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(Miklucho-Maclay, 1870)

Species Overview

Semisuberites cribrosa (Miklucho-Maclay, 1870) is a greyish fan-or funnel-shaped sponge occurring in Arctic-Boreal waters generally in deep water. It differs from similarly shaped sponges by being soft and fragile.

Taxonomic Description

Colour: Grey.
Shape, size, surface and consistency: Stalked fan-or funnel-shaped sponge. Height up to 15 cm or more, with a relatively long stalk of up to 5 cm; greatest diameter of fan 15 cm. Stalk attached to the substrate by a root-like holdfast. Surface more or less smooth. No apparent oscules. Consistency easily damaged.
Spicules: (semisuberites_cribrosa_kolt.jpg) Styles, very variable in size, possibly in size categories: 60-640 x 3-15 µm,
Skeleton: Predominantly longitudinal bundles of styles traverse the length of the body parallel tothe surface, with many loose styles lying in between. At the periphery there are many loose styles, not definitely oriented.
Ecology: Mostly deep water: 14-325 m.
Distribution: Norway, Arctic.
Etymology: cribrosus (Latin) = provided with sieves; presumably referring to the pores in the surface.
Type specimen information: No data.


This is a northern deep-water species that may be superficially confused with similarly shaped sponges of the genera Phakellia and Axinella. However, the soft consistency, the relatively long stalk, the absence of an axial reticulation and exclusive possession of styles, make this a readily recognizable species.
It seems likely that the species described as Auletta elegans by Vosmaer (1882b, 1885), and subsequently made type of the genus Siphonocalypta Burton (1931), is a synonym of the present species.
Source: Vosmaer, 1885.

Semisuberites cribrosa