scientific article | Bull Biol Soc Wash
Pomponi SA, Kelly M, Reed JK, Wright AE
Nineteen species of lithistid sponges (Porifera: Demospongiae), representing 13 genera, eight families, and four suborders are reported from the tropical western Atlantic region, including three new records of occurrence: Discodermia verrucosa Topsent, Corallistes cf. undulatus Lévi & Lévi, and C. cf. nolitangere Schmidt. This inventory of the biodiversity and bathymetric distribution of these sponges is based on the results obtained from 36 expeditions and more than 450 submersible transects. The objective of these expeditions was the collection of marine organisms for discovery of biologically active compounds with pharmaceutical potential. The taxonomic diversity and distribution thus noted. contrasts with the results of previous reports which describe more specific regional faunas. Lithistids are dominant components of hard-bottom habitats at depths greater than 150 m in the tropical western Atlantic region.