XIII. The sponges of Funafuti
The collection of sponges obtained by Mr. C. Hedley, though small, is nevertheless interesting. There are sixteen species; of these the following six are described as new: Spinosella glomerata, Gellius aculeatus, Clathria pellicula, Agelas gracilis, Ciocalypta incrustans, and Polymastia dendyi.
Of the above Agelas gracilis is the most interesting, as it widens the range of the genus. With the exception of an outlier recorded from Mauritius and doubtfully from Tristan d' Acunha, this genus has hitherto only been known from the West Indies.
The remaining ten species are: Reniera australis, Lendenfeld, Reniera sp. which may prove to be a variety of Reniera rosea, Bowerbank, Halichondria solida, var. rugosa, Ridley and Dendy, Echinodictyum asperum, Ridley and Dendy, of the latter rare and curious species there are two very fine examples, Acanthella stipitata, Carter, A. pulcherrima, Ridley and Dendy, Spirastrella papillosa, Ridley and Dendy, Euspongia irregularis, var. silicata, Lendenfeld, Hippospongia dura, Lendenfeld, and Spongelia fragilis, var. irregularis, Lendenfeld.
The species in many cases are represented by single examples. The smaller specimens had been placed in a solution of four or five p.c. formol, which proved insufficient for their proper preservation. They reached me in a soft and slimy state, too soft in fact to handle with safety, and before a hand-section could be cut they had to be hardened in alcohol. In consequence of their imperfect preservation and their transference to alcohol, the specimens had some of their characters destroyed, which rendered their exact determination unusually difficult....