Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description

This encrusting sponge may grow as a thin sheet or cushion up to 14 mm thick when contracted and often forms patches up to 30 cm across. The colour is very variable from grey through to dark red. The amount of pigment present generally reflects prevailing water clarity and illumination levels. On the west coast of Ireland it is normally bright red, while in turbid water in Strangford Lough it is pale pink. The surface is smooth to slippery, with circular depressions containing inhalant pore sieves similar to those in Hemimycale. This species could be confused with Hemimycale columella but its raised oscular rims, conspicuous oscules and the lack of white rims to the uniformly sized depressions make it quite easy to distinguish from Hemimycale.
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Source: Encyclopedia of Marine Life of Britain and Ireland

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Distribution

Recently known from Strangford Lough; Tiree; southern and western coasts of Ireland; Isle of Man and Lleyn peninsula.
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© National Museums Northern Ireland and its licensors

Source: Encyclopedia of Marine Life of Britain and Ireland

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Physical Description

Type Information

Holotype for Microciona fictitia Bowerbank, 1866
Catalog Number: USNM 5043
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
  • Holotype: Bowerbank. 1866. Ray Society. 2: 124-126, pl.23, f.1-6.
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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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Ecology

Habitat

Depth range based on 75 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 6 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 1 - 41
  Temperature range (°C): 11.054 - 11.490
  Nitrate (umol/L): 4.909 - 7.251
  Salinity (PPS): 35.218 - 35.271
  Oxygen (ml/l): 6.125 - 6.204
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.452 - 0.501
  Silicate (umol/l): 2.311 - 2.990

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 1 - 41

Temperature range (°C): 11.054 - 11.490

Nitrate (umol/L): 4.909 - 7.251

Salinity (PPS): 35.218 - 35.271

Oxygen (ml/l): 6.125 - 6.204

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.452 - 0.501

Silicate (umol/l): 2.311 - 2.990
 
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Most often recorded in the infralittoral zone in exposed or tideswept rocky areas.
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Source: Encyclopedia of Marine Life of Britain and Ireland

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