Sponges in Southern Irish Rivers and Streams: Identification

Дата канвертавання26.04.2016
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Sponges in Southern Irish Rivers and Streams: Identification
Freshwater sponges are highly adaptive and have a worldwide distribution; however they are often overlooked and are rarely studied. The last survey of sponges in Ireland was conducted almost a century ago by Janes Stephens in the 1920’s. From this survey Stephens identified five species; Spongilla lacustris, Ephydatia fluviatilis, Racekiela ryderi, Ephydatia muelleri and Eunapius fragilis, all of which belong to the Spongillidae family. In Stephens’s survey the southern half of the country was not sampled due to the difficulties in travelling around Ireland during this period. The aim of this study was to reassess the current species of sponges in Ireland focusing on the southwest of Ireland. Over 250 sponge samples were identified from a specimen collection gathered by the Environmental Protection Agency in Kilkenny from the 1980’s to the present. All of the known species were identified with the exception of Eunapius fragilis, a species which is described by Stephens as being very rare in Ireland.

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