Cinachyrella porosa (Lendenfeld, 1888)

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: 19-21

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Cinachyrella porosa (Lendenfeld, 1888)


Cinachyrella porosa (Lendenfeld, 1888)  Figs 9, 10

Spiretta porosa  Lendenfeld, 1888: 43 (type seen).

Cinachyra malaccensis  Sollas, 1902: 219, pl. XIV, fig. 2; pl. XV, fig. 5. Malacca Strait.

Tetilla porosa  ; Lendenfeld, 1903: 22.

Tetilla anomala  Dendy, 1905: 91, pl. III, fig.5 (type seen).

Cinachyra albatridens  Lendenfeld, 1907: 149, pl. XV, figs 7-9 (type seen).

Cinachyra albaobtusa  Lendenfeld, 1907: 154, pl. XVI, figs 45-52 (type seen).

Cinachyra albabidens  Lendenfeld, 1907: 151, pl. XVI, figs 39-44 (type seen).

Tethya clavigera  Hentschel, 1912: 327, pl. XVI, fig.1, pl. XVIII, fig. 10 In Aru Island, Beach Ngaiboor Trangan.

Cinachyra anomala  ; Dendy, 1922: 20, pl. 1, fig. 3 (material seen).

Cinachyra porosa  ; de Laubenfels, 1954: 240, pl. XI, fig. b (material seen).

Material examined.

Holotype NHMUK 1886.8.29.632-633, Port Denison, Australia (as Spiretta porosa  ). NHMUK 1907.2.1.12, Chilaw, Sri Lanka (as Tetilla anomala  ). NHMUK 1908.2.9.40-42, Diego Garcia, Chagos Archipelago (as Cinachyra albatridens  ). NHMUK 1908.9.24.72, Anachoreten (=Keniet) Islands, Papua New Guinea (as Cinachyra albaobtusa  ). NHMUK 1908.9.24.71, Tonga Islands (as Cinachyra albabidens  ). INDONESIA, East Kalimantan, Berau reef, RMNH.POR.11228 [LT628324]; Pea Bay, RMNH.POR.11242, RMNH.POR.11243, RMNH.POR.11244 [JX177888]; Bamban Lake, RMNH.POR.11222, RMNH.POR.11223, RMNH.POR.11224, RMNH.POR.11225 [LT628327], RMNH.POR.11226; RMNH.POR.11226; Bandong Lake, RMNH.POR.11227; Haji Buang Lake, RMNH.POR.11236, RMNH.POR.11237, RMNH.POR.11238, RMNH.POR.11239, RMNH.POR.11240 [LT628325], RMNH.POR.11230, RMNH.POR.11231, RMNH.POR.11232 [LT628326], RMNH.POR.11233, RMNH.POR.11234, RMNH.POR.11235, RMNH.POR. 3514; Kakaban Lake, RMNH.POR.11241. Java, Thousand Islands, RMNH.POR.1998, RMNH.POR.2108. Sulawesi, Bunaken, RMNH.POR.3105. Ternate  , Ternate reef, RMNH.POR.11309. West Papua, Sawaundarek Lake, RMNH.POR.11245 [JX177884], RMNH. POR.11246 [LT628323], RMNH.POR.11247, RMNH.POR.11248; Ctenophore Lake, RMNH.POR.11249, RMNH.POR.11250, RMNH.POR.11251, RMNH.POR.11251, RMNH.POR.11252, RMNH.POR.11253, RMNH.POR.11254, RMNH.POR.11255, RMNH.POR.11256, RMNH.POR.11257, RMNH.POR.11258, RMNH.POR.11259; Outside Ctenophore Lake, RMNH.POR.11260, RMNH.POR.11261, RMNH.POR.11262; Gam Island, Reef flat, RMNH.POR.11263; Gam Island, Mangrove, RMNH.POR.11264.


External morphology. Globular sponges, size from 3 to 5 cm in diameter (Figs 9A, 10A, B). Surface highly hispid due to the projecting spicules, covered by numerous porocalices. Porocalices are bowl-shape, with rounded apertures, up to 4 × 5 mm and 5 mm deep, abundant; no cloaca; in preserved material some porocalices are closed. Color generally yellow when alive (Figure 10A, B), which turns paler or even white-grey after preservation in ethanol (Figure 9A).

Skeleton. No cortex. Skeleton composed by bundles of oxeas and triaenes radiating from a central core (Figs 9C, 10C).

Megascleres. Measurements are shown in Table 6 for the holotype and Indonesian specimens. Holotype, oxeas 820 –2553.2– 3750 mm × 7.5 –29.4– 47.5 mm (Figure 9C-E); few anatriaenes (Figure 9H, I), with rhabd always broken 2.5 –7.3– 15 mm, cladi thin, with obtuse angles 50 –67.6– 100 mm × 30 –42– 60 mm × 2.5 –5.6– 7.5 mm; protriaenes less abundant (Figure 9F), with rhabd always broken up to 5800 mm × 5 –7.3– 12.5, probably tapering to dimensions < 1 mm, with thin and long cladi (25 –44.4– 65mm × 35 –73– 110mm × 5 –5.1– 7.5 mm); abundant prodiaenes with similar dimensions as protriaenes (Figure 9G).

Microscleres. No microxeas. Sigmaspires 5 –8.6– 12.5 mm in the holotype (Figure 9J) and 5 –8.4– 12.5 in the Indonesian specimens (Figure 10N, O), C-S shape; in some Indonesian specimens, silica spheres ranging from 3-7 mm in diameter can be present (Figure 10M).


Occurs in reefs, mangroves, and marine lakes. Predominantly in shallow areas. Notably, a large population inhabit the marine lake of Tanah Bambam, where C. porosa  was the dominant representative of moon sponges. This species produces 1-2 mm sized buds (Figure 8) and buds extensively in marine lakes habitats.


According to the material examined in this revision, we observed that this species is widely distributed in the Indo-Pacific, from the Chagos archipelago, Sri Lanka, Australia, and Tonga Islands. In Indonesia, C. porosa  has been collected in East Kalimantan, Java, Ternate  , and West Papua.


Cinachyrella porosa  is distinguished from C. australiensis  by the absence of acanthose microxea and smaller size of sigmaspires. The first species described with these two diagnostic characteristics was Spiretta porosa  Lendenfeld, 1888, subsequently transferred to the genus Tetilla  ( Lendenfeld 1903) and included as a junior synonym of C. australiensis  in both, Burton (1934) and WPD (2018). The detailed examination of the holotype of C. porosa  suggests that this species should therefore be resurrected. Based on the careful examination of the holotypes of C. albabidens  (Lendenfeld, 1907) and C. albaobtusa  (Lendenfeld, 1907), and the descriptions and plates of C. malaccensis  (Sollas, 1902) and C. clavigera  (Hentschel, 1912), we coincide with the porosa  -group recognized by Burton (1934). However, we disagree with the statement that intermediate forms can be found within the wide range of variation of C. australiensis  , and therefore we consider C. porosa  as a valid species clearly differentiated from C. australiensis  . Lendenfeld (1907) recognized the difficulties to separate the three species of the alba  -group, and his decision to discriminate them as different species was based on distant localities and slight differences on the abundance of triaenes. After the morphological analysis of the C. albatridens  holotype, we consider that this species could also be a junior synonym of C. porosa  because neither microxea nor other characters to separate this species were found. Although Burton (1934) did not consider C. anomala  (Dendy, 1905) within the porosa  -group, we suggest that a similar decision could be made based on our observations of the type specimen. Some of the Indonesian specimens have silica micro-spherules. Similar spherules have been described for species C. anomala  and C. hirsuta  (Dendy, 1905), as well as Tetilla cinachyroides  ( Hentschel 1911). Because C. hirsuta  and T. cinachyroides  contain acanthose microxea, they are synonimized with C. australiensis  . The nature of these spherules has been discussed by Dendy (1905) and Lendenfeld (1907). Dendy (1905) suggests that the spherules are associated with mother cells, which probably would give origin to sigmaspires, or they can be considered as anomalous or incidental spicules. On the other hand, Lendenfeld (1907) estimated that spherules are the earlier stages of oxeas as described for Tethya cranium  (see Lendenfeld 1907, plate 14 figs 11-15). Silica spherules are very variable within populations of the same species and among different genera in Tetillidae  , suggesting that this character has no taxonomic value.