Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description

 Esperiopsis fucorum is an intense reddish orange encrusting soft sponge, which becomes colourless in alcohol. The body shape is highly variable amongst individuals (extremely polymorphic) and individuals are fast growing, changing shape within a few weeks. Growth forms include thin sheets, cushions, massive-lobose or branched. It can also occur in hollow 'amphora' shaped forms in sheltered conditions.Pigment can be squeezed out between the fingers. The sponge is thought to go colourless in deeper water. Has also been found growing up hydroid stems.
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Description

"Isodictya Edwardii, Bowerbank.

 

Sponge. Sessile, parasitical, coating. Surface uneven, hispid. Oscula inconspicuous, simple, dispersed. Pores inconspicuous.. Dermal membrane pellucid, sparingly spiculous; tension spicula acuate, long, and slender; retentive spicula bidentate equi-anchorate, slender, minute, few in number. Skelton. Diffusive and irregular; primary lines multispiculous; secondary lines very irregular, occasionally bi or trispiculous; spicula acuate, rather long. Interstitial membranes. Tension spicula rather abundant, acuate, variable in size; retentive spicula same as those of the dermal membrane, very few in number. Germmules membranous, aspiculous.

 

Colour. – Dried, ochreous yellow.

 

Habitat. – Banff, Scotland, Mr. T. Edward.

 

Examined. – In the dried state.

 

This sponge coats the stems of Tubularia for the length of seven inches, at no part exceeding two lines in thickness. Its general aspect in the dried state is rough and irregular in consequence of the prominent hispidation of its surface, produced by the prolongation of the primary lines of the skeleton beyond the dermal membrane, frequently to the extent of the length of two or three times that of a spiculum. The oscula are not visible without the aid of a lens of an inch focus. The construction of the skeleton is very irregular and diffusive, and the secondary lines especially, and to such an extent as to frequently render it difficult to decide whether they are really secondary skeleton lines or dispersed skeleton spicula. The skeleton spicula are regularly acuate and rather slender. The retentive spicula are not visible in a fragment of the sponge immersed in water, and it is only when mounted in Canada balsam that they can be distinctly seen in situ in the dermal membrane, on which they are not equally dispersed, but occur in clusters at intervals. In the interstitial membranes they are very few in number, and rarely more than one occurs in the field at the same time.

 

There is a considerable degree of resemblance in the descriptions of I. Alderi and I. paupera to that of I. Edwardii, which may possibly lead to a doubt in the mind of the student as to which of the three the specimen he might have under examination belonged; but a comparison of the spicula alone of these three species readily distinguish each from the other. The length of the spicula of I. Edwardii as compared with those of both I. paupera and I. Alderi is as seven to five, and although thus much longer, the diameter is less than either of the spicula of the other two species, and the form is much more purely acuate.”

 

(Bowerbank, 1866)

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Source: Antarctic Invertebrates Website (NMNH)

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Description

This bright orange sponge is extremely polymorphic and fast growing, changing shape in just a few weeks. It may be encrusting as thin sheets or cushions, massive lobose, with or without tassels, or branched. The encrusting form of this species may be confused with other orange/red encrusting sponges but the soft texture and open surface are quite distinctive.
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Source: Encyclopedia of Marine Life of Britain and Ireland

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Distribution

A common and widespread species in the British Isles.
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Source: Encyclopedia of Marine Life of Britain and Ireland

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Physical Description

Type Information

Syntype for Isodictya invalida Bowerbank, 1874
Catalog Number: USNM 5194
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Invertebrate Zoology
Preparation: Slide
Collector(s): C. Stewart
Locality: Plymouth, English Channel, County Devon, England, United Kingdom, North Atlantic Ocean
  • Syntype: Bowerbank. 1874. Monograph Of The British Spongiadae. 3: 289-291,pl.lxxxv.
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Source: National Museum of Natural History Collections

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Syntype for Halichondria thompsoni Bowerbank, 1866
Catalog Number: USNM 5124
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Invertebrate Zoology
Preparation: Slide
Locality: Channel Islands, Jersey Island, England, United Kingdom, North Atlantic Ocean
  • Syntype: Bowerbank. 1866. Ray Society. 2: 243-244, pl.44, f.1-5.
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Source: National Museum of Natural History Collections

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Syntype for Isodictya alderi Bowerbank, 1866
Catalog Number: USNM 5203
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Invertebrate Zoology
Preparation: Slide
Collector(s): Alder
Locality: Gwynedd, Menai Straits, Wales, United Kingdom, North Atlantic Ocean
  • Syntype: Bowerbank. 1866. Ray Society. 2: 323-324, pl.56, f.20-26.
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© Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Invertebrate Zoology

Source: National Museum of Natural History Collections

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Holotype for Isodictya involuta Bowerbank, 1882
Catalog Number: USNM 5215
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Invertebrate Zoology
Preparation: Slide
Locality: Birterbuy Bay, County Galway, Ireland, United Kingdom, North Atlantic Ocean
  • Holotype: Bowerbank. 1882. Ray Society. 4: 143-144, pl.10, f.1-4.
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Source: National Museum of Natural History Collections

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Syntype for Isodictya pertenuis Bowerbank, 1882
Catalog Number: USNM 5216
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Invertebrate Zoology
Preparation: Slide
Locality: Westport Bay, County Mayo, Ireland, United Kingdom, North Atlantic Ocean
  • Syntype: Bowerbank. 1882. Ray Society. 4: 144-146, pl.13, f.1-4.
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Source: National Museum of Natural History Collections

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Syntype for Isodictya collina Bowerbank, 1882
Catalog Number: USNM 5219
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Invertebrate Zoology
Preparation: Slide
Locality: Roundstone Bay, County Galway, Ireland, United Kingdom, North Atlantic Ocean
  • Syntype: Bowerbank. 1882. Ray Society. 4: 147-149, pl.14, f.6-13.
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Source: National Museum of Natural History Collections

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Holotype for Isodictya scitula Bowerbank, 1882
Catalog Number: USNM 5218
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Invertebrate Zoology
Preparation: Slide
Locality: Roundstone Bay, County Galway, Ireland, United Kingdom, North Atlantic Ocean
  • Holotype: Bowerbank. 1882. Ray Society. 4: 146-147, pl.4, f.1-3, pl.9, f.1-3.
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Syntype for Isodictya pertenuis Bowerbank, 1882
Catalog Number: USNM 5217
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Invertebrate Zoology
Preparation: Slide
Year Collected: 1874
Locality: Westport Bay, County Mayo, Ireland, United Kingdom, North Atlantic Ocean
  • Syntype: Bowerbank. 1882. Ray Society. 4: 144-146, pl.13, f.1-4.
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Source: National Museum of Natural History Collections

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Syntype for Isodictya normani Bowerbank, 1866
Catalog Number: USNM 5197
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Invertebrate Zoology
Preparation: Slide
Locality: Channel Islands, Guernsey Island, England, United Kingdom, North Atlantic Ocean
  • Syntype: Bowerbank. 1866. Ray Society. 2: 320-321, pl.56, f.1-5.
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Syntype for Halichondria thompsoni Bowerbank, 1866
Catalog Number: USNM 5125
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Invertebrate Zoology
Preparation: Slide
Locality: Channel Islands, Jersey Island, England, United Kingdom, North Atlantic Ocean
  • Syntype: Bowerbank. 1866. Ray Society. 2: 243-244, pl.44, f.1-5.
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Syntype for Isodictya collina Bowerbank, 1882
Catalog Number: USNM 5220
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Invertebrate Zoology
Preparation: Slide
Year Collected: 1874
Locality: Roundstone Bay, County Galway, Ireland, United Kingdom, North Atlantic Ocean
  • Syntype: Bowerbank. 1882. Ray Society. 4: 147-149, pl.14, f.6-13.
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Syntype for Isodictya alderi Bowerbank, 1866
Catalog Number: USNM 5204
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Invertebrate Zoology
Preparation: Slide
Collector(s): Alder
Locality: Gwynedd, Menai Straits, Wales, United Kingdom, North Atlantic Ocean
  • Syntype: Bowerbank. 1866. Ray Society. 2: 323-324, pl.56, f.20-26.
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Holotype for Isodictya hispida Bowerbank, 1882
Catalog Number: USNM 5200
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Invertebrate Zoology
Preparation: Slide
Year Collected: 1874
Locality: Roundstone Bay, County Galway, Ireland, United Kingdom, North Atlantic Ocean
  • Holotype: Bowerbank. 1882. Ray Society. 4: 136-138, pl.12, f.1-5.
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Syntype for Isodictya normani Bowerbank, 1866
Catalog Number: USNM 5196
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Invertebrate Zoology
Preparation: Slide
Locality: Channel Islands, Guernsey Island, St. Martins Point, England, United Kingdom, North Atlantic Ocean
Depth (m): 55 to 55
  • Syntype: Bowerbank. 1866. Ray Society. 2: 320-321, pl.56, f.1-5.
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Ecology

Habitat

Depth range based on 317 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 43 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 0 - 613.5
  Temperature range (°C): 1.154 - 14.135
  Nitrate (umol/L): 2.954 - 34.578
  Salinity (PPS): 33.236 - 35.363
  Oxygen (ml/l): 4.002 - 7.723
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.335 - 2.274
  Silicate (umol/l): 1.052 - 108.175

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 0 - 613.5

Temperature range (°C): 1.154 - 14.135

Nitrate (umol/L): 2.954 - 34.578

Salinity (PPS): 33.236 - 35.363

Oxygen (ml/l): 4.002 - 7.723

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.335 - 2.274

Silicate (umol/l): 1.052 - 108.175
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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 Esperiopsis fucorum occurs in the shallow sublittoral zone, often overgrowing the holdfasts of Laminaria sp. or sessile invertebrates. It can tolerate a wide range of exposures and can also be found in areas experiencing strong tidal currents. Occasionally found in cryptic low-littoral habitats.
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This species is common on the low shore and shallow sublittoral, it is seldom found in the circalittoral zone. It occurs in a wide range of habitats from extremely sheltered to extremely exposed and also under a wide range of current regimes.
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Source: Encyclopedia of Marine Life of Britain and Ireland

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