Halichondria panicea (Pallas, 1766)
Synonyms: Spongia panicea Pallas, 1766; Pellina semitubulosa Czerniavsky, 1880; Pellina longispicula Czerniavsky, 1880; Halichondria grossa Swartschewsky, 1905.
Common names: None.
Order (Scientific): CORNACUSPONGIDA.
Family (Scientific): HALICHONDRIIDAE.
Taxonomic descriptions: Sponge encrusting and provided with numerous, low upright tubules (H=2-5 cm) each terminating in an oscule (A = 5-6 mm), dermal skeleton tends to be a regular network of multispicular tracts. Colour orange-yellow to greenish.
Black Sea Regional level:
Subregion level: VU
Habitat types, Critical habitats, Limiting factors: Strictly rocky species, in superior infralittoral, including on artificial dams; epibiont on mussels; eurybath, at depths of 2 up to 65 m, but more rare beyond a depth of 10 m.
Biology: Plenty of diatoms inhabit their body, some of them entering their food, other being simbiont and giving the external colour. Feeds on organic particles which enter with the water through the pores and protrude through oscul. Hermaphrodite, the sexual elements are birth in mezenchim; ovules are fecundated on the spot, the first phases of the larval development take place in the parenchyma of the eponge-mother.
Population trends: Species frequently cited during 1960s-70s in the mussels biocoenosis living on the rocky zone along the Constantza and Agigea coasts, but in rather small quantities.
Threats: Turbidity in shallow zones; hypoxia.
Conservation measures taken:
Conservation measures proposed: Construction of artificial reefs in degraded nearshore areas; increase biofiltration to reduce eutrophication.
Compiled by: M.-T.Gomoiu, A.Petranu.