Haliclona (Gellius) aff. flagellifera ( Ridley & Dendy, 1886 ),

Van, Rob W. M., 2017, Sponges of the Guyana Shelf, Zootaxa 1, pp. 1-225: 27-28

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

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Haliclona (Gellius) aff. flagellifera ( Ridley & Dendy, 1886 )


Haliclona (Gellius) aff. flagellifera ( Ridley & Dendy, 1886) 

Figures 16View FIGURE 16 a –e

Restricted synonymy:

Desmacella  sp. Schmidt, 1870: 53, pl. V fig. 15.

? Gellius flagellifer Ridley & Dendy, 1886: 333  ; Ridley & Dendy 1887: 42, Pl. XIII figs 5, 10. Haliclona flagellifera  ; Van Soest 1980: 25; De Weerd, 2000: 64.

Material examined. RMNH Por. 9783, 9851, 9921, Suriname, ‘ Luymes O.C.P.S. II’ Guyana Shelf Expedition, station M97, 7.3083°N 54.1667°W, depth 130 m, bottom coarse sand, 16 April 1969GoogleMaps  .

Description. ( Fig. 16View FIGURE 16 a) Encrusting with lobes and upright lamellar projections. The three samples were obtained from the same station, but were disintegrated in small cm-sized fragments making it difficult to describe the overall shape in more detail. The surface is irregular, punctate, with small oscules elevated on low cushions. The color (in alcohol) is pinkish light brown. The consistency is soft and fragile.

Skeleton. ( Fig. 16View FIGURE 16 b) The choanosome shows a loose reticulation of ascending tracts which have 2–3 spicules and interconnecting single spicules, but overall the skeleton is rather confused without binding spongin. The surface skeleton is unispicular, but it is discontinuous where there are large subdermal spaces.

Spicules. ( Fig. 16View FIGURE 16 c –e) Oxeas, flagellated sigmas, ‘normal’ sigmas.

Oxeas ( Fig. 16View FIGURE 16 c), slightly curved, elongated-fusiform, 226– 319 –358 x 11 – 12.7 –14 µm.

Flagellated sigmas ( Fig. 16View FIGURE 16 d), strongly assymetrical, with the shorter apex angularly incurved and the longer apex at first curving in and at the end curving out again, longer axis 72– 109 –159, shorter axis 51– 63 –75 µm.

Normal sigmas ( Fig. 16View FIGURE 16 e), symmetrical, with slightly incurving apices, 42– 51.5 –56 µm.

Distribution and ecology. Guyana Shelf, Florida, Belize, elsewhere reported from all over the world (type locality is Marion Island in the Southern Indian Ocean), depth in the region: 20–410 m, elsewhere down to 1378 m.

Remarks. This very characteristic species comprises most likely a species complex, because the published records encompass an almost cosmopolitan distribution: e.g. the Southern Ocean ( Ridley & Dendy 1886), the Arctic Ocean ( Lambe 1896; Lundbeck 1902), Indian Ocean ( Dendy 1922; Burton 1928), Mediterranean ( Vacelet 1969; Pulitzer-Finali 1978), and Namibia ( Uriz 1987, 1988). We may expect that a detailed comparative analysis of all the reported specimens will yield small differences. This is supported by the descriptions of several species with closely similar spiculation, e.g. Indonesian Gellius incrustans Hentschel, 1912  , Californian Gellius edaphus De Laubenfels, 1930  , and New Caledonian Gellius antarius Lévi & Lévi, 1983  . A revision of Haliclona  species with these flagellated sigmas is urgent.

The Caribbean occurrence was already noted by Schmidt (1870) as Desmacella  sp. encrusting a Florida Pachastrella abyssi  . There is an unpublished specimen in the ZMA collection from 20 m off the Caribbean Colombian coast ( ZMA Por. 21962, collected by M. Kielman). Van Soest (1980) and De Weerdt (2000) referred to a specimen with flagellated sigmas from Belize present in the Natural History Museum in London. 


National Museum of Natural History, Naturalis


Universiteit van Amsterdam, Zoologisch Museum














Haliclona (Gellius) aff. flagellifera ( Ridley & Dendy, 1886 )

Van, Rob W. M. 2017

Gellius flagellifer

Weerd 2000: 64
Van 1980: 25
Ridley 1887: 42
Ridley 1886: 333


Schmidt 1870: 53