Chalinula molitba

Ugalde, Diana, Gómez, Patricia & Simões, Nuno, 2015, Marine sponges (Porifera: Demospongiae) from the Gulf of México, new records and redescription of Erylus trisphaerus (de Laubenfels, 1953), Zootaxa 3911 (2), pp. 151-183 : 175

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Chalinula molitba


Chalinula molitba (de Laubenfels, 1949)

( Figs. 19 View FIGURE 19 A–B, 22 C)

Selected synonymy: Haliclona molitba de Laubenfels, 1949: 9; Wiedenmayer 1977: 81 (as H. (Haliclona) molitba ); van Soest, 1980: 9; Alcolado 2002: 67.

Reniera carmabi van Soest, 1980: 14.

Chalinula molitba ; de Weerdt 2000: 55 (with more synonymy).

Material examined. CNPGG – 121 Sisal Banks reefs (21 ° 26 ’ 16.59 ”N, 90 ° 16 ’ 39 ”W), depth 9 m, 9 /VI/ 2011; CNPGG – 1214 Sisal Banks reefs (21 ° 26 ’ 24 ”N, 90 ° 28 ’ 25.39 ”W) depth 15 m 13 /VI/ 2011.

Description. Variable in morphology, usually a cluster of small tubules of 3 cm length and 5 cm width. Apical oscules, 3–9 mm in diameter ( Fig. 22 View FIGURE 22 C). The consistency is soft, fluffy and easily compressible. The color is dark pink when alive and pink or beige in alcohol. Surface is smooth.

Skeleton. Ectosomal skeleton absent. Choanosomal skeleton is an anisotropic network, consisting of paucispicular primary fibres 10–14 µm in diameter and cored by 1–5 spicules, connected by secondary unispicular fibres or tracts 5.6–10.2 µm in diameter ( Fig. 19 View FIGURE 19 A). The skeleton is dominated by spicules, but still covered by plain spongin.

Spicules. Oxeas mostly fusiform but with a trend toward strongyloxeas ( Fig. 19 View FIGURE 19 B), 60–134 × 0.5–2.8 µm.

Distribution and ecology: Florida and throughout the Caribbean ( Rützler et al. 2009), Belize, Bermuda , North Carolina, Florida, Bahamas, Puerto Rico, St. Lucia, Venezuela, Colombia, Bonaire (de Weerdt 2000); Cuba (Alcolado 2002). Chalinula molitba has been described from mangrove environments and Thalassia meadows, although it has also been reported from deeper habitats, to 18 m depth (de Weerdt 2000). However, its distribution is mainly in shallow water. In the present work the specimens were collected in coral reef environments, associated with coral rubble in depth ranges between 9 to 15 m. This is the first record for Chalinula molitba in Mexico and the southern Gulf of Mexico.

Remarks. The present material exactly matches the features described for Chalinula molitba . Even when main traits such as growth form, spicule sizes, and skeletal architecture are notably variable, a series of intermediate forms are found, for which de Weerdt (2000) is commended for details. However its color varies from bright-dark pink, to intense violet, light brown or sometimes brown with yellowish cream tinges. The blue color mentioned by van Soest (1980) is enigmatic and may have been caused by local or other conditions (de Weerdt 2000).














Chalinula molitba

Ugalde, Diana, Gómez, Patricia & Simões, Nuno 2015

Chalinula molitba

Weerdt 2000: 55

Reniera carmabi

Soest 1980: 14