Discodermia dissoluta Schmidt, 1880,

Van, Rob W. M., 2017, Sponges of the Guyana Shelf, Zootaxa 1, pp. 1-225: 103-104

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http://doi.org/ 10.5281/zenodo.272951

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Discodermia dissoluta Schmidt, 1880


Discodermia dissoluta Schmidt, 1880 

Figures 63View FIGURE 63 a –g

Restricted synonymy:

Discodermia dissoluta Schmidt, 1880: 87  ; Zea 1987: 220, pls 221, 265, text-fig. 80; Van Soest et al. 2014: table 2 (p. 436), fig. 21c; Pisera & Pomponi 2015: 1306, figs 2F, 10–11.

Material examined. RMNH Por. 9787, Guyana, ‘Luymes’ Guyana Shelf Expedition, station 51, 7.6833°N 57.0333°W, depth 98 m, bottom calcareous sand, 30 August 1970GoogleMaps  .

Description. Finger-shaped sponges ( Fig. 63View FIGURE 63 a), solitary or in a group of three, partially overgrown with hydroids, with dark-brown color in alcohol (possibly darkened by other sponges with aerophobic properties in the same sample haul), up to 4 cm high and 1.5 cm in diameter. Consistency firm to hard.

Skeleton. At the surface there is a closed cover of overlapping discotriaenes, carried by occasional perpendicular bundles of oxeas, and overlying a rather open desma network ( Fig. 63View FIGURE 63 b).

Spicules. ( Figs 63View FIGURE 63 b –g) Tetraclone desmas, oxeas, discotriaenes, acanthomicroxeas, acanthomicrorhabds.

Desmas ( Fig. 63View FIGURE 63 b) with smooth shaft and cladi, and strongly tuberculated zygomes, size difficult to measure, approximately 420– 508 –630 µm in overall diameter.

Oxeas ( Figs 63View FIGURE 63 c,c1), usually with bluntly rounded, sometimes even flattened apices, slightly curved, 372– 459 –552 x 5 – 7.8 –11 µm.

Discotriaenes ( Figs 63View FIGURE 63 d), with slightly concave, rounded or oval, occasionally polyangular discs, characteristically 210– 293 –330 µm in diameter, and conical rhabdomes, 48– 74.2 –120 x 10–20 µm.

Acanthomicroxeas ( Figs 63View FIGURE 63 e –g), in two categories, (1) larger ( Fig. 63View FIGURE 63 e) with sharply pointed ends, 99– 117 –129 x 4 – 4.3 –4.5 µm, (2) smaller ( Fig. 63View FIGURE 63 f), also sharply pointed, 38– 45 – 51 x 3 – 3.7 –4.5 µm.

Acanthomicrorhabds ( Figs 63View FIGURE 63 g,g1) with bluntly rounded ends, 13– 17 – 19 x 3 – 3.4 –4 µm.

Distribution and ecology. Guyana Shelf, Barbados, Colombia, Bonaire, Curaçao, Bahamas, offshore islands of NE Brazil, Florida, on reefs and sand bottoms, at 10–155 m depth ( Guyana Shelf 98 m).

Remarks. The present material conforms to previous descriptions of this species ( Schmidt, 1880; Zea, 1986; Kelly-Borges et al. 1994; Pomponi et al. 2001; Moraes, 2011; Van Soest et al. 2014; Pisera & Pomponi, 2015). The species shows a depth related variation in density of the desma skeleton, with few and thin desmas and discotriaenes in shallow-water specimens resulting in a remarkable compressibility, whereas deep-water species have proper stony lithistid skeletons with dense cover of discotriaenes overlying a strongly zygosed desma skeleton. It is as yet unverified if these skeletal variations are also reflected in the habit. Deep-water specimens appear to be more often finger-shaped, whereas shallow-water specimens tend to occur in dense, closely adhering clusters of lobes [compare shallow-water specimens depicted in Zea (1987) (p. 265) and Moraes (2011) (p. 115) with the deep-water specimens in Van Soest et al. (2014) (fig. 21c) and the present ( Fig. 63View FIGURE 63 a)].

The species is also widely known for its possession of rich bacterial populations (e.g. Brück et al. 2008) apparently responsible for the production of anticancer substances discodermolides and discodermide (Gunasakera et al. 1990, 1991).


National Museum of Natural History, Naturalis














Discodermia dissoluta Schmidt, 1880

Van, Rob W. M. 2017

Discodermia dissoluta

Pisera 2015: 1306
Zea 1987: 220
Schmidt 1880: 87