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Sponges from Elphinstone Reef, Northern Red Sea, Egypt

Ahmed Mohamed El-Bossery; Fyez Abdel Maksoud Shoukr; Mohamed Mohamed El Komi; Hanaa Mahrous Rady; Mohamed Abdel Latif Ezz El-Arab.

Abstract
A total of fifteen species of sponges were collected distinguished during 2011/2012. This list of genera and species provided in this work represented new records not previously reported for Elphinstone reef. The fifteen-sponge species all were in the class Demospongiae represented by seven orders and thirteen families. The most common family was Theonellidae Lendenfeld, 1903, which was represented by one genus and three species. Most species were collected from the reef wall in relatively depth from 10-25 meters depth. The most widespread sponge collected was the massive Erylus sp. a number of species collected in this study may not have been described. For example, Neopetrosia sp., Erylus sp., Suberea sp. and Theonella sp. collected during this study differ from the previously described taxon and may be a new species for this genus; however morphometric analysis is needed to confirm this assessment. The fragments labelled under special codes with their data; location, depth and colour and then incorporated in the collections of the Regional Museum of Natural History (RMNH).

Key words: Sponges;Egypt;Red Sea;Taxonomy;Coral reef



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