Ute insulagemmae

Van, Rob W. M. & De, Nicole J., 2018, Calcareous sponges of the Western Indian Ocean and Red Sea, Zootaxa 4426 (1), pp. 1-160: 92-95

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Ute insulagemmae


Ute insulagemmae  sp.nov.

Figs 54a–e View Figure , 55a–g View Figure

Material examined. Holotype, ZMAAbout ZMA Por. 11562, Seychelles, Amirantes, St. François Atoll, Île Bijoutier, reef, 7.0833°S 52.7333°E, depth 6–18 m, scuba, coll. R.W.M. van Soest, field nrGoogleMaps  . NIOP-E stat. 792/ 03, 5 January 1993.

Description. Twin urn-shaped individuals ( Fig. 54a View Figure ) joint at the base, with a narrow oscule each provided with a short naked collar. Color in life pale orange, in preservation shiny white. Length 1.3 cm, diameter of an individual 5 mm. Surface smooth. Consistency firm.

Aquiferous system. Syconoid.

Skeleton. ( Figs 54b–e View Figure ) A thin cortical skeleton of very small triactines ( Figs 54b,d View Figure ) forming small meshes of 50–70 µm diameter covers a subcortical layer of lengthwise arranged giant diactines ( Figs 54b–d View Figure ). This in turn overlies an articulated skeleton ( Figs. 54c,e View Figure ) of larger triactines. Subatrial skeleton of tetractines and triactines, overlying the atrial skeleton ( Fig. 54e View Figure ) of tetractines with their apical actines protruding in the atrial lumen.

Spicules. ( Figs 55a–g View Figure ) Giant diactines, cortical small triactines, tubar triactines, (sub)atrial triactines, (sub-)atrial tetractines, trichoxeas.

Giant diactines ( Fig. 55a View Figure ), fusiform, slightly curved or straight, equiended, 256– 1509 – 2520 x 13 – 68.1 –116 µm.

Cortical triactines ( Figs 55b View Figure ), sagittal, with strongly irregular paired actines and conical unpaired actines, occasionally reduced to conical tyle, unpaired actines 5– 9.4 – 18 x 2 – 4.1 –6 µm, paired actines 21– 35 – 51 x 2.5– 3.6 –4 µm.

Tubar triactines ( Figs 55c View Figure ), sagittal, but unpaired and paired actines usually not much different in lengths, paired actines straight or slightly curved, (overlapping in shape and size with subatrial triactines); possibly divisible in subcortical (larger) triactines and genuine (smaller) tubar triactines, but this was not readily visible; unpaired actines 52– 79.5 –112 x 8 – 10.2 –13 µm, paired actines 69– 85.1 –117 x 7 – 8.8 –13 µm.

Subatrial triactines ( Fig. 55d View Figure ), strongly sagittal with unpaired actines distinctly longer than paired actines; unpaired actines 91– 168 –203 x 9 – 12.4 –15 µm, paired actines 78– 97 –112 x 9 – 12.2 –14 µm.

Subatrial tetractines ( Fig. 55e View Figure ), recognizable by a long thinly tapering unpaired actine, which may occasionally have a distal swelling; unpaired actines 171–202–241 x 8 –10.2–11 µm, paired actines 76– 109 –126 x 10 – 11.3 –12 µm, apical actines curved 49– 60.4 – 71 x 6 – 7.1 –8 µm.

Atrial tetractines ( Figs 55f View Figure ), sagittal, with prominent curved apical actines; unpaired actines 61– 107.6 –165 x 7 –8.6–11 µm, paired actines 68– 104 –126 x 6 – 8.3 –10 µm, apical actines 40– 115 –201 x 6 – 8.4 –11 µm.

Trichoxeas ( Fig. 55g View Figure ), from the short oscular collar, invariably broken, fragments measure 180–650 x 2 µm.

Distribution and ecology. Known only from the type locality on the outer reef of Île Bijoutier, at 6–18 m depth.

Etymology. The name is a noun composed of insula (L.) = island, gemma (L.) = jewelry, referring to the type locality Île Bijoutier (‘jewelry island’).

Remarks. Wörheide & Hooper (2003) described Ute ampullacea  from the Great Barrier Reef, NE Australia. This has similar habitus and spiculation, but the cortical skeleton consists of microdiactines, whereas in the new species these are replaced by irregular small triactines ( Fig. 55b View Figure ). We obtained molecular data for the new species and compared these with GenBank sequences of Ute  and Synute  . Remarkably, in our Calcaronea phylogeny ( Fig. 3 View Figure ) Ute ampullacea  and our new species do not show close relationship, as the former ended up in a group of Lelapiidae  . The nearest species to Ute insulagemmae  sp.nov. appear to be Australian Ute  aff. syconoides ( Carter, 1886) and Australian Synute pulchella ( Dendy, 1892)  , which grouped in a well-supported clade (86% bootstrap value) with our new species. Separate inspection of a trimmed alignment of 404 sites of these three species, showed 19 non-conserved sites indicating that the species are probably not closely related. No other Ute  species have been reported from the tropical Indo-West Pacific.

The Ute  group appeared in our Calcaronea phylogeby ( Fig. 3 View Figure ) in the midst of a group of Heteropiidae  and Jenkinidae  . We interprete this result as evidence of insufficient taxon support for our Calcaronea phylogeny.


Universiteit van Amsterdam, Zoologisch Museum