Raspailia (Raspailia) johnhooperi, Van, Rob W. M., 2017

Van, Rob W. M., 2017, Sponges of the Guyana Shelf, Zootaxa 1, pp. 1-225: 61-62

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

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Raspailia (Raspailia) johnhooperi

sp. nov.

Raspailia (Raspailia) johnhooperi  sp. nov.

Figures 39View FIGURE 39 a –g

Material examined. Holotype RMNH Por. 9809, Suriname, ‘Luymes’ Guyana Shelf Expedition, station 5, 6.6°N 53.55°W, depth 44 m, trawl, bottom calcareous sand, 24 August 1970GoogleMaps  .

Paratype RMNH. Por. 9313, (juvenile? specimen), Suriname, ‘O.C.P.S. Luymes’ Guyana Shelf Expedition, station N79, 6.2217°N 55.917°W, depth 27 m, Van Veen grab, on dead oyster, 9 April 1969GoogleMaps  .

Description. Arborescent-palmate sponge ( Fig. 39View FIGURE 39 a), with conulose-spined surface, shiny smooth between conules. Size 13.5 x 10 cm. Color in alcohol beige. Branches flattened, ending pointedly, outline irregular. Short, double stalk (presumably the single palmate upper part is the result of two anastomosed individuals) of 3 cm long and 1.5 cm diameter, with more or less smooth surface. Consistency fleshy, compressible. A second smaller (juvenile?) specimen ( Fig. 39View FIGURE 39 a1) was detected growing on a dead oyster. This is a stalkless five-branched individual, branches 8–10 mm long, 3 mm in diameter, with strongly hispid surface, looking rather different from the above described large specimen but with same structure and spiculation.

Skeleton. Typically raspailiid, with condensed axial reticulation of strongyles and extra-axial long styles surrounded by bouquets of thin styles ( Fig. 39View FIGURE 39 b). Echinating acanthostyles are sparingly present in the axial skeleton.

Spicules. ( Figs 39View FIGURE 39 c –g) Long styles, strongyles, thin styles, acanthostyles.

Long styles ( Figs 39View FIGURE 39 c,c1), smooth, curved, often broken in the slides (n=5), 2100–3400 x 24–33 µm.

Strongyles ( Figs 39View FIGURE 39 d,d1), smooth, curved, usually equidiametrical, but occasionally slightly anisodiametrical ( Figs 39View FIGURE 39 e,e1), in a large size range, but not readily divisible in size categories, 384– 609 –960 x 13 – 16.9 –21 µm.

Thin styles ( Figs 39View FIGURE 39 f,f1) of the ectosomal bouquets, curved, often ending bluntly, in a large size range, but not divisible in size categories, 348– 667 – 1210 x 2 – 5.5 –14 µm.

Acanthostyles ( Fig. 39View FIGURE 39 g), with few, but large spines, 93– 127 –156 x 4.5– 9.1 –12 µm

Distribution and ecology. Guyana Shelf, sandy bottom at 27– 44 m.

Etymology. Named after Professor John N.A. Hooper, Queensland Museum, Australia, to acknowledge his expert monographic studies on Raspailiidae  , and his admirable efforts for sponge taxonomy in general.

Remarks. The Central Western Atlantic so far is poor in Raspailia  records ( Van Soest et al. 2016). Of the subgenus Raspailia  only three species have been reported, R. (R.) acanthifera ( George & Wilson, 1919)  (originally Axinella acanthifera  ) from Beaufort, North Carolina, R. (R.) muricyana Moraes, 2011  from Fernando do Noronha, and R. (R.) tenuis Ridley & Dendy, 1886  from NE Brazil (and also tentatively reported from Barbados by Van Soest & Stentoft 1988). None of these sponges have the erect palmate habitus with conulose-spiny surface of our new species and none of them have strongyles as main spicules of the axial skeleton; shape of the body is squatlylaminate ( acanthifera  and muricyana  ) or consist of stringy thin branches ( tenuis  ) and all have styles instead of strongyles in the axial skeleton. Like R. (R.) tenuis  , the new species has rare acanthostyles, whereas the other two have them more common.

Strongylote spicules as axial spiculation are uncommon, but are occasionally reported in Raspailia  species, e.g. in the Australian Raspailia (Raspailia) vestigifera Dendy, 1896  (cf. Hooper 1991).


National Museum of Natural History, Naturalis