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Lyre Sponge
Top 10 New Species of 2013

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image Chondrocladia lyra
A spectacular, large, harp- or lyre-shaped carnivorous sponge discovered in deep water (ave. 3399 m) from the northeast Pacific Ocean off the coast of California. The harp-shaped structures or vanes number from two to six and each has more than 20 parallel vertical branches, often capped by an expanded, balloon-like, terminal ball. This unusual form maximizes the surface area of the sponge for contact and capture of planktonic prey items.

Country: NE Pacific Ocean; USA: California

Reference:
Lee, W. L., Reiswig, H. M., Austin, W.C., and L. Lundsten. 2012. An extraordinary new carnivorous sponge, Chondrocladia lyra, in the new subgenus Symmetrocladia (Demospongiae, Cladorhizidae), from off of northern California, USA. Invertebrate Biology xx, 1-26.

Photo credit:
©2013 MBARI