Elephant hide sponge (Pachymatisma johnstonia)
|Researched by||Anna Neish||Refereed by||Admin|
|Authority||(Bowerbank in Johnston, 1842)|
|Other common names||Elephant ear sponge||Synonyms||-|
A large rounded sponge up to 15 cm in diameter and height up to 10 cm. The consistency is firm-hard, but slightly compressible. The smooth surface is bluish or violet-grey and extensively perforated with inhalant orifices. Larger exhalant openings (osculum) are distinct and usually in lines or arranged in clusters. The skin (cortex) is distinct and 1 mm thick, underneath the surface the colour is yellow-white.
Recorded distribution in Britain and IrelandPachymatisma johnstonia has been found on the south and west coasts of Great Britain and in the south west of Ireland. It has also recently been recorded from Orkney.
Global distributionIt is found in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, and has been found in the North Atlantic, Ireland, Norway, England, Coasts of France, Portugal and Spain.
HabitatPachymatisma johnstonia grows on bedrock and hard substrata in the intertidal and subtidal to 300 m depth. It is often found projecting into water currents off cliff walls. Found on overhangs in extremely sheltered waters but more common in areas with strong water movement.
- A large sponge up to 15 cm in diameter.
- Smooth surface.
- Bluish or violet-grey outer and yellow-white within.
- Oscular usually in lines.
- Skin distinct and 1 mm thick.
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Last Updated: 13/02/2007