Sponge Guide

UNCW National Science Foundation Valdosta State University Universidad Nacional de Colombia

Observed Characteristics:


  • gray
  • brown
  • orange
  • cream
  • cinnamon-tan


  • encrusting


  • soft
  • tough

Sample Locations:

  • Bahamas

Spirastrella hartmani

Notes: Previoulsy known as S. cuncatrix (Schmidt, 1868), which is a different species from the Mediterranean. Thick encrustantions, salmon color to dull orange, usually with oscules and exhalant canals forming an elevanted vein star pattern over the surface. S. mollis Verrill, 1907 described from Bermuda (and see Rützler, 1986) may be a previous name, but as the type specimen seems to be lost (Boury-Esnault et al., 1999), it cannot be compared at present. It may be a valid, different species, existing only in Bermuda. However, as in other reef localities of the Caribbean there are only two Spirastrella coexisting morphs corresponding to S. hartmani and to S. coccinea (Duchassaing & Michelotti, 1864), also pictured here, S. mollis may be senior synomym and may have priority over S. hartmaniS. coccinea is bright vermillion or dull red, more leathery, and has a stouter category of spiraster spicules. Deep water specimens of S. hartmani in the Bahamas also have stout spirasters adding confusion to the distinction between these two species. Detailed comparisons of pairs of specimens from each locality may help resolve this problem.

Author Reference: Boury-Esnault, Klautau, Bézac, Wulff & Solé-Cava, 1999


Link: World Porifera Database