Leucandra pulvinar ( Haeckel, 1872 )

Van, Rob W. M. & De, Nicole J., 2018, Calcareous sponges of the Western Indian Ocean and Red Sea, Zootaxa 4426 (1), pp. 1-160: 95-96

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Leucandra pulvinar ( Haeckel, 1872 )


Leucandra pulvinar ( Haeckel, 1872) 

Figs 56a–d View Figure , 57a–e View Figure

Sycolepis pulvinar Haeckel, 1870: 251  (nomen nudum)

Mlea dohrnii Miklucho-Maclay  MS in Haeckel, 1872: 162 (nomen nudum)

Leucortis pulvinar var. semitica Haeckel, 1872: 163 

Leucandra pulvinar  ; Dendy 1905: 234 (listed, not described)

Material examined. ZMAAbout ZMA Por. 13423, Israel, Stylus Pinnacle , Gulf of Aqaba, depth 9 m, scuba, coll. M. Wunsch, field nr. AQ 77, 6 July 1998  ; ZMAAbout ZMA Por. 13615, Israel, NW of harbor, Gulf of Aqaba, under overhang on harbor pile, depth 12 m, scuba, coll. M. Wunsch, field nr. AQ 39, 3 July 1998. 

Description. Whitish or pale yellow globular-lobate sponges ( Figs 56a,d View Figure ) with optically smooth or irregular hispid surface, approximately 3 x 2 x 1.5 cm. Both specimens have two prominent oscules, 3–4 mm in diameter, with naked collar, leading to atrial spaces that are shallow and narrow. In preserved condition the color is beigedirty white ( Fig. 56b View Figure ). Consistency brittle, firm.

Aquiferous system. Leuconoid.

Skeleton ( Fig. 56c View Figure ). A thin cortical skeleton of sagittal triactines covering tangential giant diactines arranged in all directions. There are also tangential trichoxeas. Choanosomal skeleton a confused mass of irregular triactines with scattered diactines of all sizes. Atrial skeleton consists of small irregular triactines.

Spicules ( Figs 57a–e View Figure ). Diactines, trichoxeas, sagittal triactines, irregular triactines. No tetractines. 

Diactines fusiform ( Figs 57a,a View Figure 1 View Figure ), varying in size from giant to very small, 105– 929 – 2760 x 11 – 47 –108 µm.

Trichoxeas ( Figs 57b,b View Figure 1 View Figure ), often broken, but also varying in length, 123– 465 – 1200 x 1.5– 3.4 –7 µm.

Cortical triactines ( Fig. 57c View Figure ), predominantly sagittal, almost T-shaped, with unpaired actine shorter than paired actines, although equiactinal spicules also occur, unpaired actines 90– 143 –212 x 9 – 14.7 –20 µm, paired actines 165– 198 –270 x 14 – 16.3 –21 µm.

Choanosomal triactines ( Fig. 57d View Figure ), basically equiactinal, but irregularly sagittal or oxhorns-haped, 168– 229 –298 x 15 – 19.1 –24 µm.

Atrial triactines ( Fig. 62e View Figure ), smaller than the other triactines, equiactinal, irregularly parasagittal, 45– 91 –120 x 5 – 8.1 –10 µm.

Distribution and ecology. Red Sea, Sri Lanka, shallow reef localities.

Remarks. Our specimens resemble Haeckel’s 1872 description (vol. 2: 163) and figures (vol. 3: pl. 29 figs 1–10) of Leucortis pulvinar var. semitica  . Next to this variety, Haeckel also described a var. indica  . Since he did not describe a typical, separate variety one of the two varieties ( semitica  or indica  ) has to be the nominotypical variety ( ICZN art. 47) Leucortis pulvinar var. pulvinar  . In the absence of previous treatments of this problem, we choose here the var. semitica  as the nominotypical variety to take the name pulvinar  , as it is the first mentioned. It is likely that both varieties belong to the same species, but a formal synonymization must await the description of recent Indian material. Dendy’s (1905) Sri Lanka record of Leucandra (Leucortis) pulvinar  remains undescribed.

There are several Leucandra  species described in the region with similar spiculation, including giant diactines: Leucandra echinata Schuffner, 1877  (also reported by Dendy 1913), Leucandra fascigera Schuffner, 1877  , Leucandra donnani var. tenuiradiata Dendy, 1916  , Leucandra dwarkaensis Dendy, 1916  and Leucandra seychellensis Hozawa, 1940  ), but all these have atrial tetractines and differ in habitus. This also applies to two Leucandra  species from NE Australia, L. sphaeracella Wörheide & Hooper, 2003  , and L. nicolae Wörheide & Hooper, 2003  .

Unfortunately, our attempt to obtain a partial 28S sequence failed.


Universiteit van Amsterdam, Zoologisch Museum














Leucandra pulvinar ( Haeckel, 1872 )

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


Mlea dohrnii

: 162


Leucortis pulvinar var. semitica

: 163


Leucandra pulvinar

: 234