Stinker sponge Ircinia felix, copyright Florent Charpin.

Belongs within: Demospongiae.

The Dictyoceratida are a group of demosponges lacking siliceous spicules, with the skeleton usually being composed entirely of spongin fibres. One species, Vaceletia crypta, has a hypercalcified basal skeleton composed of irregularly structered aragonite (Morrow & Cárdenas 2015). The Dictyoceratida include the commercial bath sponge Spongia officinalis, found in warm waters of the Atlantic.

Characters (from Cook & Bergquist 2002): Skeleton composed of spongin fibres skeleton, making up a significant proportion of body volume, constructed on an anastomosing plan. Skeleton developing from multiple points of attachment, usually organised as hierarchy of primary, secondary and sometimes tertiary elements. Fibre construction either homogeneous, lacking pith, with growth laminae tightly adherent and just detectable, or pithed and strongly laminated with pith grading into bark. Choanocyte chambers either diplodal or eurypylous. Cells of mesohyl moderately to weakly diversified. Larvae are incubated parenchymellae with complex histology and posterior ring or cap of long cilia. Sponge texture characteristically compressible and tough, never heavily collagenous throughout, hard when debris is incorporated or fibre skeleton is dense, soft when skeleton is reduced in proportion to soft tissue mass. Marked differential pigmentation often present, with exterior dark and interior ranging from white through cream to pale brown or pale to bright yellow. Sterol content very low, diverse range of terpenes present within lipid fraction.

    |--Thorectidae MG-H11
    |    |--Aplysinopsis reticulata Hentschel 1912 BJ06
    |    |--Cacospongia MG-H11
    |    |--Carteriospongia foliascens (Pallas 1766) FV09
    |    |--Dactylospongia elegans (Thiele 1899) FV09
    |    |--Fascaplysinopsis MG-H11
    |    |--Luffariella MG-H11
    |    |--Taonura MG-H11
    |    |--Thorecta MG-H11
    |    |--Thorectandra MG-H11
    |    |--Hyrtios Duchassaing & Michelotti 1864 [incl. Dysideopsis von Lendenfeld 1888] BJ06
    |    |    |--H. erecta (Keller 1889) FV09
    |    |    `--‘Dysideopsis’ topsenti Hentschel 1912 BJ06
    |    `--Fasciospongia Burton 1934 [incl. Stelospongia Schulze 1879 (nom. inv.)] BJ06
    |         |--‘Stelospongia’ cava Hentschel 1912 BJ06
    |         `--‘Stelospongia’ euplectella Hentschel 1912 BJ06
    |--Irciniidae MG-H11
    |    |--Sarcotragus muscarum MG-H11, ECE00
    |    |--Psammocinia MG-H11
    |    `--Ircinia Nardo 1833 [incl. Hircinia Nardo 1834] BJ06
    |         |--‘Hircinia’ aruensis Hentschel 1912 BJ06
    |         |--I. fasciculata PP15
    |         |--I. felix Duchassaing & Michelotti 1864 D84
    |         |--‘Hircinia’ pinna Hentschel 1912 BJ06
    |         |--‘Hircinia’ spiculosa Hentschel 1912 BJ06
    |         `--I. strobilina Lamarck 1816 D84
    |--Spongiidae MG-H11
    |    |--Hyatella sinuosa MG-H11, B30
    |    |--Leiosella MG-H11
    |    |--Hippospongia MG-H11
    |    |    |--H. communis C-SC03
    |    |    `--H. frondosa Hentschel 1912 BJ06
    |    `--Spongia MG-H11
    |         |--S. oculata H30
    |         |--S. officinalis MK83
    |         |--S. panicea H30
    |         `--S. tubulifera Lamarck 1814 D84
    |--Dysideidae MC15
    |    |--Dysidea Johnston 1842 [incl. Spongelia Schmidt 1862] BJ06
    |    |    |--D. fragilis BD86 [=Spongelia fragilis BJ06]
    |    |    |    |--D. f. fragilis BJ06
    |    |    |    `--‘Spongelia’ f. clathrata Hentschel 1912 BJ06
    |    |    |--D. granulosa Bergquist 1965 FV09
    |    |    |--‘Sarcocornea’ nodosa [=Spongelia nodosa] T72
    |    |    `--‘Spongelia’ spinifera BJ06
    |    |         |--S. s. spinifera BJ06
    |    |         `--S. s. australis Hentschel 1912 BJ06
    |    |--Lamellodysidea herbacea (Keller 1889) FV09
    |    `--Euryspongia delicatula Bergquist 1995 FV09
    `--Vaceletia [Verticillitida, Verticillitidae] MC15
         `--V. crypta (Vacelet 1977) MC15

Inorganic: Spongia paradoxica Woodward 1833 [=Siphonia paradoxica] H62

*Type species of generic name indicated


[BD86] Barash, A., & Z. Danin. 1986. Further additions to the knowledge of Indo-Pacific Mollusca in the Mediterranean Sea (Lessepsian migrants). Spixiana 9 (2): 117–141.

[BJ06] Barnich, R., & D. Janussen. 2006. Die Typen und Typoide des Naturmuseums Senckenberg, Nr. 86. Type catalogue of the Porifera in the collections of the Senckenberg Museum in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Senckenbergiana Biologica 86 (2): 127–144.

[B30] Bidder, G. P. 1930. On the classification of sponges. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of London 141: 44–47.

[C-SC03] Cavalier-Smith, T., & E. E.-Y. Chao. 2003. Phylogeny of Choanozoa, Apusozoa, and other Protozoa and early eukaryote megaevolution. Journal of Molecular Evolution 56: 540–563.

Cook, S. de C., & P. R. Bergquist. 2002. Order Dictyoceratida Minchin, 1900. In: Hooper, J. N. A., & R. W. M. Van Soest (eds) Systema Porifera: A Guide to the Classification of Sponges p. 1021. Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers: New York.

[D84] Dardeau, M. R. 1984. Synalpheus shrimps (Crustacea: Decapoda: Alpheidae). I. The Gambarelloides group, with a description of a new species. Memoirs of the Hourglass Cruises 7 (2): 1–125.

[ECE00] Ergen, Z., M. E. Çinar & G. Ergen. 2000. On the Nereididae (Polychaeta: Annelida) fauna of the Bay of İzmir. Zoology in the Middle East 21: 139–158.

[FV09] Fromont, J., & M. A. Vanderklift. 2009. Porifera (sponges) of Mermaid, Scott and Seringapatam Reefs, north Western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum Supplement 77: 89–103.

[H62] Häntzschel, W. 1962. Trace fossils and problematica. In: Moore, R. C. (ed.) Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology pt W. Miscellanea: Conodonts, Conoidal Shells of Uncertain Affinities, Worms, Trace Fossils and Problematica pp. W177–W245. Geological Society of America, and University of Kansas Press.

[H30] Harmer, S. F. 1930. Presidential address. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of London 141: 68–118.

[MG-H11] McEnnulty, F. R., K. L. Gowlett-Holmes, A. Williams, F. Althaus, J. Fromont, G. C. B. Poore, T. D. O'Hara, L. Marsh, P. Kott, S. Slack-Smith, P. Alderslade & M. V. Kitahara. 2011. The deepwater megabenthic invertebrates on the western continental margin of Australia (100–1100 m depths): composition, distribution and novelty. Records of the Western Australian Museum Supplement 80: 1–191.

[MK83] Menzies, R. J., & W. L. Kruczynski. 1983. Isopod Crustacea (exclusive of Epicaridea). Memoirs of the Hourglass Cruises 6 (1): 1–126.

[MC15] Morrow, C., & P. Cárdenas. 2015. Proposal for a revised classification of the Demospongiae (Porifera). Frontiers in Zoology 12: 7.

[PP15] Pisani, D., W. Pett, M. Dohrmann, R. Feuda, O. Rota-Stabelli, H. Philippe, N. Lartillot & G. Wörheide. 2015. Genomic data do not support comb jellies as the sister group to all other animals. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 112 (50): 15402–15407.

[T72] Tendal, O. S. 1972. A monograph of the Xenophyophoria (Rhizopodea, Protozoa). Galathea Report 12: 7–99.

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