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Bowerbank, 1866

Species Overview

Hymeraphia verticillata Bowerbank (1866) is an encrusting lemon yellow sponge with a granular surface and firm consistency.

Taxonomic Description

Colour: Lemon yellow.
Shape, size, surface and consistency: Thin encrustations, lateral size up to 3.5 x 2 cm. Surface has granular aspect and consistency is firm.
Spicules: (Hymeraphia verticillata spics) Tylostyles, with long, rounded tyle: 1900-2800 x 20-25 µm; centrotylote oxeas: 490-1600 x 12-25 µm; verticillately spined oxeas / strongyles: 90-120 x 4-5 µm; growth stages of the latter may be smoothly polytylote.
Skeleton: Ectosomal: a dense mass of verticillate oxeas/strongyles. Choanosomal: single long tylostyles erect on the substrate, heads downward, pointed ends protruding beyond the surface; bundles of centrotylote oxeas surround these tylostyles.
Ecology: On pebbles, from 50 m downwards to 1000 m.
Distribution: Roscoff, SW Ireland, Shetlands, Orkney, Faroes, Norway.
Etymology: The name refers to the whorls of spines on the oxeas/strongyles.
Type specimen information: The type is in the Natural History Museum, London.


The only species with similar granular appearance and spiculation is Halicnemia patera. This is softer in consistency. The microxeas of that species are angularly bent and the spines are not in verticils.
Source: Descatoire, 1966

Hymeraphia verticillata