Integrative taxonomy of calcareous sponges (subclass Calcinea) from the Peruvian coast: Morphology, molecules, and biogeography

Fernanda Azevedo, Báslavi Cóndor-Luján, Philippe Willenz, Eduardo Hajdu, Yuri Hooker, Michelle Klautau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Understanding of evolution and systematics of Calcarea (Porifera) have not yet met a corresponding increase in the knowledge of diversity and distribution of these sponges in several parts of the world. Peru is an emblematic example of this lack of taxonomic knowledge, as only three shallow-water species of sponges have hitherto been reported from its 3000km coast. With the aim of studying sponges of Peru, an integrative taxonomy approach (morphology, molecules, and biogeography) was used in order to achieve sound species identifications. The first findings of Peruvian calcareous sponges are presented here. Eight species are described in the subclass Calcinea, of which five are new to science. The retrieved biogeographical patterns are either locally endemic, widespread, or discontinuous over large areas. Clathrina antofagastensis was previously known from Chile, while C. aurea and Ernstia tetractina had been reported from the Atlantic (Brazil), and thus represent the first genetically confirmed tropical amphi-American distributions of species not yet found on both sides of the Isthmus of Panama. Our results reveal a richer Tropical East Pacific sponge fauna than the Warm Temperate South-Eastern Pacific one.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)787-817
Number of pages31
JournalZoological Journal of the Linnean Society
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2015


  • Internal transcribed spacer
  • Marine biodiversity
  • Molecular systematics
  • Pacific Ocean
  • Peru - Porifera


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