Rützler, Klaus, Piantoni, Carla, Van, Rob W. M. & Díaz, Cristina, 2014, Diversity of sponges (Porifera) from cryptic habitats on the Belize barrier reef near Carrie Bow Cay, Zootaxa 3805 (1), pp. 1-129: 22-23

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Jaspis   sp.

Synonymy and references. Stelettinopsis sp.: Macintyre et al. (1982): 134; Jaspis Gray, 1867   : Uriz (2002 a): 114, fig. 7.

Material. USNM 32861 Columbus Cay cave, ceiling, 10–15 m from entrance, 18–21 m depth; I. Macintyre col. 26 Apr 1979.

External morphology. Thinly coating and permeating dead serpulid polychaete worm tubes that are cemented together as “pseudostalactites” ( Macintyre et al., 1982). Color whitish, both live and preserved.

Skeleton structure. Larger oxeas in disorganized arrangement in the choanosome, smaller oxeas more or less tangential in the ectosome, microscleres (oxyasters) throughout the tissue.

Spicules. Oxeas I, slightly bent, some double-bent, with sharp points: 450–780 x 10–14 (643 x 12) Μm; oxeas II, gently bent, many are kinked twice, in same or opposite directions, sharp points: 55–120 x 2–4 (86 x 3) Μm; oxyasters, with very small center and microspined, pointed rays: 10–18 (13) Μm.

Ecology. Encrusting and permeating one sample of serpulid tubes (“pseudostalactites”) protruding from the roof of a submersed karst cave, 12 m distant from the sink-hole entrance; 21 m water depth.

Distribution. Belize.

Comments. This is probably an undescribed species but the small amount of material of a single specimen makes it impossible to confirm this. Similar species from the region are Jaspis salvadori Boury-Esnault, 1973   from Brazil and Stelletinopsis   (sic) (= Jaspis   ) velezi Wintermann-Kilian and Kilian, 1984   from Colombia. However, J. salvadori   is black, has blunt microxeas, and very small oxyasters (<7 µm); J. velezi   is yellow and the oxyasters occur in two size groups, the larger one ranging 36–46 µm.


Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History