MarLIN

information on the biology of species and the ecology of habitats found around the coasts and seas of the British Isles

A sponge (Polymastia mamillaris)

Distribution data supplied by the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS). To interrogate UK data visit the NBN Atlas.

Summary

Description

A low, spreading cushion of up to 2 cm thickness with a base diameter of up to 12 cm. The sponge surface is hard and rough with a variable number of erect projections bearing a terminal opening (papillae) that may be as tall as 12 cm. The main body mass is pale, usually greyish yellow or more rarely, orangey yellow, and is often buried in sediment with only the papillae visible. The papillae are smooth and clean, creamy white or pale yellow, sometimes translucent, and often a fine network of spicules can be seen on their surface. The exhalant papillae are large and few in number, the inhalant papillae are smaller.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

Common around the British Isles.

Global distribution

Arctic-Atlantic coasts of Europe and North America, and the Mediterranean.

Habitat

Often found at the sediment-bedrock interface on upward facing rock, or growing out of crevices. Prefers silty conditions and is recorded from the littoral to a depth of 2300 m, but usually occurs between 5-15 m.

Depth range

-

Identifying features

  • Low, spreading cushion up to 2 cm thick and 12 cm in diameter.
  • Main body mass pale greyish yellow, or more rarely, orange-yellow.
  • Body surface rough with a number of erect, smooth projections (papillae).
  • Papillae creamy white or pale yellow in colour and up to 12 cm in height.
  • Exhalant papillae large and few in number, inhalant papillae smaller.

Additional information

May be confused with Polymastia robusta, however the papillae of this closely related species tend to fuse together, which does not occur in Polymastia mamillaris.

Listed by

- none -

Further information sources

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Bibliography

  1. Bruce, J.R., Colman, J.S. & Jones, N.S., 1963. Marine fauna of the Isle of Man. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press.

  2. Hayward, P.J. & Ryland, J.S. (ed.) 1995b. Handbook of the marine fauna of North-West Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  3. JNCC (Joint Nature Conservation Committee), 1999. Marine Environment Resource Mapping And Information Database (MERMAID): Marine Nature Conservation Review Survey Database. [on-line] http://www.jncc.gov.uk/mermaid

  4. National Biodiversity Network (NBN) Atlas website. Available from: http://www.nbnatlas.org.  Accessed 01 April 2017

  5. Picton, B.E. & Costello, M.J., 1998. BioMar biotope viewer: a guide to marine habitats, fauna and flora of Britain and Ireland. [CD-ROM] Environmental Sciences Unit, Trinity College, Dublin., http://www.itsligo.ie/biomar/

  6. Van Soest, R.W.M., Picton, B. & Morrow, C., 2000. Sponges of the North East Atlantic. [CD-ROM] Windows version 1.0. Amsterdam: Biodiversity Center of ETI, Multimedia Interactive Software. [World Biodiversity Database CD-ROM Series.]

Citation

This review can be cited as:

Ballerstedt, S. 2006. Polymastia mamillaris A sponge. In Tyler-Walters H. and Hiscock K. (eds) Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Reviews, [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. Available from: http://www.marlin.ac.uk/species/detail/1873

Last Updated: 10/11/2006