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Taxonomic inventory of the sponges (Porifera) of the Mariana Islands


, : Taxonomic inventory of the sponges (Porifera) of the Mariana Islands. Micronesica 35-36: 100-120

We review the sponge fauna of the Mariana Islands based on new and existing collections, and literature records. 124 species of siliceous sponges (Class Demospongiae) and 4 species of calcareous sponges (Class Calcarea) have been identified to date, representing 73 genera, 44 families, within 16 orders. Several species are adventive. Approximately 30% (40) of the species encountered are undescribed, but not all are endemics, as the authors know them from other locations. Approximately 30% (38) of the species are known from diverse locations within the Indo West Pacific, but several well-known, widespread species are absent. The actual diversity of sponge fauna of the Marianas is considerably higher, as many species, especially cryptic and encrusting taxa, remain to be collected and studied.

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