Samidae Sollas (Demospongiae, ? Spirophorida) is an enigmatic monotypical family of excavating sponges. The affinities of the genus Samus Gray are obscure, but the possession of sigmaspire microscleres is considered evidence for membership of the order Spirophorida. The typical family of Spirophorida, Tetillidae Sollas, differs considerably in habit and additional spiculation. Although several species have been described in the genus Samus, only one species name remains recognized in the genus, the others having been transferred to other genera of different families. The single species Samus anonymus Gray is reported to be almost cosmopolitan (Brazil, Caribbean, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean, Australia), but is probably a complex of closely related species. It forms insignificant excavations in corals and coralline algae and was long thought to be a facultative dweller of empty holes excavated by clionids.
KeywordsPorifera Demospongiae Spirophorida Samidae Samus
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