• Alectona;
  • boring sponge;
  • Japan Sea;
  • new species;
  • Paracorallium japonicum


Precious corals represent peculiar substrata for several species of boring sponges that exploit their carbonatic scleraxis, strongly decreasing their commercial value. Here we describe a new species of the genus Alectona from Japan recorded in a colony of Paracorallium japonicum (Kishinouye, 1903). The spicular complement of the new species consists of diactinal spicules covered by mushroom-like tubercles, often modified into styloid forms, and fusiform amphiasters with two or sometimes four verticils, each generally made up of six short tubercled rays. A complete survey of the literature on boring sponges recorded in precious corals in the Mediterranean Sea and Pacific Ocean indicates that the species of the family Alectonidae are the most strictly associated to this kind of substratum. Their world distribution, in fact, partially or totally overlap that of their coral hosts.