Pericharax orientalis Van Soest & De Voogd, 2015

Van, Rob W. M. & De, Nicole J., 2018, Calcareous sponges of the Western Indian Ocean and Red Sea, Zootaxa 4426 (1), pp. 1-160: 87-89

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Pericharax orientalis Van Soest & De Voogd, 2015


Pericharax orientalis Van Soest & De Voogd, 2015 

Figs 51a–h View Figure

Pericharax heteroraphis  ; sensu Dendy 1913: 13 (not: Pericharax carteri var. heteroraphis Poléjaeff, 1883: 66  ).

Pericharax orientalis Van Soest & De Voogd, 2015: 57  , figs 41a–e, 42a–e.

Material examined. RMNHAbout RMNH Por. 10157, Maldives, Faafu Atoll, Wallstreet, 3.119°N 72.979556°E, depth 12 m, scuba, coll. N.J. de Voogd, field nrGoogleMaps  . MAD10/MAS118, 20 February 2015; ZMAAbout ZMA Por. 17996, Mauritius, 20.0304°S 57.5364°E, depth 7–28 m, scuba, coll. P. Daniel Marie, field nr. MO4SP5TB, 2014GoogleMaps  ; ZMAAbout ZMA Por. 18308, Mauritius, 20.0378°S 57.5361°E, depth 10–20 m, scuba, coll. P. Daniel Marie, field nr. 5, December 2014GoogleMaps  ; ZMAAbout ZMA Por. 21792, Mauritius, depth 10–20 m, scuba, coll. P. Daniel Marie, field nr. VI sp.17, December 2010  .

Description. Since this species was treated extensively recently (see Van Soest & De Voogd, 2015), we provide here only a short description. Large, yellow-green, upright or volcanoe-shaped sponges ( Fig. 51a View Figure ), with faintly ridged or shallowly grooved sides and prominent wide central vent or oscule. Occasionally two or more individuals are attached forming a small group. Sizes up to 10 cm or more in height, 10 cm or more in diameter. Surface may be covered in tiny tubes of syllid worms. In preservation, specimens become red-brown ( Fig. 51b View Figure ). Consistency hard, rough to the touch.

Aquiferous system. Leuconoid.

Skeleton. Cortical region with a thin layer of small sagittal triactines forming rounded subdermal spaces, carried by tangentially arranged subcortical giant triactines. Choanosomal skeleton built predominantly by small triactines supporting the leuconoid canal system. The atrial walls are formed predominantly by tetractines with their apical actines protruding into the atrial cavity ( Fig. 51c View Figure ).

Spicules. ( Figs 51d–h View Figure ) Giant triactines, small cortical triactines, small choanosomal triactines, atrial tetractines.

Giant triactines ( Fig. 51d View Figure ), equiradiate, equiangular, 396– 1386 –2310 x 28– 124.3 –222 µm.

Cortical triactines ( Fig. 51e View Figure ), irregular, slightly sagittal, with all three actines slightly different and somewhat wavy, 54– 88 –119 x 6 – 8.1 –11 µm.

Small triactines ( Fig. 51f View Figure ), regular, equiradiate, equiangular, 126– 181 –228 x 12 – 15.9 –23 µm.

Tetractines ( Figs 51g –h View Figure ), with basal radiate system equiradiate, equiangular, actines 106– 156 –192 x 7 – 11.3 –17 µm, apical actines ( Fig. 51h View Figure ) thin, mostly wavy or curved, but may be straight, 25– 67 –108 x 4 – 6.4 –10 µm.

Distribution and ecology. Maldives, Mauritius, elsewhere widely distributed in the Indo-West Pacific tropical region, on reefs down to 20 m or deeper.

Remarks. Pericharax peziza Dendy, 1913  is a small cup-shaped sponge, pale yellow in alcohol, which has not been found again after its original description from Cargados Carajos. Its skeletal architecture and spiculation is similar to P. orientalis  .

We obtained sequences of the holotype of Pericharax orientalis  from Indonesia ( RMNHAbout RMNH Por. 5259) and of the above described RMNHAbout RMNH Por 10157 from the Maldives and in our phylogenetic analysis ( Fig. 2C View Figure ) both ended up in the same clade at moderate bootstrap value.

Recently, Leocorny et al. (2017) described several new Pericharax  species from Western Australia, P. vallii Leocorny et al., 2017  , and P.crypta Leocorny et al., 2017  . These species clearly differ from the present specimens in aspects of habitus and spicule sizes. Leocorny et al. (2017) found that Leucetta  and Pericharax  could not be retrieved as monophyletic, and this is confirmed in our Fig. 2C View Figure .


National Museum of Natural History, Naturalis


Universiteit van Amsterdam, Zoologisch Museum














Pericharax orientalis Van Soest & De Voogd, 2015

Van, Rob W. M. & De, Nicole J. 2018


Pericharax heteroraphis

Poléjaeff, 1883 : 66