G. Brown (George Brown) Goode.

The fisheries and fishery industries of the United States (Volume 1:1) online

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depth two fathoms, and the other, and generally finer marketable varieties, in from two to live
fathoms. This fact also explains in a measure, but not wholly, the greater coarseness of our own
Sponges us compared with the European. For though it may be assumed, from the examination
of the skeletons, that Mediterranean Sponges are much less exposed to turbid waters, and though
it may be shown by the microscope that the primary fibers contain less debris, this does not
wholly explain their greater fineness and elasticity. I think that we may attribute this either
wholly or partly to peculiar climatic conditions.

u The coral reefs afford good holding ground for the bases of the colonies, and protection
from the excessive surf of ocean shores, while they grow in water the remarkable clearness of
which to a considerable depth is constant subject of remark. These are undoubtedly favorable
conditions, as they are common also to the Mediterranean waters. The great quantity of cal-
careous sediment, however, which is churned by the waves in the winter, on the borders of a
coral reef, is not present in the Mediterranean ; and the average temperature also, which is very
much higher than that under which the finest Sponge skeletons are produced in the Mediter-
ranean, cannot be considered as favorable. These last, then, are probably the direct cause of the
inferiority of the skeleton of the commercial varieties found in this association [I. e., many of the
American varieties).

"The coarsest quality of all the Mediterranean Sponges, the Gherbis sort and other coarse
sorts, grow in localities along the coast, where they are most subject to the action of suspended
matter in the water; but all of these are, however^ on account of the clearness and medium
temperature of the Mediterranean waters, as compared with those of other seas, of much finer

"The coarser kinds of the same variety grow nearest the shore, and the finer kinds in deeper
water, and also, according to Nassau spongers, are more apt to occur on marly ground, where the
sediment is finer than upon other kinds of bottom. The openness which usually accompanies
and appears to correlate with coarseness of the fiber must be considered as one of the elements
of inferiority, which invariably accompanies a skeleton having a loose microscopical texture or
mesh, and harsh or inelastic or easily torn fibers, but is also, though rarely, found in skeletons of
very fine quality, especially at an early age. Thus it may be said that it is undoubtedly a
common characteristic of all the inferior qualities of Mediterranean, and of all the Caribbean
commercial Sponges without exception, which, though they may have very flue or very coarse or
inelastic fibers, are always permeated in the interior and have the surface also cut up by larger
and more numerous canals than the corresponding Mediterranean species."


The skeleton of this genus, according to Professor Hyatt, is composed of solid, elastic fibers,
the primary ones, those having their origin in the external integuments, being usually, though
not invariably, more or less radiatory in -their arrangements; but the secondary or connecting
fibers are excessively irregular, and generally very closely intertwined. The primary libers are
particularly noticeable on the inner side of (he walls of the large or excurrent openings. The
skeleton exhibits a very rough surface, due to Hie development of large projecting masses of the
secondary or connecting fibers, which are separated by horizontal channels of greater or less
depth. The primary libers protrude above the surface of the cushions or ridges thus formed,
carrying with them more or less of the secondary fiber, and forming a scries of superficial tufts,
giving the skeleton a peculiarly hirsute aspect. The pores through which the water enters the

TIII-: (ii.ovi: BPOXOB. - 17

Spoil-. > are very numerous, i|i|ite permanent ill their positions. :iihl ii-iT^lll:irl\ -,- iltel. d ,IMT 111.'
sides of tin' mass, often remaining open even in dried >pe. -miens.. Tin- cloacal canals an- lew in
number, lull exceedingly large, anil their apertures arc irregularly scattered admit. but are
almost always on the upper side, of the colony. When living, the outer skin is of a dark brown,
very dark purple, or a Mack color. The external layer is usually more or less filled with whate\er
sediment may In- prevalent in the water, and, especially in tlie \Vest Indie-., with the siliceous
spicules of other Sponges.

Only lour species or six so called subspecies of commercial S| gcs. arc recogni/cd iVom the

Florida waters, and these give rise to the flvo grades, known to the trade, in the order of their
importance, beginning with the finest, as Sbeepswool, Velvet, Grass, and Clove Sponges. These
same grades and sul)s))ecies, with one exception, also occur among the Mahama Islands, the
.sponge fauna of Florida and the Bahamas being more or less identical, but the corresponding

grades of these two regions are generally finest in the Florida waters, the Florida em rcial

Sponges ranking much higher than the Bahama, and commanding higher prices. < 'ommereially,

Bahama has two or three times as many grades of Sponges as Florida luit these < imeicial

grades are not of specific or even subspecific importance. They result from a division according
to quality for the convenience of the trade. Notwithstanding the many Bahama grades, the
best of the Manama Sheepswool Sponges are inferior to the best Florida Sheeps\\ool.

The following descriptions of the several Florida and Bahama commercial Sponges are taken
from Professor Hyatt's memoir, "Revision of the North American Poriferae," with notes on the
corresponding Mediterranean species:


"This subspecies, as compared with other American subspecies, baa a skeleton composed of
remarkably fine fibers, which bleach out to a whitish brown color. The MM face is covered with
line tufts of primary libers, which are, however, very pliable. The surface is generally quite free
from cushions and ridges, and the channels between these when they do occur are neither very
deep nor long. The result of these characteristics is a form with a smoother snrface and a denser
looking skeleton than usual, pierced on the sides by numerous small ajH-rtures, very regularly
distributed, and at the top by one or more large cloacal oscules. The form is generally dome like,
and is never, so far as I know, cup shaped, though it may become exceedingly irregular, listular.
or even dendritic. The older specimens show a decided tendency to increase by the prolongation
of the parts immediately around the apertures. Thus the main body of the Sponge becomes
projected into numerous smaller conical or head-shaped masses like the young of variety rotunda,
and crested masses like those of variety ditciformix. At an advanced age the fiber becomes very
brittle and unfit for domestic, purposes."

This Mihspccics generally occurs abundantly upon hard bottom. While living its color is
black; the largest specimen seen by Dr. Edward Palmer, who collected many specimen- for
Profes-ior Hyatt, measured about eight inches in height by about twenty inches in circumference.
It lives on the coast of Southern Florida (Key West), and among the Bahama Islands (Nassau),
upon hard bottoms or reefs, in about six feet of water. Ten varieties are enumerated, all of
which inhabit American tropical SIMS. They are as follows: pcrttixa, iiiollix. praca, disfiftn-mi*,
rafiniilii. I'liirtn. i;>rl'>x(t\u-iii!x. <//</<./. f.nitirii, and xoliilii.

The Glove Sponge ranks as the poorest of .ill the Florida commercial grades, and >et belonging
to the same species, under the name subspecies mediterranea, are the Levant Toilet Sponges, the
finest of all Sponges, and the fine-textured Turkey Cup Sponges. The different grades of the


subspecies metliterranea, some of which are of an inferior quality, occur on the eastern shore of the
Adriatic, on the coast of Greece to Asia Minor, and thence to Tripoli and Tunis.


" This is one of the Grass Sponges of commerce, and is perhaps one of the least variable of
all the species. . . . The general structure is coarser than in tubulifera, and the interior is
exceedingly open, owing to the large size and central situation of the efferent canals. The form
is that of a truncated cone, fluted by deep furrows on the sides, and either infundibuliform or flat
on the truncated surface. The large excurrent orifices are all upon this surface, or in the depres-
sion which takes its place. The smaller apertures are situated on the sides, invariably in the
depressions between the ridges. The persistency of the former and of the latter ridges, and the
situation of the different kinds of orifices, are by far the most characteristic features of this species.
Notwithstanding these facts, and though I am obliged to describe this and some other forms as
distinct species, I have great doubts of the truth of the assumption. It rests upon the evidence
of many specimens, but they are all from one locality."

This species occurs at Key West, Florida, where it grows abundantly on the coral reefs, either
on smooth bottoms or attached to corals or other Sponges, in three feet of water and deeper.
When living its color.is black.


" The typical variety of this species, usually called the Sheepswool Sponge, varies greatly in
form. All of these forms, however, are characterized by a peculiar surface. The skeleton rises
into large tufts over the entire surface, the larger oscula occupying the depressions between.
Sometimes these are very numerous, the whole interior being very cavernous, and sometimes the
structure is much denser, with fewer large openings and many small ones scattered between the
tufts. Occasionally the depressions are filled up on parts of the Spouge, and a surface is presented
having no large tufts, but only the small secondary bundles of fibers, which are especially charac
teristic of this variety. The result of this structure is to leave great hollows or rather a net- work
of deep tunnels under the derm, which are apparent only after the drying of the specimens, when
they become exposed by the universal contraction and cracking of the skin. The color when
living is said by Dr. Palmer to be a shining black."

The habitat of this species is Southern Florida and the Bahama Islands, where it grows in
from three to sixteen feet of water and deeper. The largest specimen examined measured about
nine inches high by thirty inches broad. The following five varieties are recognized by Professor
llyatt: dendritica, poroiia, alba, noLtaria, and hirsuta.

This is by far the finest of the American commercial Sponges, ranking much higher than any
of the other grades. It is also the one most eagerly sought for, the supply being quite unequal to
the demand. It takes the place of the finer Mediterranean grades for most purposes, and, though
not so fine in texture, is more durable than the Turkish Sponges. In the same species are placed
Rome of the best-known of the eastern grades, the so-called Horse Sponge, Venetian Bath Sponge,
and Glierbia Sponge, which occur in numerous placet- in the Mediterranean Sea.


"This, the well-known Velvet Sponge of commerce, . . . differs from the preceding in
it* extreme forms by the absence of the pointed bundles or tufts, and the fibers are also perhaps
slightly finer. The absence of the pointed tufts gives a smoother surface, since, as in the preceding
variety, tuee are mainly composed of coarse primary fibers loaded with foreign matter, whereas


the coiiiu-ctin^ or secondary libers are composed of pure keratose. The surface in also ic.. ai kable
for tin- protruding, flattened cushions of fiber, which slightly resemble the convoluted rid gen
of a mniHilriiHi. Sometimes these cushions are transformed into long, solid brushes or peucils of


The localities from which this subspecies has been recorded are as follows: Biacayiiu Buy and
Key West, Florida; Nassau, Bahamas; Havana, Cuba; Mauritius Islands; and the island of
Fernando de Norouha, off the coast of Brazil. But one variety of this subspecies has been recog-
nized ; it is also in its typical form known commercially as the Velvet Sponge. Professor Hyatt
writes of it as follows: "The forms of the specimens in our collection are more spreading than is
usual in that variety (meandriniformis), and the texture is quite as soft, though deuser/perhaps,
when the skeleton is dry. The projecting cushions of fiber are similar in form to those of variety
meandriniformix, but are joined together in larger masses by a tissue of fine superficial threads ; also
are often less dense and simply bridge the intermediate channels. This and the tortuous and
rather shallow character of the channels give the surface a smoother aspect than is common in the
skeleton of meandriniformis. The oscules are very large and have a peculiar ragged aspect in dried
specimens. They look as if some one had mudo them by repeatedly running a knife into the animal
while it was drying, and then omitted to clean out the interior thoroughly, leaving sharp pinnacles
of dried sponge cuttings projecting inward, sometimes so as to fill the center, but oftener sticking
around the center of the aperture, and more or less completely joined to the wall of the canal,
This characteristic ragged look is sometimes also to be seen in the oscules of subspecies gostypina.
but never so decidedly." This variety is found at Key West, Florida, and Nassau, Bahamas.

This is a fair grade of Sponge, rather rare, and not much in demand ; in fact, the dealers
often omit it in their enumeration of the American commercial Sponges. It is considered of little
value by the trade.


''The aspect of this species, commonly known as one of the 'Grass Sponges,' is very similar to
that of Spongia agaricina, subspecies corlosia, variety typica. The difference consists principally
iu the aspect of the surface. This is broken up by parallel longitudinal ridges of irregular length
on the sides, each ornamented with one or two lines of tufts. These ridges extend onto the upper
surface, giving them a markedly radiatory arrangement. The larger orifices are situated in rows
in the channels between the ridges." Six varieties are enumerated, as follows: typica, described
above; plana, inhabiting Florida and Kingsmill's Islands; divisa, found upon hard, irregular bottom
or corals, in about two feet of water at low tide, at Key West and Biscayue Bay, Florida, and at
Stone's Inlet, South Carolina; mexicana, from Vera Cruz, Mexico; caliciformis, from Nassau,
Bahamas; and obscura, from Nassau and the Bermudas. These several varieties differ more or
less markedly from the typical specimens, some of them approaching other species iu shape and
general appearance. This grade is inferior in quality.


"The subspecies corlosia resembles very closely iu external appearance the Spongia dura, or
'Hard Head,' but an examination of a full series of forms showed that very considerable differ-
ences exist in the texture, though superficially there is little or no distinction in the aspect of the
surface. Dealers can identify these varieties instantly by the color, which is usually lighter than
that of the 'Hard Head,' and by the touch, the 'Yellow Sponge' yielding much more readily and
feeling less harsh under the fingers. These characters, however, only apply to the normal head-
like forms and some of the varieties; many forms cannot be placed in either one or the other of
54 F


the two groups with any certainty." This subspecies occurs at the Bahama Islands and Florida.
Three varieties are classed with it by Professor Hyatt, yosaypiniformis, from Nassau ; fnnca- and
elongate, from Biscayue Bay and Key West, Florida ; the range in depth is from two i'eet of water
at low tide to thirty feet or more.

This constitutes the second grade of American Sponges, and is very abundant. Although
selling at a much lower price than the Sheepswool it forms an important article of commerce.
The Mediterranean grade corresponding with it is the so-called Zitnocca Sponge.


This is a common species of siliceous Sponge, which ranges along our Atlantic coast, from
Cape Cod to South Carolina, in from one .to fifteen fathoms of water. It begins to grow on
mussel, clam, or oyster shells, mostly on dead, but also on living specimens, into which, when
still very young, it excavates numerous burrows. " As it grows, it penetrates the shell in every
direction, forming irregular holes and galleries, which continue to grow as more and more of the
substance of the shell is absorbed, until the shells are reduced to a completely honeycombed,
brittle mass, or a mere skeleton. Finally the Sponge begins to protrude from the surface, and
grows up into mammiliform masses, or small rounded crusts, which continue to grow and spread
in every direction, until finally they form masses six or eight inches in diameter. . . . Owing
to the remarkable boring habits of this and other allied Sponges, they are very important in the
economy of the sea, for they are the principal agents in the disintegration and decay of the shells
that accumulate over the bottoms, thus performing the same function in the sea that fungi and
insects perform on the land." '

There is no question but that the offices of this Sponge are mainly for good, as stated above;
but they often attack living shells, burrowing into them as far as the inner layer, and greatly
irritating the animal, which will sometimes deposit one or more new coatings of shell structure, so
as to cover up the little pores about to open into the inside. They probably also often cause the
destruction of oysters. These burrows sometimes appear on the inside as little prominences,
scattered over the surface. Masses of this Sponge, when full grown, measure a foot or more in
length, and contain stones as large as one's fist, as well as a large quantity of sand. " This
species is of a bright sulphur yellow color, and grows into hemispherical or irregular massive
forms of firm texture, the surface being covered with scattered, low, wart-like, soft prominences,
about an eighth of an inch in diameter, which contract when the Sponge is dried, leaving shallow

Cliona svlphurea has the power of burrowing into submerged limestone as well as shells. A
case of this sort was brought to notice in 1878, when a wrecked cargo of marble was discovered
off Long Island, having lain there for several years. The pieces of marble taken up were
completely riddled by this Sponge to a slight depth.

'Vineyard Sound Report, p. 421, 1871-'72.



AaliimttiT ..................................... 317

Alialoncs ...................................... 700

AUI'ciir, Dr. C. C., on common Seals ............. 55.66

habits of the Cray-fishes.. .814,816
spawning and footling hab-
its of White Perch ....... 432,4X1

Alx-oiiii aurora ................................. 278

iiiininiii ................................ 276-278

AlHTili-rn lish .................................. 200

Ara nt hard i UN | it HI ii nis ............ . ............. 405

Aranthiirns i-ii-riili-ii-

Ai-liirus linratiiN

A i i|-i]M T liiwirostris



trail MI mi It a mi-

. ...... 177

. ............ 659




Acrocliilus alutucens ........................... 618

Actinopbrys sol ................................ 734

A. iin... Christopher, on the Pegebney ........... 120

products of the Pece-

Buey .............. 128

Ailanis, I'rof. A. !>., on the habits of the Togne .. 493

Ailmete Coutbouyi ............................. 693

Aeeche ......................................... 506

African Pompauo ............................... 327

distribution of ................. 329

Agaphcltis gibhomis ... ......................... 31

Agariciaaguricites ............................. 841

Agasxiz on breeding of Green Tnrtles ............ 151

breeding seasons and habits of Snap-

ping Turtles ....................... 153

range of Soft-shell Turtles ........... 152

rate of growth of Loggerhead Turtle. 148

Aglektok ....................................... 62

Agouidie ....................................... 257

AgonuH family ................................. 257

Aguglia iiupcriale .............................. 358

Aguja. ......................................... 337

Blauca ................................... 337

di Palada ................................ 337

Prieta ................................... 337

Voladora ................................. 337

deCasta ................................. 337

Agulha ........................................ 337

Agulhao ....................................... 'tJ

Alaska Pollack ................................. 232

Smelt.. 544


Albicore 3^11

Albula vnlpOH r,|-j

A! I in In l.i- (ji;{

Aleby-trout 236

Alepidosaiirido! r>47

AlepidoHnuniH borealis 547

ferox 548

A4epocephulun Agassizii 54H

Bairdii 548

family 548

Alewife 569,576,580

abundance of 588,583

food of 686

former abundance of 5K3,C84

geographical dUtrilmtion of 584,585

history and nomenclature of. 579-6H2

migrationa and movements of 586

occurrence of, iti New England 580,581

reproduction of 596

size of 587

ii-i-s of. 587

Bay 509

Branch 58H

Inland 594

Alfloue 277

Allen on Fur Seal pups ;i:i

reproduction of Fur Seal 106

SealM and Walruses 33

swinuniug of Fur Seal Ity

Alligator 141

abundance of 142

economical value of 14(5

the fishery of 14(i

food and manner of obtaining it 142

geographical distribution of 141

hibernation of 145

mode of capture of 146

mode of life of 144

origin of name of 141

pugnacity of 143

size of 142

voice of 145

AlligatorGar 663

Snapper l."3

Tnrtle 153

Allman, Professor, on habits of the Boring Ain-

phipod 825, 85

Alopias vnlpes 675

Alosa cyanonoton 579

tyrannus 579

Alutera 8choepni 171

Aiii:iMrn|i-i- i-landira 693




Ainbcr-fish 331

fishes and Leather-jackets 331, 33d

Auibloplites rnpestris 404

American Leech 834

Lobster 781

Soles 175

Amia calva 658

Amiidse 658

AmiuTDS 626

nebulosus 627

Ammodytes lanceolatns 244

tobianns 248

Ampelisca, sp., found in stomach of Sea-robin 256

Amphibians 159-162

Amphibious Carnivora 33

Amphioxus 681

Amphipod, Boring 825,826

Ampin poils 824-826

Amphisphyra debilis 694

hiemalis 694

Amphistichus argentens 278

Ainyda 152

mutica 152

Anachis 596

Anarrhicas lepturug 249

lupus 248,249

minor 249

Anarrhichadidffi 248

Anarrichthys ocellatus 250

Anchovaa 544

Anchovies 611, 612

Angel-fish 171

Black 280

family 280

White 280

Yellow 280

Angelo 674

Angler, Marbled 173

Anglers 169

Anglia 171

Angnilla bostoniensis 630

marmoruta 630

megalostoma 630

mowa 630

texana 630

vulgaris 629

Angulus tener 703

Annelida 831-633

Anodonta 703

Anonyz, sp., found in stomach of Sea- robin 256

Anoplopoma fimbria 243, 268

Anspach on habits of the Capelin 545

Aolknaaa 247

Apeltes quadraciu 457

Aphoristia atricauda 175

Apodichthys flavidns 251

fuel iruin 251

violaceus 251

Aporrhais occidental!* 693

Aproplarchus atropurpnrens 251

Arabella opalina 833

A i rli it. iitlii> Hai-veyi 687

priuceps 687

Arihojilit.-H interruptus 276,405


Arctic Sea-cow 128

extinction of, iu historical times- .128-129

Arcto'cephalus 37

californiauus 52,53

monteriensia 52,53

ursinus 52

Arenicola mnrina 833

Argina pexata 703

Aromochelys odorata 154

Artedi on different forms of Ostracion 171

Artedius fenestralis 259

lateralis 259

megacephalus 259

notospilotus 259

pugettensis 259

seriatns 259

Ascelichthys rhodorus 259

Ashby , Captain, on distribution of Halibut 193

food of Halibut 195

Halibut Spawn 196

migrations of Halibut 194

spawning of Mackerel 295

Aspidonectes asper 152

Online LibraryG. Brown (George Brown) GoodeThe fisheries and fishery industries of the United States (Volume 1:1) → online text (page 140 of 146)