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Kermadec Islands sponge biodiversity: A review and description of a new species

Michelle Kelly
National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research Ltd (NIWA)
Satya Amirapu
University of Auckland
Sadie Mills
National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research Ltd (NIWA)
Mike Page
National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research Ltd (NIWA)
Henry Reiswig
University of Victoria; Royal British Columbia Museum
Published
16 October 2015
Handle
www.aucklandmuseum.com/research/pub/bulletin/20/12

Abstract

Several sponges collected during the Kermadec Biodiscovery Expedition 2011 were identified as a new species of Suberea Bergquist (Verongiida, Aplysinellidae), providing an opportunity to describe this new species, and to provide a first record of the genus in New Zealand waters. Verongiids are typically tropical to subtropical sponges, and are relatively common further north off New Caledonia and along the southern and eastern coasts of Australia. Prior to this collection, there was only one published record of the order Verongiida in New Zealand, named variously as Druinella sp. or Aplysinella sp. (Aplysinellidae) from the Poor Knights Islands.

Description of Suberea meandrina Kelly sp. nov. also provides an opportunity to review the known sponge fauna of the New Zealand Exclusive Economic Zone surrounding the Kermadec Islands, and to compare it with the fauna of coastal and deep waters off mainland northern New Zealand, and surrounding areas. To date, 66 species are known from the region, 46 (70%) of which are described, and 20 (31%) of which are new to science. A majority of poriferan orders are under-represented in the sponge fauna, but carnivorous sponges of the genera Abyssocladia Lévi, Asbestopluma Topsent and Chondrocladia Thomson (Poecilosclerida, Cladorhizidae), and the glass sponge genus Farrea Bowerbank (Hexactinosida, Farreidae) are noteable components. Nine new genus records are recorded for New Zealand waters for the first time (Corticium Schmidt, Chondrosia Nardo, Pachymatisma Bowerbank, Ancorella Lendenfeld, Neopetrosia de Laubenfels, Echinochalina Thiele, Suberea, Gymnorete Ijima, and Hexactinella Carter). Thirteen percent of the overall fauna of the Kermadecs region is linked faunistically with that of the broader Indo-Pacific.

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Cite this article

Michelle Kelly, Satya Amirapu, Sadie Mills, Mike Page and Henry Reiswig. Kermadec Islands sponge biodiversity: A review and description of a new species, Suberea meandrina sp. nov. (Demospongiae, Verongida, Aplysinellidae). Auckland War Memorial Museum - Tāmaki Paenga Hira. Bulletin of the Auckland Museum 20: 311:324.