CLASSIFICATION OF EUPLECTELLA
It is distributed near Philippines and West Indies.
HABIT AND HABITAT
Euplectella is solitary animal found abundantly in deep waters at the depths of 500 to 5,000 meters in slow running water, adapted for low water current.
GENERAL CHARACTERSTICS OF EUPLECTELLA
- Commonly called as Venus’s flower basket due to its beautiful elegant glossy shape like knitted elongated basket.
- Animal measures 15 to 30 cm in length and 2 to 5 cm in diameter.
- Body is long, rigidly curved and cylindrical.
- Body is composed of four and six-rayed siliceous spicules interlaced and fused at their tips forming three dimensional network with parietal gaps.
- Spicules are joined together forming a network.
- Lower end contains usually a mass of long siliceous spicules in form of root tuft which fasten the animal with mud.
- Cloacal cavity is closed in above with a sieve plate.
- Osculum contains sieve called as oscular sieve plate.
- Canal system is of simple Sycon type.
- Euplectella displays an interesting commensal relation with certain species of shrimps. A young female and male shrimp enter into spongocoel and after growth become unable to come out. Their entire life is passed in sponge prison. They feed on plankton in water current.
Euplectella has great social and mythological value. The skeleton of this sponge, having imprisoned shrimps inside, is presented as wedding gift to newly married couples in Japan, signifying close association.
The specimen has knitted basket-shaped body, ostia, oscular sieve plate and all above features, hence it is Euplectella.