Systematics and spicule evolution in dictyonal sponges (Hexactinellida: Sceptrulophora) with description of two new species

Authors

  • MARTIN DOHRMANN,

    1. Department für Geo- und Umweltwissenschaften, Paläontologie und Geobiologie & GeoBio-CenterLMU, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Bayerische Staatssammlung für Paläontologie und Geologie, Richard-Wagner-Str. 10, 80333 München, Germany
    2. Current address: Department of Invertebrate Zoology, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, 10th Street & Constitution Avenue, Washington, DC, 20560, USA
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  • CHRISTIAN GÖCKE,

    1. Forschungsinstitut und Naturmuseum Senckenberg, Senckenberganlage 25, 60325 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
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  • DORTE JANUSSEN,

    1. Forschungsinstitut und Naturmuseum Senckenberg, Senckenberganlage 25, 60325 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
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  • JOACHIM REITNER,

    1. Geowissenschaftliches Zentrum Göttingen, Abteilung Geobiologie & Courant Research Centre Geobiology, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Goldschmidtstraße 3, 37077 Göttingen, Germany
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  • CARSTEN LÜTER,

    1. Museum für Naturkunde, Leibniz-Institut für Evolutions- und Biodiversitätsforschung an der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Invalidenstraße 43, 10115 Berlin, Germany
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  • GERT WÖRHEIDE

    Corresponding author
    1. Department für Geo- und Umweltwissenschaften, Paläontologie und Geobiologie & GeoBio-CenterLMU, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Bayerische Staatssammlung für Paläontologie und Geologie, Richard-Wagner-Str. 10, 80333 München, Germany
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E-mail: woerheide@lmu.de

Abstract

In this paper we report on recently collected specimens of glass sponges belonging to Farreidae Gray, 1872, and Tretodictyidae Schulze, 1886 (Porifera: Hexactinellida: Hexactinosida). All specimens represent new geographical records for their genera: Coral Sea for Aspidoscopulia Reiswig, 2002 (Farreidae) and Psilocalyx Ijima, 1927 (Tretodictyidae); north-west Atlantic for Sarostegia Topsent, 1904 (Farreidae). Two new species, Aspidoscopulia australia Dohrmann, Göcke & Janussen sp. nov. and Aspidoscopulia ospreya Dohrmann, Göcke & Janussen sp. nov., are described. To investigate further the evolution of hexactinosidan sponges, we sequenced two nuclear (18S and 28S rDNA) and two mitochondrial [16S ribosomal rDNA, cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI)] genes from these specimens, as well as from a recently described new species of Lonchiphora Ijima, 1927 (Farreidae). Besides corroborating the monophyly of Tretodictyidae, our molecular phylogenetic analyses support a clade of clavule-bearing sponges with a farreoid dictyonal framework (i.e. Farreidae sensu stricto). In contrast, Sarostegia, which lacks these features, appears unrelated to this clade – instead our data are consistent with an earlier placement of this genus in Euretidae Zittel, 1877. We introduce formally the taxon Sceptrulophora Mehl 1992, and emend the classification of Hexactinosida to reflect this move and our new findings regarding the position of Sarostegia. Finally, we discuss implications of the molecular phylogeny for the evolution of sceptrules, the defining autapomorphy of Sceptrulophora.

© 2011 The Linnean Society of London, Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2011, 163, 1003–1025.

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