Cretaceous sponges from the Campanian of Misburg and Höver


? Fusiferella sp.

(Schrammen 1924)

Figure 1 - ? Fusiferella armata (rk1150)
Flat discoid specimen.
Höver, senonensis Zone

Figure 2 - ? Fusiferella armata (rk1149)
Flat discoid specimen, cut and etched.
Höver, papillosa Zone

Figure 3 - ? Fusiferella armata (rk1149)
Close-up of etched specimen.
Part with more or less randomly oriented oxeas.
Höver, papillosa Zone

Figure 4 - ? Fusiferella armata (rk1149)
Close-up of etched specimen.
Subparallel, densely spaced megascleres
(oxeas, 2 protriaenes).
Höver, papillosa Zone

Figure 5 - ? Fusiferella armata (rk1149)
Isolated megascleres:
Long-shafted protriaenes, curved oxeas.
Höver, papillosa Zone


Fusiferella armata De Laubenfels 1955

Atractophora armata (Schrammen 1924)



Höver, Lower Campanian (senonensis and papillosa Zones). Very rare.

Misburg, Upper Campanian. Very rare.


Schrammen (1924) described "Atractophora armata" as a new species, on the basis of a single specimen from Misburg. De Laubenfels (1955) renamed the species into Fusiferella armata, presumably because the genus name given by Schrammen was preoccupied for an algae species.

Fusiferella armata is a rare (type specimen, only) and poorly known species. Schrammen (1924, p. 76) states that he could not identify any megascleres other than straight or curved oxeas of varying length and thickness, and in particular that tetraxons could not be found, despite considerable effort.

Two new specimens in the author's collection (Figs. 1 and 2) appear similar to Fusiferella armata. Both specimens consist of discoid to plate-like lumps of approximately 100 mm diameter and 30 to 40 mm thickness. Examination of a large number (several thousand) of isolated spicules provided evidence for the presence of very scarce protriaenes (less than one per cent of all spicules). The vast majority of the spicules are curved, slender oxeas, covering a considerable size range from less than 1 mm to more than 5 mm long. However, it is noted that the oxeas of the new specimens appear more slender than those documented by Schrammen (1924, Plate IX, Fig. 11).

The skeleton structure is complex, but has a general radial structure, due to closely arranged sub-parallel oxeas in its central part (Figures 2 and 4). Additionally, there are peripheral, arched, rarefied regions with more randomly arranged spicules. (Figures 2 and 3).


Figure 5 shows a selection of isolated megascleres.

The (very scarce) triaenes are simple, slender, long-shafted protriaenes.

The abundant megasclere oxeas are fusiform and generally slightly curved.

The author suspects that his two new specimens and Schrammen's Fusiferella armata may belong to the same taxonomic species. The low abundance of protriaenes could explain why Schrammen (1924) was unable to prove their presence in Fusiferella armata. The apparently more slender shapes of the oxeas presented here may be due to better presevation, while Schrammen's (1924, Plate IX, Fig. 11) examples show blunt (damaged ?) ends.

In conclusion, the author has transferred Fusiferella armata from "Order: Uncertain" into Order: Craniellida Reid, 1968 and Family: Tetillidae Sollas, 1886.