Chondrocladia lyra

Chondrocladia lyra is a carnivorous sponge, which was discovered in 2000. Two individuals were collected from 10 individuals and film recordings were made. 2012 the type of scientists from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute was first described. It is similar in appearance to a star of upright harps ( Style epithet: lyra ).


C. lyra is anchored by a rhizoid on the seabed. Starting from the central body to find one to six streamers carry about 20 knots vertically standing on a blade. After video recording its size is approximately 80 cm in length and 50 cm in height. The orientation of the foothills is almost equi, so that a mehrzahlige central symmetry arises. To develop swellings on the vertical branches with eggs and they carry at their ends spherical swellings, which are provided with thread-like appendages. The spherical Endbällchen form spermatophores.


Typically filter sponges bacteria and other microscopic organisms from the water. Contrast Chondrocladia lyra (and other carnivorous sponges) catch much larger prey, such as Copepods. Indeed, if the prey by the water flow to the sponge they are held by small hooks. Then the sponge wrapped his victim with a membrane of digestive juices which will allow him to take up nutrients through the sponge surface.

Distribution and habitat

The sponge was spotted at diving trips in the northeastern Pacific Ocean in Escanaba Ridge off the coast of California and the Monterey Canyon at a depth of around 3300 m.


For the way a new, monotypic subgenus Symmetrocladia was set up by scientists.