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The first incidence of clionid sponges (Porifera) from the Sydney rock oyster Saccostrea commercialis (Iredale and Roughley, 1933)
Wesche, S.J.; Adlard, R.D.; Hooper, J.N.A. (1997). The first incidence of clionid sponges (Porifera) from the Sydney rock oyster Saccostrea commercialis (Iredale and Roughley, 1933). Aquaculture 157(1-2): 171-178
In: Aquaculture. Elsevier: Amsterdam. ISSN 0044-8486
Peer reviewed article

Keywords
    Burrowing organisms; Distribution records; Oyster culture; Parasites; Pathogens; Cliona Grant, 1826 [WoRMS]; Porifera [WoRMS]; ISEW, Australia, Queensland [Marine Regions]; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Wesche, S.J.
  • Adlard, R.D.
  • Hooper, J.N.A.

Abstract
    Two species of clionid sponge (Porifera, Demospongiae, Hadromerida, Clionidae) were discovered inhabiting the shells of both living and dead Sydney rock oysters, Saccostrea commercialis. A total of 447 oyster shells were collected from the Pimpama River, south-east Queensland with 28 shells from living oysters and 195 shells from dead oysters showing signs of infection. This is the first recorded incidence of a burrowing sponge from the Sydney rock oyster. The sponges (Cliona vastifica Hancock, 1849 and Cliona celata Grant, 1826) represent new records for Australia and are redescribed. Radiographs were used to illustrate burrowing patterns in infected shells. The presence of Marteilia sydneyi, a highly pathogenic parasite, in all oysters carrying the sponge infections obscured the pathological effects of the burrowing sponge on the oyster. Burrowing sponges from the family Clionidae are known to have adverse effects on mollusc culture. Excavations by the sponge in living shells compromise structural support which reduces shell strength and affects adductor muscle attachment. The sponge infection correlates with prolonged immersion periods during culture, a practice that may become more common as culture methods are optimised. Oyster stocks cultured either in trays or on sticks that are set at mid-intertidal levels appear free from infection.

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