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A new Mediterranean 'lithistid' sponge, Aciculites mediterranea sp.nov. (Porifera: Demospongiae) from a dark marine cave in Sardinia
Manconi, R.; Serusi, A.; Pisera, A. (2006). A new Mediterranean 'lithistid' sponge, Aciculites mediterranea sp.nov. (Porifera: Demospongiae) from a dark marine cave in Sardinia. J. Mar. Biol. Ass. U.K. 86(4): 691-698
In: Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. Cambridge University Press/Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom: Cambridge. ISSN 0025-3154, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Animal morphology; Cavernicolous species; Geographical distribution; New records; New species; Aciculites Schmidt, 1879 [WoRMS]; Aciculites mediterranea Manconi, Serusi & Pisera, 2006 [WoRMS]; MED, Italy, Sardegna; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Manconi, R., more
  • Serusi, A.
  • Pisera, A.

Abstract
    A first record of the genus Aciculites in the Mediterranean Sea and the description of Aciculites mediterranea sp. nov. are here presented from a faunistic survey in a dark shallow marine cave of the north-western Sardinian karstic area. The new species is characterized by a massive cerebellum-like growth form, and a peculiar distribution of inhalant and exhalant areas, respectively, in depressed and elevated portions of the sponge surface. Oscules show a long narrow atrial cavity. Ectosomal skeleton is made of tangential anisostrongyles on elevated areas, and more or less vertical tufts of anisostrongyles in depressed inhalant areas. Anisostrongyles are smooth or with tips ornated by irregular tubercles. Sigmaspire microscleres are lacking. Choanosomal skeleton with tubercled irregular rizhoclone desmas and few scattered and variably oriented anisostrongyles. A comparative analysis of Aciculites mediterranea sp. nov. versus morphological diagnostic traits, geographical range and habitat of the species hitherto ascribed to Aciculites confirms that the peculiar distribution of the genus supports its relic condition of an ancient Tethyan fauna in the Mediterranean Sea.

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