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Two new lithistids (Porifera: Demospongiae) from a shallow eastern Mediterranean cave (Lebanon)
Perez, T.; Vacelet, J.; Bitar, G.; Zibrowius, H. (2004). Two new lithistids (Porifera: Demospongiae) from a shallow eastern Mediterranean cave (Lebanon). J. Mar. Biol. Ass. U.K. 84(1): 15-24
In: Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. Cambridge University Press/Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom: Plymouth. ISSN 0025-3154
Peer reviewed article

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Authors  Top 
  • Perez, T.
  • Vacelet, J.
  • Bitar, G.
  • Zibrowius, H.

Abstract
    Two new species of lithistid sponges, Gastrophanella phoeniciensis sp. nov. (Siphonidiidae) and Microscleroderma lamina sp. nov. (Scleritodermidae) are described from a submarine cave, depth 2-3 m, in Lebanon. They are the first Mediterranean records of two genera with a mainly tropical distribution, Gastrophanella being known from the western Atlantic (Caribbean, Brazil), central eastern Pacific (Mexico) and South Africa, and Microscleroderma from the Indo-Pacific and the eastern Atlantic (Senegal). They are interpreted as remnants of a warmer period in the Mediterranean that survived the subsequent cooling only in the warmer eastern basin. Gastrophanella phoeniciensis sp. nov. is closely related to G. cavernicola from Brazil and Belize, from which it differs essentially in its shape. Microscleroderma lamina sp. nov. is characterized by a lamellar shape, short oxeas and having hair-like oxeas arranged around the aquiferous openings.

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