Svenzea cristinae Alvarez, van Soest & Rützler, 2002

Ugalde, Diana, Fernandez, Julio C. C., Gómez, Patricia, Lôbo-Hajdu, Gisele & Simões, Nuno, 2021, An update on the diversity of marine sponges in the southern Gulf of Mexico coral reefs, Zootaxa 5031 (1), pp. 1-112 : 60

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Svenzea cristinae Alvarez, van Soest & Rützler, 2002


Svenzea cristinae Alvarez, van Soest & Rützler, 2002

Tables 6, 7; Figs. 55A–C View FIGURE 55 , 58J View FIGURE 58

Synonymy and references: Svenzea cristinae, Alvarez et al. (2002: 173) .

Type locality. Belize .

Material examined. CNPGG-2473 and CNPGG-2474, Alacranes reef (22.4952°N, 89.7723°W), 6 m depth, coll. Diana Ugalde, 18 May 2016.

Description. Cushion shaped habit, cavernous ( Fig. 58J View FIGURE 58 ); overall size, base with 5.2 × 3.3 × 2.5 cm and papillae with 1.2 cm high. Surface microhispid with irregular placed visible pores. Part of the surface as a translucent membrane in shallow depressions. Round to irregular oscules, scattered, up to 0.9 cm in diameter. It is an ochre yellow color in vivo, light beige when in ethanol. The consistency is elastic and compressible.

Skeleton. The choanosomal skeleton with loose sinuous tracts of spicules in an irregular reticulation; round meshes, elongated to polygonal, up to 500 µm in diameter ( Fig. 55A View FIGURE 55 ). Tracts of spicules protruding outside the surface. Debris and sand grains above the surface and in the choanosomal region ( Fig. 55B View FIGURE 55 ).

Spicules. Megascleres: Strongylote-shaped styles, curved to sinuous and smooth ( Fig. 55C View FIGURE 55 ). Base with blunt tips. Apex blunt (more frequent), acerate or as a small tip; 210– 324.7 (65.3)–450/3– 4.4 (1)–7 µm.

Distribution. Mexico (current records), Belize, and Jamaica ( Alvarez et al. 2002).

Remarks. Svenzea cristinae was originally recorded in Belize and Jamaica, and our specimens match both external and internal morphology of materials described in Alvarez et al. (2002). However, slight differences among specimens can be discerned, probably due to the different environmental conditions. For example, mangrove roots, 0.5 m deep in the type material, and the coral reef 6 m deep in our material. The type has purple or pinkish areas in its yellow background, which lack in our material. Oxeas (60–340 / 3.7–10 µm) depicted as less frequent or absent in the original description, are entirely absent in our reef specimens, which also have thinner styles than those seen in the type material (11.2 µm in Jamaica, up to 17.5 µm in Belize). Six valid species of Svenzea are reported in the TNwA, S. cristinae , and S. flava , with the same external morphology, specifically their massive encrusting shape and yellow color. However, they differ in their skeletal arrangement and details of spicule morphology and dimensions ( Table 4, S. flava description below). Our specimens represent the first record of S. cristinae for the GoM.