Hyattella sulfurea Calcinai & Belfiore

Calcinai, Barbara, Belfiore, Giuseppe, Pica, Daniela, Torsani, Fabrizio, Palma, Marco & Cerrano, Carlo, 2020, Porifera from Ponta do Ouro (Mozambique), European Journal of Taxonomy 698, pp. 1-56: 7-8

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Hyattella sulfurea Calcinai & Belfiore

sp. nov.

Hyattella sulfurea Calcinai & Belfiore   sp. nov.

Fig. 4 View Fig


A species of Hyattella   characterized by its light yellow color and fibers without inclusions.


Named after its yellow color in life, from the Latin name ‘ sulfureus ’, meaning ‘yellow’.

Material examined


PONTA DO OURO • 3 small fragments, size of the largest about 3× 1.5×07 cm; 26°50′36.881″ S, 32°54′54.471″ E; Atlantis; 47.7 m deep; 4 Mar. 2017; Cerrano leg.; MSNG 61417 View Materials .



The live sponge ( Fig. 4A View Fig ) is spherical, irregularly massive; on the surface, a net of fibers creates a clear web pattern connecting the prominent oscula among the thin cuticle. Where the sponge is not covered by foreign material and epibionts, the color appears light yellow ( Fig. 4A View Fig ). The color in the preserved state is dark brown (the pigments colored also the alcohol with a dark pinkish tinge). The sponge is firm and compressible; the body is lacunose.

SKELETON. It consists of a quite regular network of primary fibers, 25–55 µm wide, the secondary fibers, 10–20 µm wide, form polygonal meshes of 200–250 µm in dimensions ( Fig. 4B View Fig ). Primary fibers less common with respect to secondary ones. All the fibers are free from inclusions.


The species of the genus Hyattella   have a lacunose body, an unarmoured surface and a skeleton composed of common, primary fibers linked by secondary fibers; primary fibres are cored and the secondary are free of inclusion ( Cook & Bergquist 2002). However, the species Hyattella cavernosa (Pallas, 1766)   , whose skeleton is free of foreign material (see Lendenfeld 1889: 298, as Hippospongia dura   ), such as H. sulfurea   sp. nov., is included in this genus. On that note, we consider the species here described belonging to the genus Hyattella   , on the basis of its lacunose body, unarmored surface, common primary fibers and the presence of a dermal reticulation. Other related genera, such as Spongia Linnaeus, 1759   and Hippospongia Schulze, 1879   include species devoid of a lacunose body, or devoid of common primary fibers or a dermal reticulation.

This genus includes 21 species, all with an Indo-Pacific distribution except for H. obscura Lendenfeld, 1889   and H. cavernosa (Pallas, 1766)   from the Atlantic Ocean ( Van Soest et al. 2019). All these species are characterized by thicker primary and secondary fibers. Only H. meander Lendenfeld, 1889   has thinner primary and secondary fibers of 47 µm and 27–47 µm, respectively, but it is branched and its primary fibers are full of sand.