Mycale (Mycale) asigmata, Van & Aryasari & De, 2021

Van, Rob W. M., Aryasari, Ratih & De, Nicole J., 2021, Mycale species of the tropical Indo-West Pacific (Porifera, Demospongiae, Poecilosclerida), Zootaxa 4912 (1), pp. 1-212 : 107-109

publication ID 10.11646/zootaxa.4912.1.1

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scientific name

Mycale (Mycale) asigmata

sp. nov.

Mycale (Mycale) asigmata View in CoL sp.nov.

Figs 68 View FIGURE 68 a–f, 69a–g

Material examined. Holotype ZMA Por. 09321, Indonesia, Nusa Tenggara, NE coast of Sumba , E of Melolo, 9.8917°S 120.7117°E, depth 75–90 m, bottom calcareous stones, rectangular dredge, coll. R. W.M. van Soest, Indonesian-Dutch Snellius II Expedition stat. 051, field nr. 051/ VI / Dreg /05, 13 September 1984 (light brown). GoogleMaps

Paratype ZMA Por. 09140, same data as holotype (light brown) GoogleMaps .

Description ( Fig. 68a View FIGURE 68 ). In life, light brown massive sponges, with irregular surface covered by a detachable ectosomal membrane. Preserved material shredded and fragmented, together forming a crumbly fibrous mass. Estimated size 15 x 10 cm, thickness up to 3 cm. Color in alcohol red-brown, darker than in situ . Consistency soft and compressible, easily damaged.

Skeleton ( Figs 68 View FIGURE 68 b–f). Choanosomal tracts arranged plumosely, with strong long spicule tracts, 90–135 µm diameter (8–10 spicules in cross section), distances between them 200–500 µm, few interconnecting tracts. Near the surface the tracts subdivide and fan out to carry the ectosomal skeleton ( Fig. 68b View FIGURE 68 ). This resembles that of M. (M.) crassissima , in being comparatively open, with tangential megascleres arranged in ill-defined short bundles, next to individual spicules. No clear rosettes of anisochelae, but on the subsurface choanosomal tracts the anisochelae are arranged in loose clusters or ‘pseudorosettes’ ( Figs 68 View FIGURE 68 c–d). In the open spaces between the ectosomal megascleres numerous trichodragmas ( Fig. 68 View FIGURE 68 e–f) of various sizes are occurring in dense aggregations.

Spicules ( Figs 69 View FIGURE 69 a–g). Mycalostyles, three categories of anisochelae, three categories of trichodragmas (no sigmas).

Mycalostyles ( Fig. 69a,a View FIGURE 69 1 View FIGURE 1 ), comparatively robust, fusiform, with elongated heads and faintly developed subterminal constriction, 362– 408.6 –438 x 9– 12.8 – 15 µm.

Anisochelae I ( Fig. 69b View FIGURE 69 ), common, compact, with free part of the shaft 25% of spicule length, with upper alae broadly extended and median alae oval and slightly shorter than the lateral alae, lower alae characteristically broadly extended with rounded upper rim, 46– 69.3 – 81 µm.

Anisochelae II ( Fig. 69c View FIGURE 69 ), not common, overall shape elongated, free part of the shaft variable, 25–35% of spicule length, upper median alae slightly extended, as long as the lateral alae, 22– 25.8 – 33 µm.

Anisochelae III ( Figs 69d View FIGURE 69 ), not common, shape largely similar to anisochelae II, 15– 17.5 – 19 µm. Trichodragmas I ( Fig. 69e View FIGURE 69 ), fusiform, 32– 42.6 –57 x 6– 6.8 – 10 µm.

Trichodragmas II ( Fig. 69f View FIGURE 69 ), rectangular to oval, 12– 15.2 –18 x 4– 6.6 – 9 µm

Trichodragmas III ( Fig. 69g View FIGURE 69 ), rectangular to oval, 4– 5.9 –8 x 1–1.5 µm

Distribution and ecology. Dredged near Sumba, Indonesia, at greater depth (75–90 m).

Etymology. The name refers to the absence of sigmas.

Remarks. The new species stands out among Mycale (Mycale) species reported from the study area by the absence of sigmas combined with the possession of three size categories of trichodragmas. A further feature is the characteristic compact shape of anisochelae I with its broadly extended median alae, especially the lower median alae. Apart from the absence of sigmas, there is some resemblance to M. (M.) crassissima (cf. below) in spicule complement (anisochelae in three categories, trichodragmas), but the anisochelae III of that species possess a distinct spur, lacking in the present material. M. (M.) grandis s.l. also have a spurred anisochelae III, and in addition have peculiar large anisochelae I unlike the present species.

The only other species of Mycale (Mycale) lacking sigmas and possessing trichodragmas is deep water (300 m) Mycale (Mycale) myriasclera Lévi & Lévi, 1983 . This has only two categories of anisochelae, and anisochelae I have the curved shape and short upper alae of M. (M.) dendyi -like anisochelae I, quite unlike those of the present new species. The length of the ‘milliards’ of raphides is given as 120 µm, well in excess of those of the present new species. Also the mycalostyles of M. (M.) myriasclera are distinctly longer, 750–900 m, twice the length of those cited above. Mycale (Mycale) incurvata Lévi, 1993 , also from deep water off New Caledonia, is again similar to M. (M.) asigmata sp.nov. and M. (M.) myriasclera , but this not only lacks sigmas but also trichodragmas. M. (M.) incurvata is very close to Mycale (Mycale) trichela Levi, 1963 from the Atlantic side of South Africa (so outside our target region), in having three size categories of anisochelae, lacking both sigmas and trichodragmas or raphides, but the shape and the distinctly larger mycalostyles (up to 725 x 20 µm of M. (M.) trichela , only 400–590 µm in M. (M.) incurvata ), make them distinct.


Universiteit van Amsterdam, Zoologisch Museum


Departamento de Geologia, Universidad de Chile


Mykotektet, National Veterinary Institute













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