- Porifera -

Saccocalyx pedunculatus

Hexactinellida (Class) > Hexasterophora (Subclass) > Lyssacinosida (Order) > Euplectellidae


This glass sponge most closely resembles Saccocalyx pedunculatus which, in the Indian

Ocean, is known from samples collected east of India. Throughout its range S. pedunculatus

lives between 840 and 2640 m depth. It grows attached to rocks on the seabed and,

like other hexactinellids shown here, provides a structure that other organisms, such as

the brittle stars, seen here can use as substratum to reach the stronger water currents

higher in the water column in order to increase the efficiency of suspension feeding.

Malacosaccus sp.

Hexactinellida (Class) > Hexasterophora (Subclass) >

Lyssacinosida (Order) > Euplectellidae (Family)

The image on the left shows a small hexactinellid, most

probably Malacosaccus sp. It is not possible to determine

the species without examination of the spicules of a

specimen under a microscope.

The genus Malacosaccus contains seven known species

that are widely distributed globally in deep water. They are found from 1000 m down to

at least 5000 m. The individual shown, seen at 2600 m depth at Zafarani, was approximately

10 cm tall. Malacosaccus sp. was uncommon, this was the only example encountered

in the fieldwork off Tanzania.


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