CLASSIFICATION OF TETHYA
PHYLUM :- PORIFERA (Pore bearing, cellular grade, asymmetrical or radially symmetrical.)
CLASS :- DEMOSPONGIAE (Skeleton of spongin fibres or siliceous spicules which are not six-rayed.)
ORDER :- Monaxonida (Spongin mayor may not be present; spicules monaxon.)
GENUS :- Tethya
It is found in the Mediterranean Sea and North Eastern Atlantic Ocean, and from southern Namibia round the southern African coast to KwaZulu-Natal, usually on shallow reefs.
HABIT AND HABITAT
Tethya is found in the sea.
GENERAL CHARACTERSTICS OF TETHYA
- Also known as the golf ball sponge or orange puffball sponge.
- It is spherical in shape, with a warty surface, and grows to about 10 cm in diameter. Oscula are present on the upper surface.
- Spherical sponge attached to substratum.
- Body surface tuberculate with radiating bundles of monaxon spicules and several exasters.
- Styles have indistinct tylote ends.
- Spongin fibres are entirely absent.
- Some members of genus tethya are known to be able to move at speeds of between 1 and 4 mm per day
The animal has branched colony, ostia, rhagon type canal system and all above features and hence it is Spongilla.