Mycale (Arenochalina) euplectellioides ( Row, 1911 )

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 : 33-36

publication ID 10.11646/zootaxa.4912.1.1

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Mycale (Arenochalina) euplectellioides ( Row, 1911 )


Mycale (Arenochalina) euplectellioides ( Row, 1911) View in CoL

Figs 17 View FIGURE 17 a–d, 18a–f, 19a–e, 28

Esperella euplectellioides Row, 1911: 333 View in CoL , pl. 37 fig. 12, text-fig. 16.

Mycale euplectellioides View in CoL ; Burton 1926: 80 (no description); Zoltowska-Aksamitowska et al. 2018: 3, figs 1a–b.

Material examined. BMNH 12.2 .1.58, slide, Red Sea (no locality, likely Sudanese Red Sea) .

ZMA Por. 10996, Jordan, Gulf of Aqaba, coll . T. Fanni, field nr 11, May 1995 (red) ; ZMA Por. 16626, Egyptian Red Sea, Hurghada , 27.2333°N 33.8334°E, depth 7–10 m GoogleMaps , SCUBA, coll. Diaa Youssef, field nr. DY–13, 2001 (red); ZMA Por. 16989, Jordan, Northern Gulf of Aqaba, in front of Marine Science Station , 29.5167°N 35.0°E, overgrowing broken parts of Lobophyllia at depth of 10 m GoogleMaps , SCUBA, coll. I. K̂tter, field nr. 15.12.1, 15 December 2001 ; ZMA Por. 19757, Egyptian Red Sea, Gulf of Aqaba, coll. Tarek Temraz, field nr. SAA–7, no further data (preserved dry) ; RMNH Por. 9628, Saudi Arabia, near Thuwal, Al Asoul , 22.2654°N 39.0021°E GoogleMaps , SCUBA, coll. N.J. de Voogd, field nr. THU07/JED126, 10 November 2014; Specimen not retrieved, not registered, Red Sea, Saudi Arabia, Jeddah , near Marine Station , depth 7 m , coll. D. Youssef, field nr. RS605–50.

Description ( Figs 17 View FIGURE 17 a–d, 18d, 19a–b). Cup-shaped to cylindrical or occasionally club-shaped sponges. In situ color is red or pale red ( Fig. 17a View FIGURE 17 ). Size up to 20 cm high and 10 cm diameter in the type, about 12 x 7 cm in our largest specimen. Surface with deep valleys and sharp conules, the dark red color alternated by white stripes formed by the protruding ends of thick skeletal spiculofibres. Membranes between the conules paler red, soft and somewhat mottled. The rim of cup-shaped specimens is smooth pale red. Preserved specimens loose their tissues quickly by copious slime production, and this process may be responsible for the loss of microscleres which occur loose in the surface membrane.

Skeleton ( Figs 18a View FIGURE 18 , 19c View FIGURE 19 ). System of coarse spongin fibres filled with thicker (<500 µm diameter) or thinner (200 µm diameter) bundles of mycalostyes and with frequent foreign inclusions. Surface membrane flaky, mucous, without spicule skeleton (mostly macerated in preserved specimens).

Spicules ( Figs 18 View FIGURE 18 b–c,f, 19d–e). Mycalostyles, virtually no anisochelae found but reported for type specimen, sigmas.

Mycalostyles ( Figs 18b,b View FIGURE 18 1 View FIGURE 1 ,b 2 View FIGURE 2 ,e,e 1 View FIGURE 1 ,f, 19d,d View FIGURE 19 1 View FIGURE 1 ,d 2 View FIGURE 2 ), straight, thin, with wide axial canal, often with trifid heads or elongately rounded, 208– 223.4 –251 x 2– 2.4 – 3.5 µm; type specimen 213– 249.7 –282 x 3.5– 4.3 – 5 µm.

Anisochelae, one anisochela of 15 µm was found in ZMA Por. 16626 (not shown, possibly foreign); they were common in the type specimen ( Fig. 18f View FIGURE 18 ), narrow-shaped, 23– 24.8 – 27 µm.

Sigmas ( Fig. 19f View FIGURE 19 ), strongly curved, usually thin, in a single but variable size, 32– 42.9 – 52 µm; type specimen, 37– 54.2 – 69 µm.

Distribution and ecology ( Fig. 28 View FIGURE 28 ). So far known only from the Red Sea. Row’s type specimen is of unkown Red Sea locality. Our specimens originated from the northern Red Sea (Aqaba, Hurgada, Jeddah). On reefs, depth 7– 10 m.

Remarks. Row’s (1911) description reports the presence of many anisochelae, and we found these in the slide of the type we examined ( Fig. 18f View FIGURE 18 ), but virtually none of the specimens we obtained contained these microscleres.Also the sigmas, reported as common by Row, were quite rare in our specimens. Mycalostyles and sigmas were smaller in our specimens than in the type. These differences with the type would seem sufficient to prevent our specimens to be assigned to the same species as Row’s specimen. However, in specimens of this subgenus elsewhere, e.g. in the Caribbean, the presence of microscleres is notoriously variable and they are not infrequently absent in specimens of the same shape and color. The copious production of slime by specimens lifted out of the water may lead to turning the sponge into an almost macerated stage, and this may well be the cause of considerable loss of microscleres. We are not aware of another vase-shaped Mycale (Arenochalina) species in the Red Sea, so we feel justified to assign our specimens to Row’s species.


Universiteit van Amsterdam, Zoologisch Museum


Tavera, Department of Geology and Geophysics


National Museum of Natural History, Naturalis














Mycale (Arenochalina) euplectellioides ( Row, 1911 )

Van, Rob W. M., Aryasari, Ratih & De, Nicole J. 2021

Mycale euplectellioides

Zoltowska-Aksamitowska, S. & Shaala, L. A. & Youssef, D. T. A. & Elhady, S. S. & Tsurkan, M. V. & Wysokowski, M. & Tabachnick, K. & Meissner, H. & Ivanenko, V. N. & Bechmann, N. & Joseph, Y. & Jesionowski, T. & Ehrlich, H. 2018: 3

Esperella euplectellioides

Row, R. W. H. 1911: 333
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