MarLIN

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

A sponge (Haliclona (Reniera) cinerea)

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

Summary

Description

A soft, fragile sponge with an even, greyish light-brown or purple-brown colouration. It has few key external identification features. The sponge varies in shape from thin encrusting patches to laterally spreading masses of interconnecting branches and finger-like protrusions with large terminal exhalent pores(the 'oscules'). The surface of this sponge consists of a network of tissues with irregular spaces which gives a "loosely woven" appearance. The oscules on this species, regardless of location, lack the raised edge found in other members of this group. The oscules are irregularly scattered about the sponge and can be from a few centimetres to up to 25 cm in diameter in larger examples (van Soest, 2000; Picton & Morrow, 2000).

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

Haliclona (Reniera) cinerea is present on the western coasts of England, Wales and Scotland and throughout the Shetland Isles. This sponge is also widespread around the coast of Ireland.

Global distribution

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Habitat

Adocia cinerea is found at depths from around 10 m to 50 m. It is common under intertidal stones and in sheltered habitats with moderate to strong tidal currents. The tall finger-like form is only found in sheltered environments (Picton & Morrow, 2000).

Depth range

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Identifying features

  • A soft and fragile sponge with a variable morphology.
  • Can form encrusting sheets, rounded lobes, finger-like protrusions with large terminal oscules and spreading masses of anastomosing (interconnecting) branches.
  • The surface has a "loosely woven" appearance.
  • Sponge is greyish light-brown or purple-brown and coloured evenly.
  • Oscules are at the terminus of protrusions or otherwise irregularly scattered.
  • Oscules lack raised edges and range in diameter from a few centimetres to up to 25 cm.
  • This species is differentiated from others by the morphology of its spicules

Additional information

Haliclona (Reniera) cinerea is distinguished from other species such as Haliclona rosea by internal characteristics such as the fine details of spicules. The slime strands from this species are also characterizing (see van Soest, 1977 and 2000).

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. Howson, C.M. & Picton, B.E., 1997. The species directory of the marine fauna and flora of the British Isles and surrounding seas. Belfast: Ulster Museum. [Ulster Museum publication, no. 276.]

  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. Picton, B.E. & Morrow, C.C., 2000. Encyclopaedia of Marine Life of Britain and Ireland. http://www.habitas.org.uk/marinelife/index.html, 2003-09-18

  7. Van Soest, R. W. M., 1977. Marine and freshwater sponges (Porifera) of the Netherlands. Zoologische Mededelingen, 50, 261-273.

  8. 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. 2007. Haliclona (Reniera) cinerea 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/2139

Last Updated: 22/01/2007