Top 10 New Species of 2013
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
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.