Scientia Marina, Vol 75, No 3 (2011)

Taxonomic notes on Poecillastra sponges (Astrophorida: Pachastrellidae), with the description of three new bathyal southeastern Pacific species

Mariana S. Carvalho
Museu Nacional, Departamento de Invertebrados, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro , Brazil

Ruth Desqueyroux-Faúndez
Museum d’histoire Naturell , Switzerland

Eduardo Hajdu
Museu Nacional, Departamento de Invertebrados, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro , Brazil


Three new species of Poecillastra are described here from bathyal waters off central Chile. P. antonbruunae n. sp. is diagnosed by its two categories of oxeas, the smaller one only up to 621 μm in length, and calthrops as the sole triaene category; P. sinetridens n. sp. by the possession of oxeas larger than 3000 μm long, microxeas which can be over 300 μm long, and absence of triaenes; and P. maremontana n. sp. by its three categories of oxeas, three categories of streptasters (one of spirasters and two of plesiasters), one category of calthrops and centrotylote microxeas. Comments upon other Poecillastra and an identification key for Pacific species of the genus are given. Evolutionary hypotheses are discussed for the genus given the distribution of spicule morphotypes, as well as the recurrent phenomenon of spicule loss in Astrophorida. Five species of Pachastrella are transferred here to Poecillastra on the basis of their possession of microxeas instead of microrhabds, viz. P. cribrum Lebwohl, 1914; P. dilifera de Laubenfels, 1934 [sensu Dickinson (1945)]; P. fusca Lebwohl, 1914; P. incrustata Bergquist, 1968; and P. scrobiculosa Lebwohl, 1914. We recognize 28 species of Poecillastra, 19 of them occurring in the Pacific Ocean.


taxonomy; Porifera; Demospongiae; Chile; Pacific Ocean; bathyal waters

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