Mycale (Arenochalina) regularis Wilson, 1925

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 : 42-47

publication ID 10.11646/zootaxa.4912.1.1

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Mycale (Arenochalina) regularis Wilson, 1925


Mycale (Arenochalina) regularis Wilson, 1925 View in CoL

Figs 24 View FIGURE 24 a–e, 25a–e, 26a–c, 27a–f, 28

Mycale euplectellioides var. regularis Wilson, 1925: 427 View in CoL .

Mycale euplectellioides View in CoL ; Salmoun et al. 2007: 153 (not: Row, 1911).

Material examined. USNM 21273 View Materials ( Fig. 22a View FIGURE 22 ), holotype of Esperella euplectelliodes var. regularis , Philippine Islands, Sulu Archipelago, Jolo Island, Belan Point , 6.7222°N 120.989°E, depth 39.6 m, Albatross Expedition stat. 5136, 14 February 1908 GoogleMaps .

ZMA Por. 02906, Indonesia, Papua, Aru Islands, Pearl Banks , anchorage off Pulau Jedan , 5.4134°S 134.6677°E, depth 13 m GoogleMaps , trawl/dredge/divers, Siboga Expedition stat. 273, field nr. SE 1604I, 23 December 1899; ZMA Por. 08883, Indonesia, Sulawesi, SE, Take Bone Rate NE, S of Tarupa Kecil, 6.5°S 121.1333°E, depth 10–15 m GoogleMaps , SCUBA, coll. R. W.M. van Soest, Indonesian-Dutch Snellius II Expedition stat. 139, field nr 139 / IV/02 , 25 September 1984 (blue) ; ZMA Por. 14515, Indonesia, North Sulawesi, Bunaken , S of Tilisei Island, 1.7931°N 125.0568°E, depth 15 m GoogleMaps , SCUBA, coll. B.W. Hoeksema, SYMBIOSPONGE Project, field nr. 98/NS/MAY06/BH/068, 6 May 1998 (iridescent blue) ; RMNH Por. 2147, Indonesia, Bali, Tulamben Beach, Liberty Wreck , 8.2739°S 115.5911°E, depth 18 m GoogleMaps , SCUBA, coll. N.J. de Voogd, Bali-Lombok Strait Expedition 2001, field nr. BAL.21/100401/112, 11 April 2001 (blue) ; RMNH Por. 2155, Indonesia, Sulawesi, S, Tanjung Bira , 5.6623°S 120.4734°E, depth 25 m GoogleMaps , coll. N.J. de Voogd, station BIR03, field nr. UP / BR/040302 /222, 4 March 2002 ; RMNH Por. 2160, Indonesia, Sulawesi, S, Tanjung Bira , 5.6623°S 120.4734°E, depth 42 m GoogleMaps , coll. N.J. de Voogd, station BIR02, field nr. UP / BR/090202 /286, 9 February 2002 (blue) ; RMNH Por. 3928, Indonesia, West Papua, Raja Ampat Islands, SE Gam, Mike’s Point , 5.1687°S 130.6733°E, 20–25 m GoogleMaps , SCUBA, coll. W. Renema, 20 November 2007; Specimen not retrieved, not registered: Papua New Guinea, coll. M.C. Díaz, field nr. 92579 (whitish) .

Description ( Figs 24 View FIGURE 24 a–b, 25a–b, 26a, 27a,e–f). Hollow, cylindrical tube or group of tubes connected at the base ( Figs 24a View FIGURE 24 , 25a View FIGURE 25 , 27 View FIGURE 27 e–f). Shape tending to become expanded or even flaring in the larger specimens ( Fig. 24a View FIGURE 24 ), but smaller specimens may be finger-shaped ( Fig. 27a View FIGURE 27 ) or massive, not forming clear tubes and then resembling M. (Ar.) imperfecta (cf. above). Size variable, up to 20 cm or more in height, mouth diameter up to 10 cm in the larger specimens, narrower in smaller specimens. Mouth of the tubes provided with thin organic rim ( Fig. 24a View FIGURE 24 ), which disappears in preservation. Surface provided with grouping of blunt spines, or bluntly conulose, due to protruding fibres, becoming progressively macerated in preservation. Color iridescent pale blueish ( Figs 24a View FIGURE 24 , 25a View FIGURE 25 ) or (greyish) white ( Figs 27 View FIGURE 27 e–f), becoming light beige or dirty white in preservation ( Figs 24b View FIGURE 24 , 25b View FIGURE 25 , 26a View FIGURE 26 , 27a View FIGURE 27 ). Consistency cartilaginous. Copious mucus production when lifted out of the water.

Skeleton ( Figs 26b,b View FIGURE 26 1–c View FIGURE 1 ). Framework of spongin-enforced spicule tracts, with main tracts 300–700 µm in diameter interconnected—frequently at right angles—by secondary tracts of 150–250 µm diameter. Both fibre types are filled with dense masses of thin mycalostyles, usually closely aligned, but especially at the connecting region they may be strewn in all directions. Near the surface, thinner tracts may branch off and fan out into the organic ectosome. Loose mycalostyles may be strewn tangentially in the mucous tissue inbetween the protruding endings of the main fibres. Specimens not immediately put into alcohol may loose much of their organic tissues and also loose the bulk of the microscleres. This may cause difficulties in identifying the spicule complement because the presence, absence or rarity of microscleres may then vary in individual sponge specimens. In well-preserved specimens, the microscleres are usually present in abundance, and anisochelae are typically gathered in rosettes of 60–70 µm diameter ( Fig. 26c View FIGURE 26 ).

Spicules ( Figs 24 View FIGURE 24 c–e, 25c–e, 27b–d). Mycalostyles, a single size of anisochelae, a single size of sigmas; microscleres are usually common.

Mycalostyles ( Figs 24c,c View FIGURE 24 1 View FIGURE 1 , 25c,c View FIGURE 25 1 View FIGURE 1 , 27b,b View FIGURE 27 1 View FIGURE 1 ), thin, with elongate heads, shaft equidiametrical, often with blunt ending, 213– 283.9 –318 x 2– 4.3 – 6.5 µm; type specimen: 279– 305.3 –315 x 5– 5.8 – 6.5 µm.

Anisochelae ( Figs 24d View FIGURE 24 , 25d View FIGURE 25 , 26e View FIGURE 26 , 27c View FIGURE 27 ), narrow, but with both upper and lower alae well-developed, free shaft about one third of the length of the spicule, 23– 30.1 – 41 µm; type specimen: 28– 32.1 – 36 µm.

Sigmas ( Figs 24e View FIGURE 24 , 25e View FIGURE 25 , 27d View FIGURE 27 ), thin, widely curved to almost circular, with ends tending to turn inward, 51– 70.2 – 94 µm; type specimen: 74– 83.8 – 94 µm.

Distribution and ecology ( Fig. 28 View FIGURE 28 ). Philippines, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, on deeper parts of the reefs and rocks, from 10 m down to 42 m depth.

Remarks. Together with M. (Ar.) euplectellioides , the present species is distinct from the other Mycale (Arenochalina) species in the region by forming a large cylindrical shape. Differences with M. (Ar.) euplectellioides are mainly the surface color, of whitish to pale blue color, against the red color of that species. It is close in additional characters to Mycale (Aenochalina) imperfecta Baer, 1906 (cf. above), sharing rosettes of anisochelae and semicircular sigmas with incurved endings. As a further distinction apart from shape, the skeletal fibres are usually more robust, up to 700 µm in diameter. In the Caribbean, Mycale (Arenochalina) laxissima ( Duchassaing & Michelotti, 1864) occurs in a large range of shapes (tubular, massive or encrusting), so it may be argued that the differences in shape between M. (Ar.) regularis (and indeed also M. (Ar.) euplectellioides ) and M. (Ar.) imperfecta is infraspecific variability within a single variable species. For the time being, we emphasize here the differences (see also below), and keep the two as separate species.

The syntype of Mycale (Arenochalina) regularis Wilson, 1925 (as a variety of M. euplectellioides ), USNM 21273 (cf. Fig. 26a View FIGURE 26 ), was re-examined and we conclude that the alleged differences with M. (Ar.) euplectellioides noted by Wilson are maybe not all of taxonomic significance. Wilson cites fibre diameter differences between main fibres (up to 850 µm in diameter) and connecting fibres, and subdermally thinner fibres, and a more regular reticulation, but these features are quite variable in our specimens. In situ photos of the two (e.g. M. (Ar.) euplectellioides (RMNH Por. 9628) and M. (Ar.) regularis (ZMA Por. 14515) show that the two differ clearly in color and more subtly in surface features, the former being more sharply conulose, the latter more bluntly conulose. In preservation, these differences largely disappear. A further indication that the two are closely related but different species is the distribution known so far, with M. (Ar.) euplectellioides confined to the Arabic peninsula and M. (Ar.) regularis to the Indo-Malayan archipelagoes ( Fig. 28 View FIGURE 28 ).


Universiteit van Amsterdam, Zoologisch Museum


Departamento de Geologia, Universidad de Chile


National Museum of Natural History, Naturalis


University of Papua and New Guinea














Mycale (Arenochalina) regularis Wilson, 1925

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

Mycale euplectellioides

Salmoun, M. & Braekman, J. C. & Dewelle, J. & Darro, F. & Kiss, R. & De Voogd, N. J. & Van Soest, R. W. M. 2007: 153

Mycale euplectellioides var. regularis

Wilson, H. V. 1925: 427
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