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Sphaerotylus antarcticus Kirkpatrick, 1907


Original description by Kirkpatrick (1907):
Sponge dome-shaped or spheroidal, attached or free. Surface beset with a dense short pile of cortical microtyles; with several usually elongated papillae with or without a large terminal orifice. Dermal pores distributed over the cortex, each pore opening into a single tubular canal in the cortex; the mouth or pore of the pore-canal is guarded with a ring of radiating cortical tyles. Flagellated chambers diplodal.
Skeleton formed mainly of radiating fibres composed of styles, with diverging brushes of spherostyles near the surface. Cortex with a surface-layer of densely packed tufts of small vertical tyles, and a subcortical layer of tangential styles and tyles.

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Spicules.- Spherostyles 8 mm in length by 30 μm in diameter in the middle, and 14 μm in the region below the distal knob; distal knob 28 μm in diameter, hemispherical, with granular surface and with a few square teeth or serrations on the edge.
Styles straight, fusiform, blunt-pointed, 2.8 mm in length, 41 μm in diameter in the middle, 23 μm in diameter at the rounded end.
Cortical tyles curved, 146 μm long, head 3.25 μm in diameter; neck slender, 2.75 μm thick, with broad oar-blade-like shaft, but circular in section, 7 μm thick.
Styles of lower cortical tangential layer, also in choanosome, 900x20 μm. Tyles of the same layer nearly straight, 270 μm long, with head 7 μm in diameter and relatively thick neck 6.8 μm in diameter.
Slender, curved tyles, 460x10 μm scattered in choanosome.
Young specimens are oval, with one long closed papilla; the bundles of divergent exotyles are more or less separate and distinct, and the distal knobs retained and not broken off.

Species details

Burton M. 1932. Sponges. Discovery Rep 6, 237-392. Desqueyroux-Fundez R. 1989. Demospongiae (Porifera) del litoral chileno antártico. Serie Científica INACH 39, 97-158. Hooper J.N.A. & Wiedenmayer F. 1994. In: A. Wells (Ed.). Zoological cataloghe of Australia, Volume 12. Melbourne, Csiro, Australia xiii, 624 pp. Kirkpatrick R. 1907. Preliminary report on the Monaxonellida of the National Antarctic Expedition. Annals and Magazine of Natural History (7) 20 (117), 271-291. Vacelet J. & Aranaud F. 1972. Invertébrés narins des XIXIIème et Xvème expéditions antarctiques française en Terre Adélie. 2. Démosponges. Tethys suppl. 4, 9-24.


Species distribution

Circumantarctic distribution (Vacelet & Arnaud, 1972), Chile (Desqueyroux-Faundez, 1989).

S. antarcticus inhabit on hard bottoms as rocks and stones, but it was collected also in soft-bottoms such as mud (Burton 1932) at 17-450 m depth (Hooper & Wiedenmayer, 1994).

Occurrences map

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