Agelas dispar Duchassaing & Michelotti, 1864, Duchassaing & Michelotti, 1864

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: 77

publication ID

publication LSID

persistent identifier

treatment provided by


scientific name

Agelas dispar Duchassaing & Michelotti, 1864


Agelas dispar Duchassaing & Michelotti, 1864  

Synonymy and references. Agelas dispar Duchassaing & Michelotti, 1864: 76   , pl. 15 fig. 1; Parra-Velandia et al., 2014: 306, figs. 1 D, 2, 15C, 15 E (including synonymy).

Material. USNM 1191325, Carrie Bow Cay, North Channel, 6 m; K. Ruetzler, col. 23 May 1979. USNM 1191326, 1191327, Curlew Bank forereef, framework cave, 20 m; C. Piantoni, col. 27 Jun 2007. USNM 1229097, Curlew Bank forereef slope (wall), small cave, 20 m; C. Piantoni & M. Parrish, col. 23 Aug 2012.

External morphology. Massive, thickly encrusting, or lobate, 10–20 cm in diameter. One specimen ( USNM 1191327) growing at the ceiling of a cave had brain-like ridges and depressions. Porous to cavernous interior. Oscula scattered, 2-4 mm in diameter, a few merged, key-hole-like. Color is grayish to reddish brown and brownish orange.

Skeleton structure. Interconnected spongin fibers, cored and echinated by spicules.

Spicules. Acanthostyles with spines in equidistant whorls. They measure 110–210 x 10–25 (158 x 18) Μm, with 7–17 (12) whorls of spines; no reduced spines were noted.

Ecology. Found under coral rock and on ceiling and walls of framework caves, 6– 20 m.

Distribution. The species has been reported from several locations in the eastern and southern Caribbean ( Parra-Velandia et al., 2014).

Comments. The brain-like morphology of specimen USNM 1191327 is unusual but might have been caused by healed fish or sea turtle bites. Spicule dimensions and characteristics were very close to those of the other samples.


Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History