UNDETERMINED SPONGES—A SELECTION

During the preparation of this book, a sizable but incomplete collection of sponge photographs was assembled. Fortunately we were able to work with the authority on the topic—Dr. Bill Austin of the Marine Ecology Centre in Sidney, BC, an excellent educational facility that is open to the public and well worth a visit.

The Pacific Northwest sponge taxonomy is in a state of disarray. This has occurred for various reasons, primarily a lack of funding: the dedicated and competent scientists required to review the ever-increasing backlog of material are not being supported. The status quo is likely to persist, and sponge identification will continue to be a frustrating, often impossible task.

Through the following photographic presentation of essentially “unknown sponges” with the accompanying location data and descriptions, we hope to accomplish at least two things. The first is simply an appreciation and enjoyment of the wide variety of species in the Pacific Northwest. The second, perhaps more important, is an inspiration for progress in sponge classification. Motivated amateurs can be of great value—one need only consider the impact that keen underwater photographers and others have had with web sites.

Since Marine Life of the Pacific Northwest was first printed and with the creation of an online version, Dr. Bill Austin, Bruce Ott, Neil McDaniel and others have continued to address the back log of undescribed sponges living in the Pacific Northwest. In addition, other undetermined sponges have been found and some of these have been added here.

Results from a spectacular example of “citizen science” are represented following PO85/86. While numerous new entries result from the efforts of Neil McDaniel and colleagues, one formerly undetermined species from the original list (PO69) has been officially described and its entry is now suitably altered.

PO61. Undetermined sponge A.

 

PO62. Undetermined sponge B.

 

PO63. Undetermined sponge C.

 

PO64. Undetermined sponge D.

 

PO65. Undetermined sponge E.

 

PO66. Undetermined sponge F.

 

PO67. Undetermined sponge G.

 

PO68. Undetermined sponge H.

 

PO70. Undetermined sponge J.

 

PO71. Undetermined sponge K.

 

PO72. Undetermined sponge L.

 

PO73. Undetermined sponge M.

 

PO74. Undetermined sponge N.

 

PO75. Undetermined sponge O.

 

PO76. Undetermined sponge P.

 

PO77. Undetermined sponge Q.

 

PO78. Undetermined sponge R.

 

PO79. Undetermined sponge S.

 

PO80. Undetermined sponge T.

 

PO81. Undetermined sponge U.

 

PO82. Undetermined sponge V.

 

PO83. Undetermined sponge W.

 

PO84. Undetermined sponge X.

 

PO85/86. aquarium resident sponges

 

PO87. Unidentified sponge working data