Key:  Class Demospongiae

Phylum Porifera

Taken primarily from  Kozloff, 1987, 1996 p. 14 (Copyright 1987, 1996, University of Washington Press.  Used in this web page by permission of University of Washington Press)
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1a  Without spicules (other than a few from other sponges that may have been incorporated into the mass); thin encrustatations, slippery to the touch unless they contain sand 2
1b With spicules; growth form various, but usually with a surface that resembles felt (but if smooth, it is rarely slippery) 6
2a
2b
3a
3b
4a
4b
5a
5b
6a Boring in shells of molluscs and barnacles, with exposed portions generally being small, circular patches (bright red to dull yellow) 7
6b Not boring in shells 10
7a With tylostyles and microscleres 8
7b With tylostyles, but without microscleres 9
8a
8b
9a Tylostyles 200-310 microns long Cliona ?celata subsp californiana
9b Tylostyles 420-570 microns long Cliona similar to warreni
10a Unattached and containing a hermit crab (picture) (large tylostyles 250-524 microns, small tylostyles [may be absent] 90-150 microns; tylostrongyles [blunt-ended tylostyles] 135-350 microns; centrotylotemicrostrongyles [if present] 20-50 microns) Suberites ?suberea forma latus
10b Attached to a substratum 11
11a Encrusting valves of free-living scallops 12
11b Attached to an immobile substratum 13
12a Yellow-brown to violet; styles 290-360 microns long (palmateanisochelas of 2 sizes: 15-40 microns and 60-75 microns; sigmas 35-65 microns) Mycale adhaerens
12b Gold to gold-brown; acanthostyles 200-270 microns (tornotes 160-250 microns; tridentate isoanchors of 2 sizes; 15-20 microns and 35-70 microns; sigmas 25-53 microns) Myxilla incrustans
13a Erect, the attached portion narrow 14
13b Not as described in choice 13a (if erect, the attached portion is broad) 26
14a Erect, with a central stem and small filiform lateral branches similar to those on a small bottle brush (white, up to 7 cm high; styles 410-680 microns and about 1400 microns; palmateanisochelas 13 microns; forceps 32 microns) Asbestopluma occidentalus
14b Tubular, fingerlike, or resembling a funnel 15
15a Unbranched (occasionally bifurcated, however) Caution:  early growth stages of branched species (choice 15b) may be unbranched. 16
15b Erect and with long, fingerlike or bladelike branches that may anastomose 20
16a Funnel-shaped or in the form of a hollow tube 17
16b Fingerlike, not hollow (there may be more than one growth form) (yellow-brown or light brown to violet, styles 275-370 microns, palmate anisochelas 15-37 microns and 59-74 microns) Mycale adhaerens
17a Funnel-shaped or tubular, on a narrow stalk that is more than one-fourth the total height 18
17b Funnel-shaped, without a stalk or with only a short stalk 19
18a Surface smooth; usually funnel-shaped; sometimes tubular, occasionally bifurcated; cream to orange-brown; styles to subtylostyles 200-450 microns, shorter in the stalk Stylissa stipitata
18b Surface rugose; strictly funnel-shaped; cream to light brown, styles 240-500 microns, shorter in the stalk Phakettia close to beringensis
19a
19b
20a White or cream to yellow 21
20b Dark brown, tan, red-orange, or red 22
21a Cream to yellow, surface smooth, hard (styles to subtylostyles 230-820 microns) ?Syringella amphispicula
21b White, turning black in alcohol; surface soft and compressible (acanthostyles 230-320 microns; subtylotes 235-280 microns; palmateisochelas 20-40 microns, petaloid bipocillons 14-18 microns) Iophon cheliver var californiana
22a
22b
23a
23b
24a
24b
25a
25b
26a Sponge spherical or nearly so 27
26b Sponge forming a thin to thick encrustation or a hemispherical mass, but not spherical 32
27a Firm, unyielding (use a probe rather than the fingers), with abundant spicules protruding from the surface 28
27b Soft, deformable, without obvious spicules protruding from the surface 30
28a Surface under the plush of spicules having the appearance of being made of paving stones (this can be seen with a strong hand lens); color white to dirty beige (sterrasters forming the surface layer 82-110 microns, small oxeas 150-600 microns, large oxeas 2-8 mm, orthotriaenes 1.5-8 mm, with rays bifurcated in some; protriaenes 2-17 mm; anatriaenes 4-23 mm; oxyasters 11-54 microns, oxyspherasters 6-32 microns, strongylasters 5-11 microns Geodia mesotriaena
28b Surface under the plush of spicules appearing smooth when viewed with a strong hand lens; color grey to dirty white 29
29a
29b
30a
30b
31a
31b
32a Forming a thick, broadly attached mass, often tending toward the shape or an irregular or oblate hemisphere (color white to yellow or yellow-brown) 33
32b Forming a thick or thin encrustacean, not tending toward the shape of an irregular hemisphere 42
33a With prominent nipplelike or fingerlike protuberances, these terminating in open oscula when expanded but appearing rounded or pointed when contracted 34
33b Without nipplelike or fingerlike protuberances (there may, however, be a few oscula on chimneys in Merriamum oxeata, choice 39b) 35
34a
34b
35a Surface distinctly hispid because of projecting spicules 36
35b Surface smooth to rugose, but not hispid 37
36a Surface beneath the plush of spicules having the appearance of being made of paving stones when viewed with a strong hand lens; color white to dirty beige (see also choices 28a and 109a) Geodia mesotriaena and 
Geodinella robusta
36b Surface beneath the plush of spicules not having the appearance of being made of paving stones; dirty white (oxeas 1400-3500 microns or larger; ortho-, plagio-, dichotriaenes 1400-3500 microns; anatrienes 110-2000 microns; oxyasters-strongylasters 9-15 microns; "grains" 3 microns; no sterrasters forming the surface layer) Stellata clarella
37a
37b
38a
38b
39a
39b
40a
40b
41a
41b
42a Encrusting base with long (greater than 1 cm), well defined, erect, nonbranching projections other than those terminating in a single osculum 43
42b Encrusting and either without long projections or only with nipplelike or fingerlike protuberances that terminate in an osculum 48
43a
43b
44a
44b
45a
45b
46a
46b
47a
47b
48a Nipplelike or fingerlike protuberances of a different color from the encrusting base 49
48b Protuberances, where present, the same color as the encrusting base 51
49a
49b
50a
50b
51a Encrustation moderately to very thick (greater than 4 mm) and with a firm to almost stony exoskeleton (use probe, not fingers!) 52
51b Encrustation either thin (less than 4 mm) or, if thick, at least moderately spongy 61
52a
52b
53a
53b
54a
54b
55a
55b
56a
56b
57a
57b
58a
58b
59a
59b
60a
60b
61 Note there are 7 choices for this couplet:
61a Color green or green with yellow areas 62
61b Color blue or gray-blue (sometimes light orange in Hymenamphiastra cyanocrypta, choice 63a) 63
61c Color lavender, violet-blue, pinkish purple, purple, or mahogany (sometimes yellow-tan in ?Stylophus arndti, choice 65b; sometimes buff in Haliclona ?ecbasis, choice 68a; sometimes dull tan in Haliclona close to permollis, choice 68b 64
61d Color white to ivory 69
61e Color salmon-pink, rust-pink, red, brick-red, scarlet, red-orange, yellow-orange, or orange-brown 71
61f Color clear yellow or sulphur-yellow (megascleres consisting of tylostyles) Cliona sp
61g Color dull yellow, yellow-brown, buff, or brown (sometimes lavender, pinkish purple, purple, yellow, or yellow-orange in certain species that do not have microscleres, couplets 94 and 95) 89
62a
62b
63a
63b
64a Megascleres consisting of styles or acantho-subtylostyles and tylotes to subtylotes 65
64b Megascleres limited to oxeas 66
65a
65b
66a Spicules consisting of oxeas 200-240 microns and sigmas 34-39 microns (lavender) Sigmadocia spp
66b Spicules consisting of oxeas only 67
67a Surface layer removable in flakes (pale translucent lavender; oxeas 92-170 microns) Adocia gellindra
67b Surface layer not removable in flakes 68
68a Oxeas 75-105 microns, purple, pinkish purple, to lavender, but in shaded locations becoming partly or totally buff; growth form varying from thin encrustations in which the oscula are flush with the surface to thick encrustations with oscula on chimneys (picture) (on floats in protected areas and in the intertidal region on protected to exposed coasts; may include H. permollis of de Laubenfels, 1961 and ?Haliclona sp. A of Hartman, 1975 in Light's Manual) Haliclona ?ecbasis
68b Oxeas 125-175 microns, lavender or dull tan, oscula never on chimneys Haliclona close to permollis
69a
69b
70a
70b
71a
71b
72a
72b
73a
73b
74a
74b
75a
75b
76a
76b
77a
77b
78a
78b
79a
79b
80a
80b
81a
81b
82a
82b
83a
83b
84a
84b
85a
85b
86a
86b
87a
87b
88a
88b
89a
89b
90a
90b
91a
91b
92a
92b
93a
93b
94a
94b
95a
95b
96a
96b
97a
97b
98a
98b
99a
99b
100a
100b
101a
101b
102a
102b
103a
103b
104a
104b
105a
105b
106a
106b
107a
107b
108a
108b
109a
109b
110a
110b
111a
111b
112a
112b
113a
113b
114a
114b
115a
115b
116a
116b
117a
117b
118a
118b
119a
119b
120a
120b
121a
121b
122a
122b
123a
123b
124a
124b
125a
125b
126a
126b
127a
127b



Taxonomic Levels Represented in This Key:

Geodia mesotriaena
Haliclona ?ecbasis
Mycale adhaerens
Myxilla incrustans
Stylissa stipitata
Suberites ?suberea forma latus
Syringella amphispicula



Page created by Dave Cowles, 2005
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