Unusual morphotypes of the giant barrel sponge off the coast of Barbados

UNCW Author/Contributor (non-UNCW co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Joseph Pawlik (Creator)
The University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW )
Web Site: http://library.uncw.edu/

Abstract: Giant barrel sponges (GBSs) belong to a cryptic species complex (Xestospongia spp.) and are found on tropical reefs worldwide. Over their range, including most of the Caribbean, GBSs have a cylindrical shape, with variation in height, diameter and surface complexity. However, off the southwest coast of Barbados, GBSs mostly exhibit a clam shape or a tub shape, interspersed with a few that have the normal barrel morphotype, suggesting that this variation is not due to environmental factors. Haplotype identification (mtDNA-COI) of six clam and six normal sponges indicated no clear genetic differentiation based on morphotype; hence, this morphological variation remains unexplained.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2021
Porifera, Caribbean, coral reefs, morphology, cryptic species, ecotypic variation, phylogenetics

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