Home|Search|Identify|Taxonomic tree|Quiz|About this site|Feedback
Developed by ETI BioInformatics
Characteristics, distribution and ecology
Taxonomische classification
Synonyms and common names
Literature references
Images, audio and video
Links to other Web sites

Schmidt, 1862

Species Overview

Ancorina cerebrum Schmidt (1862) is a blue or reddish, globular, hispid, hard sponge with characteristically folded surface, resembling the folds of a human brain. It is a Mediterranean species which penetrates the southern parts of Western Europe.

Taxonomic Description

Colour: Blue, reddish or dirty brown.
Shape, size, surface and consistency: Large, globular to shallow-cup shaped, with a folded surfae like that of a human brain. Size up to 12 cm in diameter. Larger specimens have a central depression or vent of up to 3 cm in diameter and 5 cm deep, which in life may have a membrane covering it. Also there are frequent irregular projections of several mm in diameter issuing from the surface. Surface strongly hispid due to a pelt of projecting spicules. Consistency hard.
Spicules: Megascleres (Ancorina cerebrum megas): oxeas, with stylote or strongylote deviations: 3000-3200 x 50-60 µm; dichotriaenes with a rhabdome of 1600-3200 x 39-60 µm, protocladi of 65 µm and deuterocladi of 75 µm, 30-50 µm in diameter; anatriaenes with a rhabdome of 2600-4100 x 10-33 µm, a cladome of 100 µm in diameter, and cladi of 60-150 µm. Microscleres (Ancorina cerebrum micros): sanidasters, with blunt spines: 5-8 x 2-4 µm; euasters in two categories: large oxyasters 30-35 µm in diameter, and strongylasters in a large, 2-4 rayed form of 20-40 µm, and a small, 5-8 rayed form of 10-15 µm.
Skeleton: Radiate, with distinct cortex (Ancorina cerebrum cross) of 1.5-3 mm in thickness, which is holed by numerous cortical cavities; the cortical megascleres consist mostly of triaenes, which carry the surface microsclere layer and overly a pulpy choanosome consisting mostly of oxeas and oxyasters.
Ecology: No data.
Distribution: Mediterranean and adjacent Atlantic.
Etymology: The name refers to the brain-like convoluted surface.
Type specimen information: Syntypes Graz Museum, LMJG. 15346-47, 15503-04 (Desqueyroux-Faúndez and Stone, 1992)


The species differs fromthe sympatric Ancorina radix in habit characters as well as in the possession of dichotriaenes.
Source: Lendenfeld, 1894.

Ancorina cerebrum