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Description

 Growth form irregularly massive to globular (up to 1 m in diameter, 50 cm in height); oscules large (0.5–1 cm in diameter) with a short collar, often grouped in a central depression at the top of the body. Consistency soft and strong. Colour is medium grey, but brown or black varieties have been also recorded (Vacelet 1959). Surface is smooth or covered by several epizoans. Conules are 2–3 mm high and 10–15 mm apart. Dry specimens become very hard and smaller (1/5) than living ones, also colour changes regularly into black. The skeleton does not differ from the other Mediterranean species belonging to the genus; the main skeleton composed by a reticulate network of primary (ca. 100–200 µm in diameter) and secondary (ca. 50–100 µm in diameter) fibres. Filaments abundant (1–3 µm in diameter). 

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© Renata Manconi, Barbara Cadeddu, Fabio Ledda, Roberto Pronzato

Source: ZooKeys

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