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Miklucho-Maclay, 1868

Species Overview

Guancha blanca Miklucho-Maclay (1868) is an easily recognizable calcareous sponge because of its globular body on a thin stalk, making it resemble a balloon on a string. It is whitish in colour. It is often overlooked because of its small size. There is a second similar stalked sponge, G. lacunosa which differs in having oxeas next to to the triradiate spicules (microscopical examination).

Taxonomic Description

Colour: Whitish.
Shape, size, surface and consistency: Stipitate, small, consisting of a tightly interlocked mass of tubules. Seldom exceeding 3 mm in height. Apical oscule. Consistency fragile.
Spicules: (Guancha blanca spics) Calcareous. Triactines only, equiangular or sagittal, basal rays: 75-90 µm long, paired rays: 30-45 µm.
Skeleton: Ascon-type arrangement.
Ecology: From the Laminaria-zone to 830 m.
Distribution: Arctic, Norway, Baltic, Atlantic; also reported from the Mediterranean and the Indian and Pacific Ocean.
Type specimen information: No type material in BMNH.


This species differs from the closely similar G. lacunosa in the absence of oxeas. Originally it was recorded from the Arctic, but subsequently from other parts of the world. These subsequent records need confirmation.
Source: Burton, 1963.

Guancha blanca