIGURE 35 f,f1), usually curved, occasionally with an abrupt angular midsection, strongly spined with long conical spines, occasionally lighter spined or merely rugose, 93– 139 –183 x 3 – 4.2 –6 µm.

Distribution and ecology. Guyana Shelf, Grenada, Bahamas, Florida, Nicaragua, Yucatan, North Carolina, possibly Brazil (Muricy et al. 2011), hard bottom at 9–34 m depth ( Guyana Shelf 23–27 m).

Remarks. The shape of the present specimens appears rather different from the images of the type (cf. Higgin 1877, pl. XIV fig. 1) and of the Bahama specimens described by Wiedenmayer (1977, pl. 33 figs 1–2). However, skeleton, spicule types and sizes match well, so the identification appears certain.


National Museum of Natural History, Naturalis














Higginsia coralloides Higgin, 1877

Van, Rob W. M. 2017

Wiedenmayer 1977: 156
Wells 1960: 223
Hartman 1955: 185
Burton 1954: 235
De 1953: 534
De 1949: 17
Higgin 1877: 291