MarLIN

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

A sponge (Homaxinella subdola)

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

Summary

Description

This species can range between pale, brownish or golden yellow to an orange or deep orange colour. Growing to 25 cm in height, Homaxinella subdola consists of a wiry stalk with rounded branches arising irregularly at right angles to the main stem. Secondary branching gives the sponge an 'untidy' appearance. The exhalent pores (oscules) are small and appear sporadically on the branches.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

Restricted to south and west coasts with records from Plymouth, the Scilly Isles, Milford Haven, Skokholm Island, Skomer Island and Abereiddi Bay.

Global distribution

-

Habitat

Present on horizontal and slightly inclined rock covered with a layer of silt in sheltered and semi-exposed conditions. Also present in sheltered conditions in exposed areas, e.g. sheltered bottom plains or the bottom of gullies.

Depth range

-

Identifying features

  • Pale, brownish or golden yellow to orange or deep orange branching sponge.
  • Thin, irregular branching resulting in an 'untidy' appearance.
  • Rounded branches arise, usually, at 90° to the main stem.
  • Wiry stalk.

Additional information

Similar species in appearance are Axinella polypoides and Haliclona oculata. However the presence of branches growing at right angles, a wiry stalk and an 'untidy', bushy form are characteristic of Homaxinella subdola. Adreus fascicularis is also similar but generally smaller, more wiry and has a more tidy appearance. The composition of the internal skeleton (i.e. the spicules) are important taxonomic characteristics (see van Soest et al., 2000 for details). As with other Axinella species, Homaxinella subdola is extremely slow growing and does not colonize artificial reefs (K. Hiscock pers. comm.).

Listed by

- none -

Further information sources

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Bibliography

  1. Howson, C.M. & Picton, B.E. ed., 1999. The species directory of the marine fauna and flora of the British Isles and surrounding seas. CD-ROM Edition. Ulster Museum and The Marine Conservation Society, Belfast and Ross-on-Wye., Belfast: Ulster Museum. [Ulster Museum publication no. 280.]

  2. 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

  3. Moss, D., & Ackers, G. (eds.), 1982. The UCS Sponge Guide. Produced by R. Earll. Ross-on-Wye: The Underwater Conservation Society.

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

  5. 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:

Reeve, A. 2005. Homaxinella subdola 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/2122

Last Updated: 30/06/2005