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(Montagu, 1818)

Species Overview

Leucandra ananas (Montagu, 1818) is an egg-shaped calcareous sponge with villose surface and apical oscule. Its colour is whitish and it is rather firm. It is a northern species.

Taxonomic Description

Colour: White or grey (alcohol).
Shape, size, surface and consistency: Ovate, cylindrical or curved cucumber-like, occasionally stalked. Size up to 35 mm high, up to 16 mm in diameter. Surface villose, with blunt papilla bearing a brush of long oxeas; papillae 1 mm high, spaced about 1 mm apart. Wide-spaced internal cavity ending in a vent of 2-3 mm diameter. Consistency firm.
Spicules: (leucandra_ananas_spics.jpg) Calcareous. Ectosomal triactines, regular: 180 x 8-10 µm; choanosomal triactines subregular: 200-300 x 15-25 µm.
Choanosomal and atrial tetractines, sagittal, with paired rays: 180 x 15-25 µm, basal rays: 200-300 x 15-25 µm, and apical rays: 120 x 15-25 µm.
Oxeas: 1000-2000 x 20-30 µm.
Skeleton: Leuconoid organization. Ectosomal skeleton a tangential layer of triactines, with oxeas projecting outwards singly or in brushes. Choanosomal skeleton a mass of irregular triactines. Atrial skeleton a layer of sagittal tetractines with their long apical rays projecting into the atrial cavity.
Ecology: On hydroids and stones, in muddy environment, 6-120 m.
Distribution: Faroes, Norway.
Etymology: The name refers to the shape.
Type specimen information: No type material in BMNH.

Remarks

This species stands out among the Leucandra species by its villous, papillate surface. It is close in shape to L. aspera but differs in being less hard and having smaller spicules.
Source: Arndt, 1935.

Leucandra ananas