Sympagella clippertonae

Herzog, Sascha, Amon, Diva J., Smith, Craig R. & Janussen, Dorte, 2018, Two new species of Sympagella (Porifera: Hexactinellida: Rossellidae) collected from the Clarion-Clipperton Zone, East Pacific, Zootaxa 4466 (1), pp. 152-163: 158-160

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Sympagella clippertonae

sp. nov.

Sympagella clippertonae  sp. nov.

( Fig 3View FIGURE 3, Tables 1.3, 1.4)

Material examined: Holotype (unicum), SMFAbout SMF 12105View Materials, CS_19, ABYSSLINE Project, RV Melville, cruise MV1313, UK-1 Stratum A, Clarion-Clipperton Zone, East Pacific , 23 October 2013, 13°40.786 N, 114°24.873 W, 4110 m, fixed in 96% ethanol.GoogleMaps 

Description. The second specimen collected by ROVAbout ROV Remora  III was also in good condition ( Fig 3aView FIGURE 3). The long, solid but broken stalk of the specimen is 150 mm long and 4 mm thick. The stalk merges to the upper body in a smooth transition. As an additional piece, the foot of the stalk was collected. It has a stamp-like shape and is very small in comparison to the upper body of the sponge. The white body measures 76 mm in diameter and is 4 mm thick. It resembles a leaf with an irregular edge and is slightly damaged. It is also easy to see the apertures of the canals, which penetrate the body of the sponge.

Megascleres of the dermal and gastral sides are choanosomal diactins and hexactins, hypodermal and hypoatrial pentactins, as well as dermal and atrial pinular hexactins, and pinular pentactins. There is no notable difference between the dermal and gastral side, except the size of the pinular spicules. Pentactins mainly have a long distal ray and shorter tangential rays. Larger hexactins and pentactins ( Figs 3b, fView FIGURE 3) have prominent spines on the proximal half to third part of the ray. The remainder of the ray is smooth or sprinkled with small spines. The strong, stable rays get thinner to the distal end and taper to a sharp or parabolic tip. Smaller pentactins ( Fig 3cView FIGURE 3) have comparatively small spines, but in larger numbers. Often the distal ray of pentactins is slightly curved. The pinular hexactins and pentactins ( Fig 3gView FIGURE 3) are very abundant. The pinular rays have a tapered structure of distal pointed spines, but not as feathery and dense as the pinules of S. abysslineae  sp. nov. ( Fig 2View FIGURE 2). They are more narrow and rough. The distal end is rounded or parabolic. All other rays of the pinular spicules are studded with small spines and have a sharp pointed tip. Measurements show that the pinular spicules of the gastral side are a little bigger than the ones on the dermal side (Tables 1.3, 1.4).

Microscleres are discohexasters and strobiloplumicomes. The abundant discohexasters ( Figs 3d, eView FIGURE 3) have short smooth primary rays that split into four long-shafted secondary rays. They are significantly shorter than the ones of S. abysslineae  sp. nov. ( Fig 2View FIGURE 2) and the numerous spines on the shaft appear to be more concentrated. The rays also terminate in flat curved star-shaped discs, but with 5–7 jags. Overall, they appear to be more compact. The strobiloplumicomes ( Fig 3hView FIGURE 3) were difficult to locate and are quite rare. Similar to S. abysslineae  sp. nov. ( Fig 2View FIGURE 2), they have six short smooth rays which terminate in a wreath with four rows of long, sigmoidal protruding hairs with tiny spines on the inner concave surface of their distal halves. Because of the small size of the spicules and due to their fragility, they are very difficult to isolate and document.

Remarks: This new species is very similar in spicular content to S. abysslineae  sp. nov., but its pinules (of both hexactins and pentactins) are generally smaller. Furthermore, the large hexactins and pentactins have prominent spines on the proximal parts of the rays, whereas in S. abysslineae  , these spicules are smooth to very slightly spined.

Derivatio nominis: The specimen is named after the Clarion-Clipperton Zone, the location where it was collected.


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