Cinachyrella kuekenthali ( Uliczka 1929 )

Gómez, Patricia & Calderón-Gutiérrez, Fernando, 2020, Anchialine cave-dwelling sponge fauna (Porifera) from La Quebrada, Mexico with the description of the first Mexican stygobiont sponges, Zootaxa 4803 (1), pp. 125-151 : 138-139

publication ID

publication LSID

persistent identifier

treatment provided by


scientific name

Cinachyrella kuekenthali ( Uliczka 1929 )


Cinachyrella kuekenthali ( Uliczka 1929)

Fig. 8 View FIGURE 8

Synonymy and other records. Cinachyra kuekenthali Uliczka, 1929:43 . Cinachyrella kuekenthali ; Ruetzler & Smith 1992:154. van Soest & Stentoft 1988:42. Gómez 2002:70. Cinachyrella kuekenthali ; Calderón-Gutiérrez et al. 2018:S3 Table.

Material examined. CNPGG–1478, 1479, 1480, Cenote S-1, La Quebrada anchialine cave, Cozumel, Quintana Roo, Mexico (20°26’16.75’’N, 86°59’47.44’’W). Depth 4.5-5.2 m, January 12, 2015; coll. F. Calderón-Gutiérrez and German Yáñez. GoogleMaps

Description. Subspherical shape, 2.8 cm in diameter with 2.2 cm high ( Fig. 8a View FIGURE 8 ). Color yellow when alive, beige in alcohol. Surface strongly hispid owing to the protruding spicules up to 4 mm outside the body, with plenty detritus adhered to it. Porocalices mainly in the upper part measure 2.5‒4 mm in diameter, around which numerous eggs are placed, 28‒65 × 44‒48 µm, ( Fig. 8b View FIGURE 8 ). Consistency firm.

Skeleton. A radially arranged skeleton, formed by thin tracts extending from the center to the surface; turning hairy in the ectosomal section ( Figs. 8 View FIGURE 8 c-d).

Spicules. Large oxeas 1950‒4100 × 20.8‒40 µm, several in stylote and strongylote modifications, protriaenes and prodiaenes with rhabds 2410‒4500 × 4.1‒7.8 µm, clads 57‒100.5 µm, uncommon anatriaenes two clad sizes 40‒62 µm, abundant crenulated microxeas straight or center-angulated shaft 78‒139.8 × 2.7‒4.4 µm, and micro- spined sigmaspires, 11.4‒21.8 µm.

Geographic distribution. Open reef: North Carolina ( US), Bahamas; Gulf of Mexico, Greater Caribbean to Brazil. Anchialine cave: Cozumel ( Mexico).

Ecology. Cinachyrella kuekenthali is a common species in open waters and coral reef environments at 4‒20 m depth, inhabiting reef lagoons and slopes at the east side of the Yucatan Peninsula ( Gómez, 2002). It has also been observed in marine caves ( Rützler et al. 2014; Slattery et al. 2013), and at the anchialine caves La Quebrada and El Aerolito, Cozumel ( Calderón-Gutiérrez et al. 2018). The presence of larvae in our samples suggests that C. kuekenthali is reproducing inside the cave environment ( Fig. 8b View FIGURE 8 ). No individuals fell inside the transects of the quantitative survey, indicating a low population size ( Calderón-Gutiérrez et al. 2018). The only congener living in an anchialine cave is Cinachyrella apion quoted by van Soest & Sass (1981 as Cinachyra subterranea ) in San Salvador, Bahamas. Furthermore, Cinachyrella alloclada ( Uliczka, 1929) has been recorded in marine caves of Bermuda and Brazil ( Rützler 2012; Slattery et al. 2013).

Remarks. The present material is identical to Cinachyrella kuekenthali owing to the roughened microxeas, a particular trait of the species along with the other morphological traits. The external morphology among the four Caribbean Cinachyrella species is apparently alike owing to their sub-spherical body, strongly hispid surface and porocalices on top, standing out for the possession of the additional spicule and general measurements of each one. The studied specimens did not have any visible adaptation to the anchialine cave environment, compared to those from other studies ( van Soest & Stentoft 1988; Ruetzler & Smith 1992; Hajdu et al. 2011), collected from reefs and open sea environments.