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Two new genera and species of sponges (Porifera, Demospongiae) without skeleton from a Mediterranean cave

Jean VACELET & Thierry PEREZ

en Zoosystema 20 (1) - Pages 5-22

Published on 06 April 1998

Two new genera and species of Demospongiae are described from a northwestern Mediterranean littoral cave characterized by cold homothermy, which shelters deep-sea invertebrates. The two new sponges have neither mineral nor fibrous skeleton. Their cytology is described using transmission electron microscopy. Thymosiopsis cuticulatus n.g. n.sp. (Chondrillidae) shares some characters with Thymosia Topsent, but lacks the diagnostic spongin fibres. Myceliospongia araneosa n.g. n.sp. has unusual anatomy, cytology, and mode of growth. No clear relationship with any order of the Demospongiae is indicated and the sponge is classified as incertae sedis within the Demospongiae.

Keywords :

Porifera, taxonomy, Mediterranean, new genera and species, cave.