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Spongosphaera streptacantha Haeckel, 1861

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Benson, 1966, p. 175-176; pl. 6, fig. 4, pl. 7, fig. 1:

Spongosphaera streptacantha Haeckel

Spongosphaera streptacantha Haeckel, 1861b, Akad. Berlin, Monatsb.(1860), pp. 840-841; 1862, Die Radiolarien, pp. 455-456, Pl. 26, figs. 1-3; Popofsky, 1912, Deutsche SŘdpolar-Exped., vol. 13, pp. 109-110, text fig. 22; Hollande and Enjumet, 1960, Paris, Mus. Nat. d'Hist. Natur., Archives, vol. 7, ser. 7, pp. 97-98, P1. 20, figs. 5-7, P1. L45, fig. 4.

Test consisting of two small, concentric, latticed shells with 6-15 long, heavy, subregularly arranged, three-bladed radial spines with several verticils of lateral branches. A spherical to ellipsoidal, loose, spongy meshwork without definite outward termination is developed between the lateral branches and the surface of the outer shell. Inner latticed shell polyhedral (octahedral or cubic) with 3-4 large, subpolygonal pores on the half circumference. Second shell subspherical, globular or suboctahedral with 7-10 subequal, subregularly arranged, subpolygonal pores on the half circumference. Radial spines originate as thin cylindrical beams from the surface of the inner shell, become heavier and three-bladed where they emerge as spines from the second shell; between the second shell and the periphery of the spongy meshwork the spines are either relatively narrow or increase gradually in breadth distally (4-7 Ám), but beyond the spongy meshwork they increase greatly in breadth (10-37 Ám) but retain this same breadth, gradually tapering to a point, distally. Edges of each of the three-blades serrated beyond the spongy sphere but with conical spines arising at numerous verticils within the mass of the spongy sphere.

Measurements; based on 19 specimens from stations 93, 151, 133, and 191: diameter of outer spongy sphere 129-486 Ám, of second shell 34-47 Ám, of inner shell 15-26 Ám; length of radial spines measured from periphery of spongy sphere 135-1120 Ám.

Distribution. This species is nearly cosmopolitan in the Gulf. It has a slightly higher average frequency in the northern half of the Gulf than in the southern half. In the latter region it is very rare and is absent at stations 27, 56, and 90. Its highest frequency (1.0%) in this region is at station 64 which is located within a region of upwelling near the Mexican mainland. In the northern Gulf it is present only at stations located within or near the diatomite facies. It is absent at stations 130, 194, 203, 206, and 214 and is rare at all other stations except 191 where it is common (2.0%). Its distribution in this part of the Gulf is therefore influenced in part if not wholly by upwelling.
Haeckel (1887, p. 282) states that this species is common in all warmer seas at the surface. Hollande and Enjumet (1960, p. 98) state that it is one of the most common species in the plankton in the Bay of Algiers and that it ranges in depth from the surface to 1000 meters.
Benson 1966


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