Craniella crustocorticata van Soest 2017

Fernandez, Julio C. C., Rodriguez, Pablo R. D., Santos, George G., Pinheiro, Ulisses & Muricy, Guilherme, 2018, Taxonomy of deep-water tetillid sponges (Porifera, Demospongiae, Spirophorina) from Brazil, with description of three new species and new characters, Zootaxa 4429 (1), pp. 53-88: 69-73

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Craniella crustocorticata van Soest 2017


Craniella crustocorticata van Soest 2017 

( Figs. 11–12View FIGURE 11View FIGURE 12; Tabs. 3–4)

Diagnosis. Craniella  globular with a strongly conulose surface, a stout basal root, a bladder-like consistency and a

largely tangential surface skeleton (single-layered cortex); three categories of smooth oxeas, two categories of protriaenes (the largest strongly anisoclad), and one category each of anatriaenes and sigmaspires (amended from van Soest 2017).

Synonyms. Craniella crustocorticata van Soest 2017: 109  .

Craniella  sp., Muricy et al. 2006: 115.

Material examined. MNRJ 6059View Materials, REVIZEE Programme sta. Central 6-R1#4-2  , Rio de Janeiro State, Southeastern Brazil (21°39’27” S, 40°02’15” W, slope, Campos Basin , circa 106 km NE off Cabo de São Tomé),GoogleMaps 

box-corer, 700 m depth, coll. N.Oc. Astro-Garoupa team, 13 June 2002. UFPEPOR 2152, UFPEPOR 1785 (fragment of this last material deposited under MNRJ 18547View Materials), Project PETROBRAS BPOT sta. ARTM-65, Rio Grande do Norte State, Northeastern Brazil (04°33’10.4” S, 36°53’37” W, slope, Potiguar Basin, circa 64 km North off Macau City), 400 m depth, trawling, leg. PETROBRAS, 8 December 2009.GoogleMaps 

Description. Globular sponge, slightly compressed laterally, with a large and stout root at the base ( Figs. 11A– BView FIGURE 11); complete specimen 35 mm high by 27 mm in diameter (main body) and the root 10 cm long. Specimens without root (probably lost during collection), ( Figs. 11C–DView FIGURE 11); larger fragment 70 mm high by 40 mm in diameter. Surface, strongly conulose, without oscules or pores apparent; ectosome, a stout crust up to 1 mm thick. Conules larger at the apical and equatorial regions ( Fig. 11EView FIGURE 11) and smaller near the root ( Fig. 11FView FIGURE 11); up to 1 mm high. Color in vivo pinkish-brown, and cream to beige in ethanol. Consistency hard externally, but soft and very compressible internally.

Skeleton. Skeleton radial, with main bundles of oxeas I and II radiate from the center to the ectosome ending in conules on the surface, protruding up to 350 µm above the surface, up to 300 µm wide and up to 1500 µm of distance each other ( Fig. 11GView FIGURE 11). Cortical layer (single-layered cortex) as a continuous mesh of oxeas III, in a tangential way ( Fig. 11HView FIGURE 11). Different size categories of oxeas III with different positions in cortical layer; small forms, in a perpendicular way beside the conules beneath the surface; and large forms, predominatly in a tangential way to the surface ( Fig. 11IView FIGURE 11). Protriaenes I and II in the main radial bundles of oxeas. Sigmaspires scattered throughout choanosomal region; not present in the cortical layer. Anatriaenes only in the root ( Fig. 11JView FIGURE 11).

Spicules. Megascleres ( Tabs. 3–4):

Oxeas I ( Figs. 12A–BView FIGURE 12), abundant, relatively stout, straight and smooth. Extremities, equal to slightly different, both with sharp tips: 2812–3845–4740/32–39–52 µm.

Oxeas II ( Figs. 12C–DView FIGURE 12), less abundant than oxeas I, straight or slightly curved (more common), and smooth. Extremities equal and with acerate tips: 800–1200–1450/18–26–32 µm.

Oxeas III ( Figs. 12E–F, RView FIGURE 12), abundant, exclusively cortical, usually thicker than oxeas I and II, fusiform, slightly curved, and smooth. Extremities, equal and with acerate tips: 375–762–1300/20–44–80 µm.

Protriaenes I ( Figs. 12G–H, N–OView FIGURE 12), abundant and relatively slender. Rhabdome, sinuous and thin 2960–3918– 6956/10–15.3–19 µm. Cladome with unequal clads, either with one clad much larger than the other two (more frequent) or with the three clads unequal: 185–243–350 µm length (long clads), 60–102–163 µm length (short clads) by 10–14–18 µm width (both sizes of clads).

Protriaenes II ( Figs. 12I –J, PView FIGURE 12), less abundant and smaller than protriaenes I. Rhabdome, slender and flexuous: 975– 1532–2270 /2.5–3.5–6.3 µm. Cladome with three very slender, roughly equal clads: 80–204–320/1–2.2–3 µm.

Anatriaenes ( Figs. 12K–L, O, QView FIGURE 12), abundant and exclusively in the root. Irregular forms, anamonaenes and growth stages (with small cladome) also occur. Rhabdome, larger than that of protriaenes and with variable thickness (thickest in the insertion point of the cladome, thinner in the center, and thickening slightly at the other extremity): 1850–3736–10094/ 12–18–32 µm. Cladome, stout, with clads in an angle of 45º with the rhabdome: 50– 85–190/10–14.5–22 µm.

Microscleres ( Tabs. 3–4):

Sigmaspires ( Fig. 12MView FIGURE 12), abundant, ‘c’ shaped and entirely microspined (many large spines): 9.7–13.5–17.7/up to 2 µm.

Ecology and bathymetric distribution. No macrosymbionts were observed. Specimens were collected on muddy bottoms, in deep water (from 400 to 700 m depth).

Distribution. Continental slope of Guyana (van Soest 2017), NE Brazil and SW Brazil (present study; Fig. 1View FIGURE 1).

Remarks. Craniella crustocorticata  does not fit strictly in any tetillid genus based on the diagnoses proposed by Carella et al. (2016) due to its single-layered crust of tangential oxeas. However, we agree with its generic assignment in Craniella  by van Soest (2017), who argued that other species of Craniella  have a paratangential arrangement of oxeas too; e.g., Craniella azorica ( Topsent 1913)  . Moreover, the presence of cortex and absence of porocalices is a typical combination of characters of the genus Craniella (van Soest & Rützler 2002)  .

Our material is very similar to Craniella crustocorticata  from the Guyana shelf (van Soest 2017), in terms of the globular habit, a conulose surface, presence of a radial skeleton with single-layered cortex, and size and shape of spicules ( Tab. 4). On the other hand, the presence of a rooting system is variable. It is present only in our specimens from Campos Basin, collected by box-corer, and is absent in both our specimens from Potiguar Basin, collected by trawling, and in those from the Guyana (van Soest 2017), collected by trawling and van Veen grab. Its absence, therefore, is possibly due to damage during collection.

Craniella crustocorticata  was described with one category each of cortical and choanosomal oxeas, although a possible division into two categories of each type has been mentioned by van Soest (2017). We have observed in our material one category of cortical oxeas with a great range of length (375–1250 µm), but two categories of choanosomal oxeas (the larger is often slightly anisoactinal, and the shorter is isoactinal).














Craniella crustocorticata van Soest 2017

Fernandez, Julio C. C., Rodriguez, Pablo R. D., Santos, George G., Pinheiro, Ulisses & Muricy, Guilherme 2018



Muricy et al. 2006 : 115