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Spongaster tetras Ehrenberg, 1860

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Benson, 1966, p. 238; pl. 15, fig. 2:

Spongaster tetras Ehrenberg

Spongaster tetras Ehrenberg, 1861, Akad. Berlin Monatsb. (1861), p. 301; 1873b, Akad. Berlin, Abhandl. (1872), P1. 6 (3), fig. 8.

Test similar to that of Dictyocoryne cf. truncatum except four, equally disposed, spongy arms, instead of three, arise from the circular central region; with complete or partially developed spongy patagium. Most tests with square outline having rounded corners, a few tests trapezoidal in outline. The internal structure of the central region consisting of 8-10 or more concentric, latticed discoidal shells; arms appear to be spongy, without concentric rings or shells, generally of equal size, without definite margins. No specimens observed without a patagium or portion thereof.

Measurements; based on 30 specimens from stations 46, 56, 60, 71, and 81: diameter of central region (dark spot) 49-111 Ám; length of diagonals of test (includes opposite pairs of arms) 127-296 Ám.

Distribution. This species is rare at all Gulf stations where it is present. It occurs as far north as station 192. It is absent at stations 90, 115, 133, 136, 151, 191, 194, and all those to the north. Because it is present at only four stations in the northern half of the Gulf, its greater affinity for oceanic water masses is indicated.
Ehrenberg reported Spongaster tetras from the Pacific Ocean near California. Haeckel (1887, p. 597) later reported it as cosmopolitan, occurring at the surface and at various depths in the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans. It has not been reported from high latitudes.
Benson 1966


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