Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description

 Sycon ciliatum is tubular or vase shaped and creamish yellow to greyish white in colour. It can be up to 5 cm tall and 7.5 mm wide. The body of the vase has a rough or furry appearance. Occasionally it may be smooth and in this form, it is difficult to distinguish from Grantia compressa. A single large osculum is surrounded by a crown or fringe of stiff spines. The vase may appear to be attached by a slender stalk.Sycon ciliatum was also known as Scypha ciliata. Sycon ciliatum is an annual species. Reproduction takes place between July and August (van Soest et al., 2000).
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Description

This sponge may be off-white, grey or brown in colour and consists of a single tubular structure with a hairy appearance. The tube is attached to the substratum at one end and open at the other. A crown of spicules surround the open end. There may be more than one species involved here. May be confused with Grantia compressa however this species is flattened not tubular, has a smooth surface and lacks the crown of spicules.
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Distribution

Sycon ciliatum are marine sponges found world-wide, usually in shallow water, but rarely more than 150 meters deep. They are predominant in temperate regions.

Biogeographic Regions: arctic ocean (Native ); indian ocean (Native ); atlantic ocean (Native ); pacific ocean (Native ); mediterranean sea (Native )

  • Grzimek, B. 1972. Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia; Vol. 1: Lower Animals. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Co..
  • Worheide, G. 1998. "Gert Worheide's Site" (On-line). Accessed February 25, 2000 at http://members.xoom.com/gwoerhe/.
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Common on all coasts of the British Isles.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Sycon ciliata are creamy yellow in color and delicate-looking. Their bodies are arranged in the asconoid system, which is a simple tube with no folding of the outer body wall. They range from 1-3cm in height. Hairy, needle-like spines (called spicules) cover their bodies. The spicules surrounding the osculum opening are longer than those at the base of the body. Y-shaped tetraxon calcite spicules lining the spongocoel and triactine spiclules in the walls of the flagellated chambers form the supporting skeleton of the sponge. The spicules appear to lie in a jelly called mesohyl, a structureless jelly containing archaocytes, amoeboid cells, and others.

Internal flagellated tubes are responsible for water current. The tubes are arranged radially and have openings call apopyles. Apopyles open into a central cavity or the spongocoel. The spongocoel leads into the osculum, which has an adjustable diaphragm. The diaphragm is surrounded by large spicules.

Other Physical Features: ectothermic ; heterothermic

  • Waller, G., M. Burchett, M. Dando. 1996. SeaLife: A Complete Guide to the Marine Environment. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press.
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Ecology

Habitat

Sycon ciliatum live in shallow marine waters, from the intertidal zone out into sublittoral depths. They are found on the underside of rocks in relatively protected areas among bryozoans, hydroids, and other organisms.

Habitat Regions: temperate ; saltwater or marine

Aquatic Biomes: benthic ; reef ; coastal

Other Habitat Features: intertidal or littoral

  • Harris, V. 1990. Sessile Animals of the Sea Shore. New York: Chapman and Hall.
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Depth range based on 363 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 63 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): -3 - 168
  Temperature range (°C): -0.262 - 23.720
  Nitrate (umol/L): 0.501 - 11.666
  Salinity (PPS): 27.473 - 36.080
  Oxygen (ml/l): 4.518 - 7.573
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.100 - 0.993
  Silicate (umol/l): 0.805 - 8.544

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): -3 - 168

Temperature range (°C): -0.262 - 23.720

Nitrate (umol/L): 0.501 - 11.666

Salinity (PPS): 27.473 - 36.080

Oxygen (ml/l): 4.518 - 7.573

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.100 - 0.993

Silicate (umol/l): 0.805 - 8.544
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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 Sycon ciliatum is mainly found on the shore under overhangs or attached to rocks and shells on the lower shore. It is common in the shallow sublittoral and present in deeper water to 100 m depth. It also grows on seaweeds e.g. kelp, fucoids or small red algae.
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Mainly found on the shore, beneath overhangs or attached to seaweeds near low water. It is also common in the shallow sublittoral under a wide regime of physical conditions. Small individuals are also present in deeper water.
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Trophic Strategy

Sycon ciliatum obtain food by filtering water through choanocytes. Water enters the incurrent canal. The canal is lined with pinacocytes and communicates with the flagellated chambers through small holes, the propsopyles, which open into an internal flagellated tube lined with choanocytes. Food particles are digested intracellularly. Nutrients are transported from choanocytes to other cells through amoeboids in the mesohyl.

Animal Foods: zooplankton

Plant Foods: algae

Other Foods: detritus ; microbes

Foraging Behavior: filter-feeding

Primary Diet: herbivore (Algivore); planktivore ; detritivore

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Life History and Behavior

Reproduction

Reproduction occurs mainly sexually. The formation of female gametes occurs from choanocytes. Spermatogenesis occurs in spermatic cysts which form in the mesohyl. These cysts can form when cells of the choanocyte chamber are transformed to spermatogonia through withdrawl of their flagellum and mitosis. Sperm are released into the sea through the osculum. Choanocytes of another sponge trap sperm and retain it in a vacuole. The choanocyte then looses its collar and flagellum. The cell is now called a carrier cell. This cell migrates through the mesohyl to an ovum. The carrier cell enters the cytoplasm of the ovum.

Development of the larva takes place within the parent sponge. The parent sponge nourishes the blastula by means of trophic cells that pass into the blastula. The blastula then turns inside out so the flagella project outwards. Once the amphiblastula with a hollow central cavity, the larvae is set free to swim in the sea. Once the larvae settles, the flagella are withdrawn and the cells form a central mass. A pupae is formed when the external cells flatten and serete spicules. A cavity forms that will be the first flagellated chamber and then the spongocoel. Once this cavity forms, the sponge begins to take on the shape of a cylinder.

Key Reproductive Features: iteroparous ; simultaneous hermaphrodite; sexual ; fertilization (Internal )

  • Harris, V. 1990. Sessile Animals of the Sea Shore. New York: Chapman and Hall.
  • Simpson, T. 1984. The Cell Biology of Sponges. New York: Springer-Berlag.
  • Bergquist, 1978. Sponges. Los Angeles: University of California Press.
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Conservation

Conservation Status

Like all marine life, Sycon ciliatum are affected by water pollution, temperature changes, and changes in water levels.

US Federal List: no special status

CITES: no special status

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

This species does not affect humans in a negative manner.

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While not reported specifically for Sycon ciliatum, some species of sponges produce toxins that inhibit the growth of surrounding individuals. These toxins are the topic of important research on nerve impulse transmission. Other sponges contain varieties of antibiotic substances and pigments that are important for medicinal purposes.

  • Banister, K., A. Campbell. 1985. The Encyclopedia of Aquatic Life.. New York: Facts on File, Inc..
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Wikipedia

Sycon ciliatum

Sycon ciliatum is a species of calcareous sponge belonging to the family Sycettidae.

Sponges are marine invertebrates with a jellylike mesohyl sandwiched between two layers of cells. They are filter feeders maintaining a flow of water through their structure which passes out through large openings called oscula. They have a fragile skeleton composed of stiff spicules.

Description[edit]

This small purse sponge grows singly or in small groups from a single holdfast. It is up to five centimetres long, fairly stiff, greyish-white and spindle-shaped. The osculum at the tip is fringed with fine spicules.[2] The surface of the sponge appears furry from its covering of fine papillae. The skeleton consists of a tangential layer of triactines and another of tetractines. This species can be distinguished from the rather similar Sycon raphanus by the fact that the choanocyte chambers are not fused but are free from each other.[3]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

Sycon ciliatum is common along the coasts of Europe and occurs on the eastern fringes of the Atlantic Ocean from Scandinavia south to Portugal.[3] It is found low down on the shore and in the neritic zone, amongst seaweed, under stones or in rock pools in areas without strong wave action.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ World Register of Marine Species
  2. ^ a b Barrett, J. & C. M. Yonge (1958) Collins Pocket Guide to the Sea Shore. Collins, London p41.
  3. ^ a b Marine Species Identification Portal


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