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Topsent, 1893

Species Overview

Darwinella intermedia Topsent (1893) is a yellow, strongly conulose encrusting sponge, resembling the yellow form of Aplysilla rosea, but differing from this in the possession of triactine spongin spicules (microscopic examination). It is a southern species.

Taxonomic Description

Colour: Yellow.
Shape, size, surface and consistency: Thinly encrusting, with strongly conulose surface. Consistency soft.
Spicules: No proper siliceous or calcareous spicules, but these are mimicked by triactine spongin spicules, size of rays 135-165 x 12-13 µm.
Skeleton: Single dendritic spongin fibres run from the substrate to the surface, where they form the conules. Basal spongin plate.
Ecology: On rocks in deeper water, from 15 m downwards.
Distribution: Mediterranean, Roscoff.
Etymology: The name refers to the fact that Topsent judged this species to be intermediate between Darwinella muelleri and D. simplex.
Type specimen information: The type is in the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris.

Remarks

D. intermedia differs from the sympatric D. corneostellata in the colour (rose violet in corneostellata) and shape of the spongin spicules (up to six or seven rays in corneostellata).
Source: Pronzato, 1975.

Darwinella intermedia