Calcarea corresponds to ~ 8% of the known sponge species richness and more studies are needed to reveal its diversity, distribution, and biology. Here, we investigated the calcareous sponges from a small area at the littoral of Salvador, Bahia, Northeastern Brazil, that was being considered for the creation of a marine park. Whenever possible, both morphological and molecular approaches were applied. Our results revealed the presence of seven species: Ascandra alba sp. nov., Borojevia tenuispinata Azevedo, Padua, Moraes, Rossi, Muricy & Klautau, 2017, B. trispinata Azevedo, Padua, Moraes, Rossi, Muricy & Klautau, 2017, Clathrina robusta sp. nov., C. soluta sp. nov., Leucandra serrata Azevedo & Klautau, 2007, and Sycon avus Chagas & Cavalcanti, 2017. Besides the three new species described here, new records for Bahia are provided and, for some of the species, morphological variations are reported. The number of Calcarea species from Salvador increased from 5 to 10, and from 19 to 24 for Bahia. Together with other local inventories on the benthic biota, these results were shown to the authorities while reasons to support the park were being discussed. The Barra Marine Park was furtherly created, clearly showing the importance of our work for both science and society.
- Barra Marine Park
- Southwestern Atlantic Ocean