Cretaceous sponges from the Campanian of Misburg and Höver
Astrocladia Roemer 1864

Locality: Teutonia, Misburg
Width : 70 mm

Astrocladia subramosa

Zittel 1878

Astrocladia subramosa is a branching sponge which may form large compound groups.

In the example shown to the left, most of the dense cortex has been lost, due to poor preservation.

Locality: Teutonia, Misburg
Height : 70 mm

A multiply branched twig of Astrocladia subramosa.

Locality: Teutonia, Misburg
Twig length : 140 mm

Various branched twigs of Astrocladia subramosa.

Locality: Teutonia, Misburg
Twig Diameter : 13 mm

The fragment in the picture shows star-like grooves radiating from postica scattered along the twigs, which is typical for this species.

Locality: Teutonia, Misburg
Specimen width : 220 mm

Astrocladia sp.

A large compound aggregate of Astrocladia sp. with rather long unbranched sections and many strongly protruding postica, showing star-shaped furrows with several exhalent pores (see photomicrograph further below).

Schrammen (1924) defined the new species Astrocladia nitida, which has a similar arrangement of the postica in longitudinal rows along the branches. However, Astrocladia nitida is distinguished by having only single exhalent pores on the wart-like protrusions. Thus the specimen shown in the image bears features typical of both Astrocladia species.

Locality: Teutonia, Misburg
Specimen width : 190 mm

Branch of the same compound of Astrocladia sp. as above.

Locality: Teutonia, Misburg

Locality: Teutonia, Misburg

Locality: Teutonia, Misburg

A selection of typical scleres of Astrocladia sp. is shown in the three plates (reflected light photomicrographs; samples from Teutonia).

The first and second plate comprise skeletal elements derived from the tetraclone. These scleres are very small by comparison to other tetracladine desmas, and the zygomes are strongly branched and spiny. Easily confused with rhizoclones.

The third plate shows several dermal phyllotriaenes of Astrocladia sp.. The phyllotriaenes are tiny (0.1 mm wide), with short (less than diameter) conical shafts.

Dermal scleres of Astrocladia subramosa could not be observed by earlier workers, but Schrammen (1910) predicted it would be phyllotriaenes. Schrammen (1924) reported scarce and tiny phyllotrianes for Astrocladia nitida.

Locality: Teutonia, Misburg

Photomicrograph of an etched specimen of Astrocladia sp., showing star-shaped group of exhalent pores.