Organisms Diversity & Evolution

, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp 275–285 | Cite as

Two Pione species (Hadromerida, Clionaidae) from the Red Sea: a taxonomical challenge

  • Filippo Ferrario
  • Barbara Calcinai
  • Dirk Erpenbeck
  • Paolo Galli
  • Gert Wörheide
Original Article


Boring sponges of the genus Pione (Hadromerida, Clionaidae) are easily recognizable due to their spiculation. However, species identification is challenging, as the potentially diagnostic morphological character states of different species often overlap. For this reason, this group of species is frequently referred to as the ‘Pione vastifica complex’, after the most well-studied species of the genus. Boring-sponge samples were collected in the Red Sea and identified as P. cf. lampa and P. cf. vastifica, respectively. So far, these two species names have usually been considered as valid, although some authors suggested them to be synonymous. Morphological analyses were performed on spicules and micro-erosion patterns by means of both light and scanning electron microscopy. Two apparent morphotypes can be distinguished, mainly by the growth form, but statistical analysis does not support a clear separation in two species. In addition, a DNA barcoding approach using sequences of CO1 has not identified any nucleotide sequence differences. These data support the hypothesis that P. cf. lampa and P. cf. vastifica from the Red Sea are conspecific.


Pione vastifica Pione lampa Boring sponges Growth form DNA barcoding 


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Copyright information

© Gesellschaft für Biologische Systematik 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Filippo Ferrario
    • 1
    • 2
  • Barbara Calcinai
    • 3
  • Dirk Erpenbeck
    • 4
  • Paolo Galli
    • 2
  • Gert Wörheide
    • 4
  1. 1.Centro Interdipartimentale di Ricerca per le Scienze Ambientali in RavennaUniversità di BolognaRavennaItaly
  2. 2.Dipartimento di Biotecnologie e BioscienzeUniversità degli Studi di Milano-BicoccaMilanoItaly
  3. 3.Dipartimento di Scienze del MareUniversità Politecnica delle MarcheAnconaItaly
  4. 4.Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Palaeontology and Geobiology & GeoBio-CenterLMULudwig-Maximilians-University MunichMunichGermany

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