This essay is devoted to the marine species Callyspongia plicifera, common name azure vase sponge, known as one of the most colorful sponges in the world. This paper describes taxonomy, morphology, ecology, and geographical distribution of the species. The role of C. plicifera in the coral reefs ecosystems and its symbiosis with other organisms are discussed. Also, information about its use, common names and synonyms is provided.
Key words: Callyspongia plicifera, azure vase sponge.
Sponges are the abundant and divorced group of marine organisms, though it’s difficult to estimate their actual diversity because of the simplicity of their morphological traita and slow rate of mitochondrial sequence evolution characteristics that makes genetic identifying of species complicated (DeBiasse and Hellberg, 2015). However, the species Callyspongia plicifera, also known as azure vase sponge, was distinguished from other sponges as far back as 1814. This organism is famous for its appearance and is often claimed to be the most colorful sponge in the world. C. plicifera is a member of the family Callyspongiidae in the order Haplosclerida and has features characteristic to other sponges: it’s a filter feeder, living attached to rocks near the bottom; it reproduces both sexually and asexually; it lacks true tissues and organs. Azure vase sponge inhabits coral reefs interacting with other organisms, which makes it an important part of the reef ecosystem.
Identify the taxonomy of Callyspongia plicifera.
Describe the Callyspongia plicifera.
To be familiar with the geographical distribution of the sponge.Explain the role of Callyspongia plicifera in reef ecosystems.TaxonomyKingdom – AnimaliaPhylum – PoriferaClass – DemospongiaeSubclass – HeteroscleromorphaOrder – HaploscleridaFamily – CallyspongiidaeGenus – CallyspongiaSubgenus – Callyspongia (Cladochalina)Species – Callyspongia (Cladochalina) plicifera(Marinespecies.org, 2015)Description of the spongeC. plicifera is a vase- or tube-shaped sponge having constricted terminal vent with a thin collar. (Species-identification.org, 2015). The “vase” usually broads upward from the round or slightly compressed base (Portol.org, 2015). The inner wall of the sponge is smooth, slightly ridged lengthwise with the oscules reaching 1-5 mm in diameter, when the outer surface is provided with a system of meandering grooves or rounded pits, which reach up to 1 cm deep (Species-identification.org, 2015; Portol.org, 2015).
The longitudinal fibrofascicles can be observed on the inner wall (Species-identification.org, 2015).The consistency of azure vase sponge is elastic and compressible. C. plicifera has the exterior skeleton, whose components are spicules and fibers. The exoskeleton is formed by a polygonal net of primary fibers (60-100 µm in diameter) with meshes (700-1000 µm) and smaller secondary fibers (10-60 µm) with meshes (100-500 µm). The fibers sometimes have thin rods as the core with two blunt ends. Large fibers contain sparse spicules, while smaller fibers usually are deprived of interior spicules. The interior skeleton is formed by fibrofasciles (longitudinal fibers), which reach up to 550 µm in diameter, meshed by primary (70-150 µm), secondary (40-70 µm) and tertiary (8-30 µm) interlacing fibers (Portol.org, 2015).
The vases growth mostly solitary, but sometimes they have several small side-tubes, usually not more than 3 (Species-identification.org, …