Ciocalypta alba Carvalho, Carraro, Lerner & Hajdu, 2003,

Van, Rob W. M., 2017, Sponges of the Guyana Shelf, Zootaxa 1, pp. 1-225: 182-183

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Ciocalypta alba Carvalho, Carraro, Lerner & Hajdu, 2003


Ciocalypta alba Carvalho, Carraro, Lerner & Hajdu, 2003 

Figures 114View FIGURE 114 a –f

Ciocalypta alba Carvalho et al., 2003: 2 View Cited Treatment   , figs 1–2.

Material examined. RMNH Por. 9938, Guyana, ‘Luymes’ Guyana Shelf Expedition, station 63, 7.5833°N 57.0667°W, depth 71 m, sandy bottom, 31 August 1970GoogleMaps  .

Description. ( Fig. 114View FIGURE 114 a) A single fistule of about 2.5 cm long, 15 mm in diameter, encrusting and consolidating several dead mollusk shells. The shape is equidiametrical ending in a short closed pointed apex. The smooth skin is glassy grey, transparent. Inside a darker colored central axis is visible, surrounded by large subdermal spaces. Consistency elastic but fragile.

Skeleton. The ectosomal skeleton ( Fig. 114View FIGURE 114 b –c) is a tangential halichondrioid reticulation of spicule tracts, 2–7 spicules in cross section, intercrossing and anastomosing. The central axis is a thick aligned mass of oxeas, giving off side branches running to the surface, supporting the ectosomal skeleton.

Spicules. ( Figs 114View FIGURE 114 d –f) Oxeas only.

Oxeas, symmetrical, predominantly slightly curved, sharply pointed, in a large size range, divisible in three almost overlapping size categories, (1) large ( Figs 114View FIGURE 114 d,d1), 576–816 x 9–21 µm, (2) middle-sized ( Figs 114View FIGURE 114 e,e1), 316–512 x 6.5–10 µm, and (3) small ( Figs 114View FIGURE 114 f,f1), 182–308 x 4–7 µm; overall oxea size 182– 453 –816 x 4 – 9.6 –21 µm.

Distribution and ecology. Guyana Shelf, SE Brazil, in sandy bottom at 12–71 m depth.

Remarks. The single fistule matches all details described by Carvalho et al. 2003: the transparent ‘skin’, the central axis of oxeas and the tangential halichondroid skeleton at the surface, and the sizes and categories of the oxeas. The type material is much bigger, with dozens of fistules, but the present individual fistule is closely similar to one of the fistules of the type.

Another Central West Atlantic Ciocalypta  species is C. gibbsi ( Wells, Wells & Gray, 1960)  (originally as Ciocalapata  ), but this has distinctly smaller and thinner spicules. Carvalho et al. 2003 also assigned Topsentia pseudoporrecta Díaz, Pomponi & Van Soest, 1993  to Ciocalypta  , but since its fistules are solid and nontransparent, I do not think this is warranted. It differs also clearly from C. alba  and C. gibbsi  in having very much larger oxeas (up to 1800 µm). The type species of Ciocalypta  , European C. penicillus Bowerbank, 1862  has styles as the dominant spicule type, but like Carvalho et al. (2003) I follow here Erpenbeck & Van Soest’s (2002) argument that the genus is characterized by the peculiar fistular shape and species may have oxeas, styles or both as spicules.


National Museum of Natural History, Naturalis














Ciocalypta alba Carvalho, Carraro, Lerner & Hajdu, 2003

Van, Rob W. M. 2017

Ciocalypta alba Carvalho et al., 2003 : 2

Carvalho 2003: 2