Cinachyrella paterifera (Wilson, 1925)

Santodomingo, Nadiezhda & Becking, Leontine E., 2018, Unravelling the moons: review of the genera Paratetilla and Cinachyrella in the Indo-Pacific (Demospongiae, Tetractinellida, Tetillidae), ZooKeys 791, pp. 1-46: 23-24

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Cinachyrella paterifera (Wilson, 1925)


Cinachyrella paterifera (Wilson, 1925)  Figs 12, 13

Tetilla (Cinachyrella) paterifera  Wilson, 1925: 375; plate 39, figs 6, 8; plate 48, fig. 4 (type seen).

Material examined.

Holotype USNM21314, South of Tumindao Reef, Tibutu Island, Sibutu Group, Sulu Archipelago, Philippines, 18 m, 27 Feb 1908. INDONESIA. East Kalimantan, Berau reef, RMNH.POR.11207; RMNH.POR.11208; RMNH.POR.11209; RMNH.POR.11211. West Papua, Wallace Lake, RMNH.POR.11212, RMNH.POR.11213, RMNH.POR.11214; Outside Wallace Lake, RMNH.POR.11215; Gam Island, RMNH.POR.11216, RMNH.POR.11217, RMNH.POR.11218, RMNH.POR.11219, RMNH.POR.11220; Ctenophore Lake, RMNH.POR.11221.


External morphology. Globular sponges, size from 5 to 7 cm in diameter attached to the substrate by a large peduncle/shaft 3 × 2.5 cm (Figure 12 A, B). Surface smooth to hispid due to the projecting spicules, covered by porocalices. Porocalices are bowl or pocket-shape, with rounded apertures, up to 5 × 7 mm and 2-4 mm deep; a central cloaca is located on the top, 15 × 12 mm in diameter and 10 mm deep. Color bright pink when alive, which turns slightly paler in ethanol. Skeleton composed by bundles of oxeas and triaenes radiating from a central core. No cortex.

Megascleres. The holotype and Indonesian measurements are shown in Table 6. Holotype, oxeas 1400 –3011.5– 4750 mm × 10 –34.5– 62.5 mm (Figure 12D, I); few anatriaenes (Figure 12L), with a thick, small, poorly developed cladi, 17.5 –24.2– 30 mm × 2 –6.5– 10 mm × 5 –5.8– 7.5 mm, rhabd slightly thicker in the middle 15-25 mm, and tapering to dimensions of < 1 mm.; two different types of protriaenes, first one rare, with thick and small cladi (Figure 12K), 30 –32.5– 35 mm × 22.5 –31.3– 40 mm × 7.5 –7.5– 7.5 mm, rhabd usually broken, up to 5000 × 10 mm, thicker in the middle 40 mm, and tapering to dimensions of < 1 mm, the second type smaller, very abundant around porocalices, with small cladi in acute angle (fork-shape), 7.5 –12.5– 17.5 mm × 12 –15.5– 20 mm × 2.5 –2.5– 2.5 mm, rhabd up to 820 × 2.5 mm; strongyles are common, although only broken spicules observed in the holotype (Figure 12J), Indonesian specimens are 1800 –2545.8– 3700 mm × 35 –42.7– 62.5 mm (Figure 12F); no calthrop-like triaenes.

Microscleres. No microxeas; sigmaspires 10 –13.2– 17.5 mm in the holotype (Figure 12N) and 10 –14.8– 20 mm in Indonesian material (Figure 12M); C-S shape.


The species occurs mainly in reefs, and it is rare in marine lakes and mangroves. It usually inhabits sand bottoms, in which the penduncle serves as a support structure.


Indonesia, including East Kalimantan and West Papua. It is also known from Sibutu Island in Philippines ( Wilson 1925). Although it is found in a variety of habitats, C. paterifera  is the least common species of Cinachyrella  from Indonesia.


Cinachyrella paterifera  has a characteristic elongated peduncle, it is pink to violet colored, and it contains abnormal anatriaenes. Interestingly, Wilson (1925) described rare microxeas (250 × 2 µm) in one specimen of the type series, whilst they were very abundant in the other two types. After a detailed examination of the type specimen USNM 21314 and preparations from different parts of the individual sponge, no microxeas were observed, suggesting that this character is not diagnostic of the species. Although C. tenuiviolacea  ( Pulitzer-Finali 1982) from the Great Barrier Reef resembles C. paterifera  in the distinctive pink to violet color and presence of abnormal anatriaenes, it remains to be investigated if these two species could be synonymized. We could not access type material from C. tenuiviolacea  , and from the bad conditions of preservation noted by Pulitzer-Finali (1982) in his type specimen, it is not possible to determine whether the specimen has or does not have the peduncle characteristic of C. paterifera  . The large numbers of hair-like protri- and prodiaenes around the porocalices of C. paterifera  , resemble those described for C. vaccinata  (Dendy, 1905), yet the C. vaccinata  type contains acanthose microxea characteristic of C. australiensis  . Cinachyrella paterifera  share with C. porosa  the absence of microxea, but they differ by the larger sigmaspires and abnormal protriaenes of C. paterifera  . Indonesian specimens vary within the morphological range of the species. Specimens of this species belong to the same phylogenetic clade supporting its monophyly ( Szitenberg et al. 2013; Schuster et al. 2017).