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(Schmidt, 1862)

Species Overview

Leucandra aspera (Schmidt, 1862) is a white very hispid globular sponge with a central oscule and hard consistency. It is a rare species originally described from the Mediterranean but reported also from a few localities in Western Europe.

Taxonomic Description

Colour: White.
Shape, size, surface and consistency: Small, globular, spinous sponges (leucandra_aspera_draw.jpg), about 5 mm high, with an apical oscule. Consistency hard and fragile.
Spicules: (leucandra_aspera_spics.jpg) Calcareous. Triactines with rays of up to 200 µm.
Tetractines with rays of up to 380 µm, apical ray of up to 70 µm.
Huge ectosomal oxeas: up to 1200 x 50 µm.
Skeleton: Leuconoid organization.
Ecology: Low water mark and sublittoral, in crevices.
Distribution: SW Ireland; Mediterranean.
Etymology: asper (Latin) = rough, spiny, referring to the surface.
Type specimen information: Museum Graz, LMJG 15229; schizotypes: BMNH 1867:7:26:42 (dry), + BMNH 1867:3:11:76 (slide).


The external morphology is apparently variable: specimens are reported to form clusters of tubes, and to both possess or lack apical fringe surrounding the oscule. Vosmaer (1884) and Burton (1963) gave a wide interpretation to this species. Their conclusions need to be evaluated.
Source: Van Soest and Weinberg (1980).

Leucandra aspera