Potamolepis Marshall, 1883

Pinheiro, Ulisses, Calheira, Ludimila, Martins, Celina, Janson, Liesl, Taylor, Ricky & Samaai, Toufiek, 2020, Two new species of freshwater sponges from Neotropical and Afrotropical Regions, Zootaxa 4728 (3), pp. 363-371: 365

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Potamolepis Marshall, 1883


Genus Potamolepis Marshall, 1883  

Restricted synonymy. Potamolepis Marshall, 1883: 405   .

Type Species. Potamolepis leubnitziae Marshall, 1883   (by subsequent designation).

Emended diagnosis. Potamolepidae   with body shape encrusting. Dense alveolate choanosomal skeleton of conspicuous paucispicular tracts. Sparse spongin. Megascleres stout skeletal strongyles to oxeas in the dermal membrane. Microscleres oxeas to acanthoxeas, when present. Gemmules absent, but found to be present in holotype specimens of P. pechueli   (modified from Manconi & Pronzato 2002).

Remarks. Manconi & Pronzato (2009) provides an Atlas of African freshwater sponges, and described megascleres strongyles having inflated tips. They also reported the presence of microsclere oxeas and acanthoxeas in Potamolepis belingana   , P. chartaria   , P. marshalli   , P. micropora   , P. pechueli   and P. weltneri   , and registered the presence of gemmules in P. pechueli   . Evans (1899) suggested that the shorter and thinner strongyles could probably be considered as microscleres and/or gemmuloscleres. This however, has not been corroborated by Manconi & Pronzato (2009), which considered these strongyles in specimens of Potamolepis   as megascleres. Apart from these strongyles, Manconi & Pronzato (2009) also reported the presence of microsclere oxeas, acanthoxeas and gemmules in specimens of Potamolepis   .

Manconi & Pronzato (2009) however, did not amend or redefined the diagnosis of the genus Potamolepis   to include microscleres and gemmules. The new Afrotropical species described here also possess microscleres in the form of oxeas. Based on the above findings, we emended the diagnosis of Potamolepis   to include microsclere oxeas or acanthoxeas. The underlined words in the diagnosis correspond to the modifications made.