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(Schmidt, 1870)

Species Overview

Halichondria (Halichondria) genitrix (Schmidt, 1870) is a yellowish massive sponge with grooved surface. Its consistency is firm, crumbly. It is a deep water species.

Taxonomic Description

Colour: Yellowish or brownish green, exhibiting a colour change to darker, violet tinges when brought above the surface.
Shape, size, surface and consistency: Massive, flattened sponges of 10-15 cm in diameter. Oscules in grooves. Interior riddled by holes and canals. Consistency firm, crumbly.
Spicules: Oxeas, often irregular in shape, of variable size; 90-600 µm.
Skeleton: Thoroughly confused, but provided with a tangential ectosomal skeleton.
Ecology: On stones at greater depths, below 16 m.
Distribution: Greenland, also recorded from Roscoff, W coast of Ireland, Norway (as Topsentia or Spongosorites).
Etymology: genetrix or genitrix (Latin) = mother or founding mother; it is unclear to which aspects of the sponge Schmidt was referring with this name.
Type specimen information: The type is in the Copenhagen Museum. A specimen and slide (with Schmidt's handwriting) are in London: BMNH 1870.5.3.109.


This species remains ill-known. There are diverse interpretations of the type material resulting in assignment of this species to Topsentia or Spongosorites, possibly because the specimen in the Copenhagen Museum differs from the type slide in the Natural History Museum. Picton & Goodwin (2007) base their discussion of Spongosorites calcicola on the slide in BMNH, whereas the specimen in Copenhagen is the basis for the present assignment to Halichondria.
Source: Schmidt (1870).

Halichondria genitrix