Skip to main content Skip to main navigation menu Skip to site footer
Type: Article
Published: 2022-07-11
Page range: 451-486
Abstract views: 421
PDF downloaded: 26

Three New Carnivorous sponge species (Demospongiae: Cladorhizidae) from the Seamounts of the Central Indian Ridge

National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR), Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), Headland Sada, Vasco-da-Gama, Goa, India—403804
National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR), Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), Headland Sada, Vasco-da-Gama, Goa, India—403804
Porifera deep-sea Carnivorous sponge Cladorhizidae new species Asbestopluma Chondrocladia DNA barcodes Central Indian Ridge Indian Ocean


Deep-sea sponges are an imperative component of benthos. They accumulate the suspended organic matter by filtering large quantities of water and, with their intricate structures, provide the most suitable habitats for various associated organisms. We describe three new cadorhizid sponges from the Central Indian Ridge (CIR), Indian Ocean. The sponges are part of the benthic sledge collection conducted onboard the MGS Sagar in the CIR region. A detailed taxonomic description of two novel species, Asbestopluma (Asbestopluma) indiyansis sp. nov., and Asbestopluma (A.) bharatiyae sp. nov. are provided based on the morphological and molecular (mtCOI and 28S) markers. In addition, another new carnivorous species Chondrocladia sagari sp. nov. is described based on the morphological and mtCOI marker. The systematic and descriptions of new species are discussed based on the structural and phylogenetic analysis. Our study shows that the cladorhizid fauna of the seamounts from the CIR are unique and represent regionally endemic benthic habitats.



  1. Bachraty, C., Legendre, P. & Desbruyeres, D. (2009) Biogeographic relationships among deep-sea hydrothermal vent faunas at global scale. Deep Sea Research, Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers, 56, 1371–1378.
    Borchiellini, C., Manuel, M., Alivon, E., Boury-Esnault, N., Vacelet, J. & Le Parco, Y. (2001) Sponge paraphyly and the origin of Metazoa. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 14, 171–179.
    Boury-Esnault, N. & Rützler, K. (1997) Thesaurus of Sponge Morphology. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C., 596 pp.
    Chombard, C., Boury-Esnault, N., Tillier, A. & Vacelet, J. (1998) Polyphyly of “sclerosponges”(Porifera, Demospongiae) supported by 28S ribosomal sequences. The Biological Bulletin, 193, 359–367.
    Cristobo, F.J., Urgorri, V. & Ríos, P. (2005) Three new species of carnivorous deep-sea sponges from the DIVA-1 expedition in the Angola Basin (South Atlantic). Organisms Diversity & Evolution, 5, 203–213.
    Cuvelier, D., Beesau, J., Ivanenko, V., Zeppilli, D., Sarradin, P.M. & Sarrazin, J. (2014) First insights into macro-and meiofaunal colonisation patterns on paired wood/slate substrata at Atlantic deep-sea hydrothermal vents. Deep-Sea Research, Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers, 87, 70–81.
    Desbruyeres, D., Segonzac, M. & Bright, M. (2006) Handbook of deep-sea hydrothermal vent fauna. Second Completely Revised Edition. Denisia, 18, 1–544.
    Djurhuus, A., Read, J.F & Rogers, A.D. (2017) The spatial distribution of particulate organic carbon and microorganisms on seamounts of the South West Indian Ridge. Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography, 136, 73–84.
    Downey, R.V. & Janussen, D. (2015) New insights into the abyssal sponge fauna of the Kurile–Kamchatka plain and trench region (Northwest Pacific). Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography, 111, 34–43.
    Dressler-Allame, M., Göcke, C., Kersken, D., Plotkin, A. & Janussen, D. (2017) Carnivorous sponges (Cladorhizidae) of the deep Weddell Sea, with descriptions of two new species. Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography, 137, 190–206.
    Ekins, M., Erpenbeck, D., Wörheide, G. & Hooper, J.N.A. (2016) Staying well connected–Lithistid sponges on seamounts. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 96, 437–451.
    Ekins, M., Erpenbeck, D. & Hooper, J.N.A. (2020) Carnivorous sponges from the Australian Bathyal and Abyssal zones collected during the RV Investigator 2017 Expedition. Zootaxa, 4774 (1), 1–159.
    Erpenbeck, D., Ekins, M., Enghuber, N., Hooper, J.N.A., Lehnert, H., Poliseno, A., Schuster, A., Setiawan, E., de Voogd, N.J., Wörheide, G. & van Soest, R.W.M. (2016) Nothing in (sponge) biology makes sense—except when based on holotypes. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 96, 305–311.
    Folmer, O., Black, M. Hoeh, W. Lutz, R. & Vrijenhoek, R. (1994) DNA primers for amplification of mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I from diverse metazoan invertebrates. Molecular Marine Biology & Biotechnology, 3, 294–294.
    Gerdes, K.H., Arbizu, P.M., Schwentner, M., Freitag, R., Schwarz-Schampera, U., Brandt, A. & Kihara, T.C. (2019) Megabenthic assemblages at the southern Central Indian Ridge–spatial segregation of inactive hydrothermal vents from active-, periphery-and non-vent sites. Marine Environmental Research, 151, 104776.
    Göcke, C., Hestetun, J.T., Uhlir, C., Freiwald, A., Beuck, L. & Janussen, D. (2016) Cladorhiza corallophila sp. nov., a new carnivorous sponge (Cladorhizidae, Demospongiae) living in close association with Lophelia pertusa and Madrepora oculata (Scleractinia). Zootaxa, 4168 (3), 512–524.
    Hashimoto, J., Ohta, S., Gamo, T., Chiba, H., Yamaguchi, T., Tsuchida, S., Okudaira, T., Watabe, H., Yamanaka, T. & Kitazawa, M. (2001) First hydrothermal vent communities from the Indian Ocean discovered. Zoological Science, 18, 717–721.
    Hestetun, J.T., Fourt, M., Vacelet, J., Boury-Esnault, N. & Rapp, H.T. (2015) Cladorhizidae (Porifera, Demospongiae, Poecilosclerida) of the deep Atlantic collected during Ifremer cruises, with a biogeographic overview of the Atlantic species. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 95, 1311–1342.
    Hestetun, J.T., Vacelet, J., Boury-Esnault, N., Borchiellini, C., Kelly, M., Ríos, P., Cristobo, F.J. & Rapp, H.T. (2016) The systematics of carnivorous sponges. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 94, 327–345.
    Hestetun, J.T., Rapp, H.T. & Xavier, J. (2017a) Carnivorous sponges (Porifera, Cladorhizidae) from the Southwest Indian Ocean Ridge seamounts. Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography, 137, 166–189.
    Hestetun, J.T., Tompkins-Macdonald, G. & Rapp, H.T. (2017b) A review of carnivorous sponges (Porifera: Cladorhizidae) from the boreal north Atlantic and Arctic. Zoological Journal of the Linnaean Society, 181, 1–69.
    Hestetun, J.T., Rapp, H.T. & Pomponi, S. (2019) Deep-Sea Carnivorous Sponges from the Mariana Islands. Frontiers in Marine Science, 6, 371.
    Janussen, D. & Downey, R.V. (2014) Porifera. In: De Broyer, C., Koubbi, P., Griffiths, H.J., Raymond, B., d’Udekem d’Acoz, C., Van de Putte, A., Danis, B., David, B., Grant, S., Gutt, J., Held, C., Hosie, G., Huettmann, F., Post, A. & Ropert-Coudert, Y. (Eds.), Biogeographic Atlas of the Southern Ocean. Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research, Cambridge, pp. 94–103.
    Katoh, K. & Standley, D.M. (2013) MAFFT multiple sequence alignment software version 7: improvements in performance and usability. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 30 (4), 772–780.
    Koltun, V.M. (1964) Sponges of the Antarctic. 1 Tetraxonida and Cornacuspongida. In: Pavlovskii, E., Andriyashev, A. & Ushakov, P. (Eds.), Biological Reports of the Soviet Antarctic Expedition (1955–1958). Academy of Sciences of the U.S.S.R., Israel Program for Scientific Translations Ltd., Jerusalem, pp. 1–372, pls. I–VIII. [English translation]
    Laptikhovsky, V., Boersch-Supan, P., Bolstad, K., Kemp, K., Letessier, T. & Rogers, A.D. (2017) Cephalopods of the Southwest Indian Ocean Ridge: A hotspot of biological diversity and absence of endemism. Deep Sea Research, Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography, 136, 98–107.
    Lévi, C. (1964) Spongiaires des zones bathyale, abyssale et hadale, Galathea Report. Scientific Results of the Danish Deep-Sea Expedition Round the World, 1950–1952, 7, 63–112, pls. II–XI
    McClintock, J.B., Amsler, C.D., Baker, B.J. & Van Soest, R.W. (2005) Ecology of Antarctic marine sponges: an overview. Integrative and Comparative Biology, 45, 359–368.
    O’Hara, T.D., Williams, A., Ahyong, S.T., Alderslade, P., Alvestad, T., Bray, D., Burghardt, I. Budaeva, N., Criscione, F., Crowther, A.L., Ekins, M., Eléaume, M., Farrelly, C.A., Finn, J.K., Georgieva, M.N., Graham, A., Gomon, M., GowlettHolmes, K., Gunton, L.M., Hallan, A, Hosie, A.M., Hutchings, P., Kise, H., Köhler, F., Konsgrud, J.A., Kupriyanova, E., Lu, C.C., Mackenzie, M., Mah, C., MacIntosh, H., Merrin, K.L., Miskelly, A., Mitchell, M.L., Moore, K., Murray, A., O’Loughlin, P.M., Paxton, H., Pogonoski, J.J., Staples, D., Watson, J.E., Wilson, R.S., Zhang, J. & Bax, N.J. (2020) The lower bathyal and abyssal seafloor fauna of eastern Australia. Marine Biodiversity Records, 13, 11.
    O’Loughlin, P.M, Mackenzie, M. & Vandenspiegel, D. (2013) New sea cucumber species from the seamounts on the Southwest Indian Ocean Ridge (Echinodermata: Holothuroidea: Aspidochirotida, Elasipodida, Dendrochirotida). Memoirs of Museum Victoria, 70, 37–50.
    Rambaut, A. (2009) FigTree, Version 1.3.1. Available from: (accessed 20 June 2022)
    Ridley S.O. & Dendy, A. (1886) XXXIV.— Preliminary Report on the Monaxonida collected by H.M.S. Challenger. Annals and Magazine of Natural History, 18, 325–351.
    Ridley, S.O. & Dendy, A. (1887) Report on the Monaxonida collected by HMS. ‘Challenger’ during the years 1873–1876. Report on the Scientific Results of the Voyage of HMS Challenger during the Years 1873–1876. Zoology. W.C. Thomson, Neill and Company, Edinburgh, pp. 1–275, pls. I–LI.
    Rogers, A., Alvheim, O., Bemanaja, E., Benivary, D., Boersch-Supan, P., Bornman, T., Cedras, R., Du Plessis, N., Gotheil, S., Hoines, A., Kemp, K., Kristiansen, J., Letessier, T., Mangar, V., Mazungula, N., Mørk, T., Pinet, P., Read, J. & Sonnekus, T. (2010) Preliminary Cruise Report” Dr. Fritjof Nansen”. Southern Indian Ocean Seamounts (IUCN/UNDP/ASCLME/NERC/EAF Nansen Project 2009 Cruise 410), 12 November–19 December 2009. [unknown pagination]
    Rogers, A. & Taylor, M. (2012) Benthic biodiversity of seamounts in the southwest Indian Ocean. Cruise report—R/V James Cook 066. Proceedings of the Southwest Indian Ocean Seamounts Expedition, 7 November–21 December 2011, pp. 1–235.
    Rot, C., Goldfarb, I., Ilan, M. & Huchon, D. (2006) Putative cross-kingdom horizontal gene transfer in sponge (Porifera) mitochondria. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 6, 71.
    Sambrook, J., Fritsch, E.F. & Maniatis, T. (1989) Molecular cloning. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, New York, 1659 pp.
    Stamatakis, A. (2014) RAxML version 8: a tool for phylogenetic analysis and post-analysis of large phylogenies. Bioinformatics, 30 (9), 1312–1313.
    Surya Prakash, L., Fernandes, S.O, Ingole B.S. & Kurian, J.P. (2022) Bio-Geochemical characteristics of hydrothermal systems in Indian Ocean. In: Majumdar, A. & Ghosh, W. (Ed.), Systems Biogeochemistry of Major Marine Biome, AGU Book. Wiley Blackwell Pub. pp.285-313.
    Tendal, O.S. (1973) Sponges collected by the Swedish Deep Sea Expedition. Zoologica Scripta, 2, 33–38.
    Topsent, E. (1901) Notice préliminaire sur les éponges recueillies par l’Expédition Antarctique Belge. Archives de Zoologie Expérimentaleet Générale, Series 3, 9 (Notes et Revue), V–XVI
    Topsent, E. (1909) Etude sur quelques Cladorhiza et sur Euchelipluma pristina n. g. et n. sp. Bulletin de l’Institut Océanographique de Monaco, 151, 1–23.
    Vacelet, J. & Boury-Esnault N. (1995) Carnivorous sponges. Nature, 373, 333–335.
    Vacelet, J. & Custódio, M.R. (2007) Diversity and evolution of deep-sea carnivorous sponges. Porifera research: biodiversity, innovation and sustainability, Série Livros, 28, 107–115.
    Vacelet, J. & Kelly, M. (2014) A new species of Abyssocladia (Porifera, Demospongiae, Poecilosclerida, Cladorhizidae) and other carnivorous sponges from the far eastern Solomon Islands. Zootaxa, 3815 (3), 386.
    Van Dover, C.L., Humphris, S.E., Fornari, D., Cavanaugh, C.M., Collier, R., Goffredi, S.K., Hashimoto, J., Lilley, M.D., Reysenbach, A.L., Shank, T.M. & Von Damm, K.L. (2001) Biogeography and ecological setting of Indian Ocean hydrothermal vents. Science, 294, 818–823.
    Zhou, Y., Zhang, D., Zhang, R., Liu, Z., Tao, C., Lu, B., Sun, D., Xu, P., Lin, R., Wang, J. & Wang, C. (2018) Characterization of vent fauna at three hydrothermal vent fields on the Southwest Indian Ridge: implications for biogeography and interannual dynamics on ultraslow-spreading ridges. Deep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers, 137, 1–12.