n African Natural History - Demospongiae taxonomy and biodiversity of the Benguela region on the west coast of South Africa

Volume 1, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1816-8396


Sixty-five species of shallow-water Demospongiae (phylum Porifera) are described from seven localities on the west coast of South Africa, increasing the total species diversity for South Africa to 314. Of the 65 species collected, 43 are redescribed from fresh material and 22 are new to science. Seven species (16%) are apparent endemics for the west coast: , and 22 new species are described: The west coast seems to have a high abundance of poecilosclerids. Sponges of this order are diverse and the results reinforce the supposition that many geographical areas and ecological habitats remain poorly known or even unexplored around South Africa. Brief zoogeographical comparisons are made between the west coast fauna and the fauna from adjacent regions such as Namibia and the Indo-Pacific.

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