Jaspis eudermis Lévi & Vacelet, 1958, Levi & Vacelet, 1958

Sitjà, Cèlia & Maldonado, Manuel, 2014, New and rare sponges from the deep shelf of the Alboran Island (Alboran Sea, Western Mediterranean), Zootaxa 3760 (2), pp. 141-179: 148-150

publication ID


publication LSID




persistent identifier


treatment provided by


scientific name

Jaspis eudermis Lévi & Vacelet, 1958


Jaspis eudermis Lévi & Vacelet, 1958  

( Figs. 3A View FIGURE 3 , 4 View FIGURE 4 ; Table 2)

Material examined. Specimen MNCN-Sp71-BV10 collected from Stn. 10 ( Table 1; Fig. 1 View FIGURE 1 ).

Comparative material: Holotype of Jaspis eudermis Lévi & Vacelet, 1957   ( MNHN DCL-738) from Princess Alice Bank, Azores (Stn. 62; 37º47’N 29º03’W, 330 m deep, 1955–1956). GoogleMaps  

Macroscopic description. Creamy white (in alcohol), cushion-shaped sponge, being 45 x 23 mm in size ( Fig. 3A View FIGURE 3 ). Consistency firm, but friable. Surface nearly glabrous, covered by a friable, detachable, thick membrane (crust-like), with no discernible aquiferous openings. At the zones where the ectosomal crust is lost, subdermal aquifer canals of up to 1mm in diameter are evident.

Skeleton. Megascleres are oxeas, which seem to occur in two categories. Oxeas I are 1125–2000 x 20–40 µm and fairly abundant. They are once or twice slightly bent, frequently asymmetric, usually with acerate tips, occasionally blunt ( Fig. 4A–B View FIGURE 4 ). Oxeas I showing irregular shapes are also occasional ( Fig. 4C View FIGURE 4 ). Oxeas II are 390– 1500 x 5–10 µm, and comparatively quite scarce; they are slightly curved, sometimes centrotylote, and with conical or acerate ends ( Fig. 4A View FIGURE 4 ). Microscleres are oxyasters, with 12–20 conical, smooth actines ( Fig. 4A, D View FIGURE 4 ); their total diameter ranges from 20 to 65 µm, but with no discernible size categories.

There is an ectosomal, crust-like skeleton consisting of abundant oxyasters and tangential oxeas (mostly type II) irregularly disposed in small groups. The choanosomal skeleton consists of oxeas in disordered arrangement, along with abundant oxyasters.

Distribution and ecology notes. Rare species, previously known only from Azores (eastern North Atlantic). The only specimen herein collected from a gravel bottom at depths of 214–290 m provides the first record of the species in the Mediterranean Sea.

Taxonomic remarks. Several species of Jaspis   occur in the Mediterranean or/and in the adjacent eastern North-Atlantic zone, but most of them have spicules clearly smaller than those of J. eudermis   . The only exception is Jaspis incrustans (Topsent, 1890)   , which has fairly large oxeas that reach 1250 µm in length. Nevertheless, oxyasters of J. incrustans   measure only up to 26 µm in total diameter and their actines are clearly spiny rather than smooth ( Maldonado 1993).

Our material fits reasonably the only brief description available for J. eudermis   , which corresponds to the holotype, a fragmentary, 2 x 2 x 1 cm, cushion-shaped sponge. It was reported to have a single category of 1200– 1650 x 45 µm oxeas (versus two in our specimens) and 35–45 µm oxyasters. The oxyasters were pictured by Lévi & Vacelet (1958) as having more than 10 actines with a smooth (not spiny) surface. Our revision of the holotype indicates that there are indeed two size categories of oxeas, discernible not only because of their thickness (1225– 1725 x 30–60 µm and 660–850 x 8–10 µm, with some occasional transitional stage), but also because of their shape, being the smaller category isodiametric and more markedly curved than the fusiform oxeas of the larger category. This reinterpretation of the oxea size distribution brings our specimen and the holotype in full skeletal agreement, as they also share the general traits of the macroscopic morphology and skeletal architecture. Furthermore, they both are the only Jaspis   material in the Atlantic-Mediterranean region having large, "smooth" oxyasters with more than eleven actines. In this regard, our SEM re-examination of the holotype provides new interesting information. The oxyasters of the holotype measure 30–55 µm in total diameter and have 16 to 20 actines. Most of the actines are entirely smooth ( Fig. 4E View FIGURE 4 ), as it also happens consistently in the Alboranian specimen ( Fig. 4D View FIGURE 4 ). Nevertheless, under high SEM magnification approximately 20% of the oxyasters of the holotype show subtle microspines in one or more of their actines ( Fig. 4F View FIGURE 4 ). In very few occasions, large, isolated spines also occur ( Fig. 4E View FIGURE 4 ). Therefore, the "smooth" nature of the actines of J. eudermis   is to be assessed in further detail when more specimens are collected.


Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle