Definition: Encrusting, massive, lobate, fan-shaped or branching growth forms, usually with a very hispid surface. Specialised ectosomal skeleton typically present, consisting of brushes of small thin styles or anisoxeas, surrounding individual long thick styles or oxeas. Choanosomal skeleton varies from a compressed axial skeleton, to a plumoreticulate skeleton or exclusively reticulate structures. Spongin fibres usually completely enclose coring spicules (choanosome styles, oxeas or both). Spined styles, or modifications to styles echinate fibres, standing perpendicular to them. Microscleres are usually absent, although single raphides or bundles (trichodragmata) may occur in some genera. Where known, reproduction is oviparous and probably typical for this family (Raspailia agnata skel).
Five subfamilies: Raspailiinae, Cyamoninae, Echinodictyinae, Plocamioninae.
Remarks: 61 nominal genera have been included in the family, but only 20 of these are presently considered to be valid. Review: Hooper (2002a)
Source: Hoope, 2002a.
Genera represented in the area:
Cyamon Gray, 1867 (type species: Dictyocylindrus vickersii Bowerbank, 1866): encrusting or massive growth forms, choanosome is a basal layer of spongin fibre with microcionid fibre-nodes and individual or plumose tracts of long thick styles standing erect, projecting through the surface, extra-axial skeleton with few long thin styles also projecting, without any specialized ectosomal skeleton; modified acanthostyles (sagittal tetracts or pentacts) usually form a rigid secondary skeleton; microscleres absent. References: Hooper (1991).
Endectyon Topsent, 1920 (type species Phakellia tenax Schmidt, 1870) (syn. Hemectyon Topsent, 1920; Basiectyon Vacelet, 1961): branching growth form, choanosomal axial skeleton with condensed fibres cored by thick styles, extra-axial skeleton radial or plumose tracts of long projecting styles, specialized raspailiid ectosomal skeleton composed of thin styles; spongin fibres echinated by acanthostyles or acanthostrongyles bearing long, recurved hooks, and echinating spicules characteristically localized to particular places within the skeleton (i.e. on outer fibres grouped around projecting spicules; at the base of the sponge; or along the length of the extra-axial fibres); microscleres absent. References: Hooper (1991).
Two subgenera: Endectyon (Endectyon) and Endectyon (Hemectyon).
Eurypon Gray, 1867 (type species Hymeraphia clavata Bowerbank, 1866) (syn. Epicles Gray, 1867; Acantheurypon Topsent, 1927(Acantheurypon pilosella); Protoraspailia Burton and Rao, 1932; Proraspailia Lévi 1958): encrusting and digitate growth forms, choanosomal skeleton consists of basally or axially condensed spongin fibres, with swollen fibre nodes (i.e. microcionid skeleton), cored by erect, individual or plumose bundles of long, smooth or partially spined, extra-axial styles, with thin styles or oxeas forming a specialized raspailiid ectosomal skeleton; basal fibre-nodes (encrusting forms) or plumose extra-axial skeletal tracts (branching forms), echinated by unmodified acanthostyles; microscleres may include raphides. References: Hooper (1991).
This now includedes Tricheurypon Topsent, 1928 (type species: Hymeraphia viridis Topsent, 1889): Eurypon but with trichodragmata, not worthy of generic distinctness.
Hymeraphia Bowerbank, 1864 (type species H. stellifera Bowerbank, 1864) (syn. Mesapos Gray, 1867): encrusting growth form, choanosomal skeleton consists of a basal layer of spongin lying on the substrate, without specialized choanosomal spicules, but with single or brushes of echinating acanthostyles and projecting extra-axial styles standing erect on the substrate, without a specialized raspailiid ectosomal skeleton; echinating acanthostyles modified to forms with bulbous-swollen, or stellate-swollen heads and spined points; microscleres absent. References: Hooper (1991).
Raspaciona Topsent, 1936 (type species Halichondria aculeata Johnston, 1842): lobate and branching growth forms, choanosomal skeleton consists of basally condensed spongin fibres with plumose tracts of long projecting styles, each surrounded by brushes of smaller styles producing the specialized raspailiid ectosomal skeleton; unmodified echinating acanthostyles, often of more than one size category, concentrated around the bases of plumose skeletal columns; microscleres absent. References: Hooper (1991).
Raspailia Nardo, 1833 (type species R. viminalis Schmidt, 1862) (syn. Abila sensu Gray, 1867; Abilana Strand, 1928; Axinectya Hallmann, 1917; Clathriodendron Lendenfeld, 1888; Dictyocylindrus Bowerbank, 1859; Echinaxia Hallmann, 1916; Parasyringella Topsent, 1928; Raspailopsis Burton, 1959; Raspaxilla Topsent, 1913; Syringella of authors; Valedictyum de Laubenfels, 1936): branching, lobate and massive growth forms, choanosomal axial skeleton typically condensed, or simply open-reticulate, composed of a reticulation of spongin fibres cored by smaller styles or oxeas, with a plumose, radial or plumo-reticulate extra-axial skeleton cored by long projecting styles or oxeas, and much smaller styles or oxeas producing specialized raspailiid ectosomal skeleton; fibres typically echinated by conical, club-shaped acanthostyles, modified acanthose rhabdostyles, modified acanthostyles with smooth swollen-tylote bases, or lacking echinating acanthostyles altogether; microscleres absent. Reference: Hooper (1991).
Five subgenera of which two: Raspailia (Raspailia), Raspailia (Parasyringella) are represented in the area.
Janulum De Laubenfels, 1936 (type species: Isodictya spinispiculum Carter, 1876): encrusting; skeleton a neat isodictyal reticulation of spined strongyles, which have their ends relatively smooth and curved. (this genus was synonymized with Lithoplocamia by Hooper (2002a), but seems to be distinct).
Endectyon (Endectyon) delaubenfelsi
Raspailia (Parasyringella) agnata
Raspailia (Raspailia) hispida
Raspailia (Raspailia) radiosa
Raspailia (Raspailia) ramosa
Raspailia (Raspailia) ventilabrum
Raspailia (Raspailia) virgultosa
Species not treated here:
Cyamon spinispinosum (Topsent, 1904), Ireland, deep water
Eurypon cinctum Sarà (1958), NW Spain, deep water
Eurypon denisae Vacelet (1969), NW Spain, deep water
Eurypon hispidulum (Topsent, 1904) Ireland, deep water
Eurypon longispiculum (Carter, 1874), Ireland, deep water
Eurypon pilosella (Topsent, 1927), Azores, deep water
Janulum spinispiculum (Carter, 1876), Straits of Gibraltar, Mediterranean, W Africa
Raspailia (Raspailia) rectangula (Bowerbank, 1874), Shetland, cf. Arndt, 1935; 84, fig. 175