Haliclona ecbasis (?) de Laubenfels, 1930

Common name(s): 

Synonyms:  May include Haliclona permollis de Laubenfels, 1961
?Haliclona sp A (Hartman, 1975)
Phylum Porifera
 Class Demospongiae
  Subclass Ceractinomorpha
   Order Haplosclerida
    Family Haliclonidae
Haliclona ecbasis at San Simeon, CA
(Photo by: Dave Cowles May 1999)
Description:  This intertidal sponge has a soft, spongy surface and a purple or lilac color (may sometimes be rose or pale orange or yellow).  It grows as a thin crust on shaded sides and crevices of rocks.  Besides the flat crust it has small nipplelike or fingerlike projections like chimneys, a few millimeters high, each of which is crowned with an osculum approximately 1 millimeter in diameter.  The projections are the same color of purple as the rest of the crust.  Its silicious spicules include oxeas 75-105 microns long.  Its surface layer does not easily rub off in flakes.

How to Distinguish from Similar Species: Adocia gellindra has a surface layer that rubs off in flakes.  Haliclona close to permollis is very similar but has oxeas 125-175 microns long.  Neither of these species have oscula on chimney-like projections

Geographical Range:  Worldwide

Depth Range: Mid-intertidal to 50 m depth

Habitat: On undersides of large rocks, in caves, under ledges, on pilings, on mussels on floats in harbors.

Biology/Natural History: The nudibranch Dialula sandiegensis feeds on this sponge.  Disassociated cells may reaggregate but have not been seen to form a new sponge.  Sexual reproduction is in the spring; produces a parenchymula larva.  The genus Haliclona contains more than 200 species which are hard to distinguish, even microscopically by spicules.  They may actually be easier to distinguish in life than by spicules.

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Dichotomous Keys:
Kozloff 1987, 1996

General References:
Morris et al., 1980

Scientific Articles:

General Notes and Observations:  Locations, abundances, unusual behaviors:

Here is a closeup of the oscula of the Haliclona ecbasis.  Note how they are often, but not always, on chimneys or nipplelike projections.

Authors and Editors of Page:
Dave Cowles (2005):  Created original page